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Ohio band to serve up the works in Columbus concert

Courtesy of Brian Hockensmith

As one band continues to gain notoriety nationwide, it’s returning to its Ohio roots.

Ohio band The Werks is scheduled to perform Saturday at Newport Music Hall’s “Bass Jam 3,” which is a kick off to the summer music season. Doors open at 8 p.m.

In addition to The Werks, the concert will feature performances by electronic DJ Ill-esha and fellow Ohio band The Floorwalkers. Visual installation art will be placed throughout the Newport as well.

“We’re basically trying to give a music festival feel inside the Newport – that’s something we’re always trying to capture,” said drummer and vocalist Rob Chafin. “It’s going to be a mix of electronic and jam work, kind of a rock-and-roll-meets-electronic feel. We want to draw in people from all walks of life.”

The band, which originates from Dayton, released its third studio album, self-titled “The Werks,” April 20. The album “has a huge range of songs,” said Owen Gray, the band’s booking agent.

“There’s been a huge response and we’ve been getting feedback from all kinds of PR outlets and radio stations,” said Gray, who has been with The Werks for the past two years. “We’re starting to see a lot of different people talk about it and get excited about the band and what they’re doing.”

The Werks is known throughout Ohio, and increasingly nationally, for its different sound.

“A lot of our music is very jammy,” Chafin said. “There’s that Phish and Grateful Dead background for a lot of the members. We like to explore all kinds of genres. Folk, funk, electronic – we really cover it all. We try to push the limits of what a rock band can do.”

Although gaining more and more national attention, especially with its current tour through the Midwest, The Werks is determined to keep to its Ohio roots.

“We’re really starting to catch a lot of national attention,” Chafin said. “We’re stepping up in terms of production and playing all over the country, but we’re still repping Ohio.”

Along with expanding its touring schedule and making plans for its third annual Werk Out Music and Arts Festival in Bellefontaine, Ohio, in September. The Werks is making attempts to cater to the growing interest of electronic music in audiences, though still staying true to its original sound.

“There’s just a lot of crossover lately in general with everyone enjoying every kind of music possible,” Chafin said. “I’m not sure if it’s the Internet or what, but people are broadening what they listen to lately. So, our new music isn’t just going to be rock and roll, and not just dance music, but a little of everything.”

Pete Lenk, a fourth-year in zoology, has seen The Werks live about 25 times, he said. Lenk first started attending The Werk’s shows with his brother, who befriended the band while attending the University of Dayton, and was instantly hooked on its sound.

“It’s definitely going to be a lot of fun,” Lenk said. “I missed the big New Year’s Eve show, even after buying tickets for it, so I’m excited to go to this one. I went to The Werk Out Festival last year and there was a whole bunch of different kinds of art. I’m expecting this one to be pretty similar.”

Despite its growing popularity and busier schedules, The Werks have remained “appreciative and hardworking,” and are excited for another Columbus performance, Gray said.

“These shows in Columbus have been getting better and better, and in the Ohio region as a whole,” Gray said. “They’re very big celebrations. It’s a tribute to the band, their growth and everyone who puts a lot of work into their growth.”

Tickets for Saturday’s show cost $15 in advance and $17 the day of and can be purchased through ticketmaster.com.

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