In anticipation of releasing their second full-length album Home, Sarasota, Florida’s Ari and the Alibis recently geared up for their first international performances in Canada last month, with shows in Ottawa and Hamilton, Ontario. 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 uptempo tunes.
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.
The band routinely experiences standing ovations in bars — 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.”
Listen to the title track “Home” here: