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Imperial Blend combines electronic, rock

Article Published: Nov. 21, 2013 | Modified: Nov. 23, 2013
Imperial Blend combines electronic, rock

Featuring Brennan Fowler, Chris Teague, Dave Teague and Ethan Riffe, Imperial Blend will perform Nov. 22 at Murphy's.

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On Friday evening, Nov. 22, Imperial Blend will bring its combination of rock and electronic dance music to Murphy’s Restaurant & Pub in Boone.

Based out of Greensboro, the quartet bucks the trend of DJ-only acts by presenting a full band of musicians, who put together layered sounds on top of bass-heavy grooves.

The members of Imperial Blend include Brennan Fowler on keyboards and synthesizers, Chris Teague on guitar, Dave Teague on drums and percussion and Ethan Riffe on bass guitar and synthesizers.

“The closest that I can describe our sound is electronic rock,” Fowler said. “We try to play meaningful melodies over nice sonic grooves. We’ve been together as group for about three years now, although myself and Dave and Chris have been playing together for about five or six years. We really enjoy doing what we are doing, and we’re trying to broaden the horizons and bring something different out there. We still want to keep that rock aspect in the mix, but we want to touch on the electronic side of things, as well. That is where our ears are at.”

As Imperial Blend began to evolve as a band, playing before live audiences at festivals had an effect on their sound.

“Overall, it has changed our music a lot,” Fowler said. “The first year that we did our festival run, we played at about six or seven festivals. Having that energy from the crowd helped us, as the audiences showed us how they felt about our music in different ways. We were really grateful for being a part of those festivals, and we want to try and be a part of more of them and keep jamming out as much as we can.”

As for Fowler’s influences on keyboards over the years, the two that come to mind include a recently deceased jazz and funk legend and a current member of Donna the Buffalo.

“I’m into George Duke (who died this past August) and Dave McCracken from Donna the Buffalo,” Fowler said. “Dave was my piano teacher, so he has shown me a lot more than I ever knew. I was kind of fiddling around in the basement at the time, and he showed me a new direction with the keyboards. I brought over a CD of Pink Floyd or something like that one day and said, ‘I want to play stuff like this.’ Then, he showed me how to play the blues and that sort of thing. After he showed me one or two things, we drank a beer together, and we were done, and I was on my adventure.”

Fowler and the members of Imperial Blend are looking forward to their return to the High Country.
“We have played in Boone a couple of times,” Fowler said. “When we play at Murphy’s, it is always a rage cage in there. It is always packed full of people, and they are nice there, and they always feed us. We like to bring happiness and energy to our shows that maybe the folks there didn’t get from somebody else.”

The music starts at 10 p.m. Murphy’s is located at 747 W. King St. in downtown Boone. For more information, including cover price, call (828) 264-5117. For more on Imperial Blend, visit

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