Funky jazz band to play with local band at The Brown Hotel

Reneé Williamson, Staff Writer,

A Pittsburgh-based band will perform at 9 p.m. Friday at The Brown Hotel.

The Clock Reads is a predominantly instrumental band deriving from funk, jazz, Latin and classic-rock influences.

“We all come from backgrounds of playing instruments,” said The Clock Reads guitarist Jason Greenlaw. “We all came from jazz training, which involved us not singing most of the time.”

The Clock Reads is made up of guitarist John O’Brien, Greenlaw, bassist Michael Berger and drummer Steve Ippolito. The members joined forces about three years ago after meeting at various gigs during their time at the University of Pittsburgh.

Some of Greenlaw’s musical influences include Pat Martino, George Benson and Wes Montgomery, while some of O’Brien’s influences include Joe Pass, Joe Negri and Lenny Breau.

The Clock Reads’ name comes from humor within the band.

“Whenever we would hit each other up or text each other to just practice, we’d say, ‘Hey, the clock reads, ‘let’s jam,’” Greenlaw said.

Inner Urge is an Indiana local band.

The set list for the show has yet to be determined.

“We all practice every day, and then we practice with the band a couple times before the show and then we normally write the set list while we’re waiting for the show to start,” O’Brien said.

A new Clock Reads original might be performed at Friday’s show.

“We try to have something new for every show if we can,” Greenlaw said. “And we’ve been working on some new songs, so I think maybe one will be ready by then.”

The Clock Reads has previously performed at The Brown Hotel.

“It’s a small place, but [manager] Sean [Howard] and the guys that work there make it sound good for the band and for the audience,” Greenlaw said. “We were really pleasantly surprised with how it sounded. I would consider them friends. Very hospitable.”

Howard believes the relationship is mutual.

“They have the heart that I’m looking for in musicians,” Howard said. “They have the drive. And they really respect the industry, and they work hard. That’s what I like to see in musicians.”

The Clock Reads is working on recording and releasing new music, but is focusing more on live performances.

“We’ll have another EP or album or something before 2018,” Greenlaw said. “We should be recording it soon. All the material is ready. We prioritize gigging over most things. We’re basically trying to work in recording time around that. I would say the goal is to play as much as possible. Keep the music as fresh as possible and try to play more places and meet new people to play with.”

A local band named Inner Urge will open for The Clock Reads at Friday’s show.