April 28, 2017

Painted Bride welcomes Bombay Rickey to the stage in an effort to bring a new sound to the Philadelphia music scene. This five piece band takes over the stage next Saturday, May 6th, with a set of covers and original music that will take the audience on a musical journey borrowing from the worlds of surf rock, cumbia, spaghetti-Western, and Bollywood.

Fronted by coloratura soprano opera singer, Kamala Sankaram, Bombay Rickey was founded as a forum for Sankaram to explore the cross sections between genres. Sankaram herself is educated in Western Classical and Hindustani music and when coming up in the scene found it difficult to find a way to explore her art. “I always liked singing different styles of music,“ she says, “but earlier in my career, I was never hired for pop or opera. Then I got known for opera and wasn’t hired for other things. I needed [an avenue] where I could use everything.”

Thus, Bombay Rickey was born. Sankaram’s genre-bending style immediately found her a collaborator in sax player, Jeff Hudgins. Shortly afterward, guitarist Drew Fleming came on board. It wasn’t long before the trio decided to try their hands at writing original music. Together, they drew inspiration from Bollywood films, Mozart’s arias, American folklore, and much more. And the rest is a wild history of kitsch and myth, divine sounds and crazy offshoots, yet it all mixes well, like the cocktail the band is named for. And Painted Bride is happy to help them continue that history is Philadelphia where they join the likes of genre-bending description defying favorites such as West Philadelphia Orchestra and Red40.

TimeOut NY called the ensemble, ”Delightfully outlandish yet never inaccessible” and “a true treat for the adventurous ear.” World Music Central writes, “Bombay Rickey doesn’t just break genre boundaries but jumps up and down on those boundaries and dances with wild abandon on the remains.” Our music curator Lenny Seidman had this to say:

When I listened to Bombay Rickey for the first time, my immediate thought was, What universe am I in? This band’s sound is so expansive, it bends the psyche. Imagine a balkan or klezmer band fronted by an astounding operatic soprano. The lead singer, Kamala Sankaram, performs in both North Indian and Western Classical music genres, plus she’s collaborated with Philip Glass and Anthony Braxton. She brazenly adapts and molds her voice as the band moves effortlessly from genre to genre. It’s all the playfulness of Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart. Bombay Rickeys’ debut album won the 2015 Vox Pop Award for Best Eclectic Album from the Independent Music Awards It’s fun, it’s wild, and you don’t want to miss it!”

Check out some of their music above!

Bombay Rickey is Kamala Sankaram (vocals, accordion), Drew Fleming (guitar, vocals), Jeff Hudgins (alto saxophone, vocals) with Gil Smuskowitz (upright bass); and Brian Adler (percussion). Bombay Rickey joins us on the mainstage Saturday, May 6th at 8pm. Tickets on sale now—$20 in advance, $25 on day of show. To purchase, click here or call us at 215.925.9914.