Tuesday, September 18, 2018 — Sarasota, FL, September 18, 2018 – In the aftermath of releasing their second full-length album Home in June, Ari and the Alibis recently geared up for their first international performances in Canada last month. The band played shows in Ottawa and Hamilton, Ontario, accompanied by an assortment of Sennheiser evolution mics — helping to deliver the best possible audio quality. A quintet consisting of vocalist Ari McManus, guitarist Nic Kraster, trombonist James Dabone, bassist Omar Rodriguez, and drummer Damon Owens, Ari and the Alibis are known for their blues-tinged, smoky ballads as well as their clever, catchy up-tempo tunes.
Bringing it on “Home”
The band financed its latest album, Home, partly through Go Fund Me and used Sennheiser microphones throughout the recording process. “Every note you hear on that album was recorded with Sennheiser’s evolution series microphones, and some older, classic Sennheiser mics,” says Kraster. “We were at a point last year when Ari and I were frustrated because we had been talking about doing the album for so long, and for one reason or another kept putting it off. But once we had the right tools in place, it just sparked a fire within us. We put all that excitement and energy into making the album and were really pleased with the results.”
Having already supplied themselves with a small arsenal of Sennheiser backline and vocal mics, Ari and the Alibis checked with Sennheiser on how to best “fill in the gaps” with the remaining pieces they needed to make the recording and mixing process go as smoothly as possible. Both Kraster’s stage and studio setup include a Sennheiser evolution Series e 906 super-cardioid microphone on his Tech 21 Trademark 60 guitar amp, which has been a key asset in capturing the band’s dynamic and stylistic shifts. His guitar work on Home ranges from light textural flourishes to epic, soaring solos, with the e 906 capturing every sonic nuance with pinpoint clarity.
“Some of Sennheiser’s mics are just so ‘industry standard’ at this point,” observes Kraster. “We used the MD 421 for the trombone and snares, the e 904s on the toms, e 902 on the kick drum, the e 914 condensers for the overheads, e 935 mics for background vocals, and all the lead vocals on the album were recorded with a Neumann TLM 102.”
Stylistically, the band spans an enormous variety of genres, from blues to lounge and gypsy jazz to classic rock. Their music also harkens specific time periods from various cultures across the globe. McManus occasionally sings tunes in Spanish, French and even a baroque-era Gaelic accent, making the songs wildly unique and accessible, with a hint of cultural authenticity. After years of grinding out shows in their local Sarasota music scene, the group was soon able to expand their reach outward to cities like Austin, New Orleans, and New York before setting their eyes on Canada and beyond.
Taking it to the stage
The band routinely experiences standing ovations in bars — while even moving some audience members to tears during performances. Ari and the Alibis are inspired by the positive, often very emotional feedback they get from their fans. “No matter where we’re playing, it kind of becomes a theater,” Kraster explains. “The audience is often very quiet, very engaged.”
Much of this positive feedback is a direct result of their talent as performers, but the band is discriminating when it comes to microphone selection. Currently, McManus uses a Sennheiser 2000 Series handheld transmitter with an e 935 capsule when performing live. She adds, “I am extremely confident in the way that Sennheiser captures my entire vocal range.”
Please visit www.ariandthealibis.com for more information on the band, their upcoming tour schedule, and to listen to their new record.