The now-defunct Canal Street Tavern was a longtime yearly stop for Tempest. The California-based Celtic rockers, who celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2018, are hoping to forge a similar relationship with Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton, where the group performs on Friday, March 29.
Lief Sorbye, a native of Oslo, Norway, formed Tempest in San Francisco in 1988. Drummer Adolfo Lazo, the only other founding member, was born in Cuba. Their unique backgrounds helped form the group’s unconventional approach to Celtic rock.
Tempest’s debut, “Bootleg,” was released in 1991. More than a dozen albums followed, including “Sunken Treasure” (1993), “Balance” (2001), “Another Dawn” (2010) and “Thirty Little Turns” (2018).
Sorbye (vocals, electric mandolin) recently discussed the return of Tempest, which is rounded out by Kevin Florian (guitar), Kathy Buys (fiddle) and Mirco Melone (bass).
Gem City connection: “We like coming to Dayton. Ever since Canal Street went away, we’ve been looking for a new home in your town. We’ve played a few pub gigs there since then. We have some fans in town and it’s important we don’t skip them on our tour schedule so we’re excited about Yellow Cab.”
Stage magic: “The fans don’t come where we live so we have to go to where they live. I’m always excited to hit the road. Live music is still the main thing. The records are fine, you know. To me, they’re always a recording of a period in time but the real magic happens on stage. The studio is great but you’ve got to get in front of people. You feed off that energy and that’s what keeps you going.”
Lineup changes: “Adolfo and I have been running it the whole time but life happens and people move away and people start families. All kinds of things happen so the band is always going to be the sum of our parts. Getting some new blood in the band is always cool. People have their own take on it and that can always add a little inspiration. And the nature of the music is very high energy and uplifting and we feed off of that a lot.”
Musical vitality: “Because the type of music we do has roots in traditional music, there’s a wealth of inspiration to find and information to work with. The well never runs dry. We find it easy to write in that style and incorporate it into the show. We find energy from going out and performing so I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface of what we can do.”