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Local instrumental jam band Rare Blend gets elaborate on its fourth album, Stops Along the Way. Not satisfied with merely writing and performing songs that jump from rock to jazz to world music and back again, the quartet composed 13 tracks that tie into one another. "There's a story in the songs about making different stops at different places," says guitarist Victor Samalot. "It's about traveling — whether to different cities or around the world."

The band unveils its new CD at a concert tonight at the Winchester. Expect to hear tunes from it as well as from the group's past releases. "There weren't any concepts to our other records," says Samalot. "Though we always try to tell a story without words and through the music."

Stops Along the Way is Rare Blend's most efficient recording. The songs naturally jump genres while traveling through an aural landscape that's filled with songs that pretty much fit their titles: "Mystic Jam," "Cole Train," and "Splat!" "A lot of these songs came out of improvised jamming," says Samalot. "But we do our homework. Everybody's tight."

Up next for Rare Blend are some live shows accompanying old silent films — a project spearheaded by its keyboardist and occasional singer Bobbi Holt (two songs on Stops Along the Way feature vocals). "Our instruments tell a story," says Samalot. "It's something different to take us out even further."
Sat., Feb. 11

Speaking of Highlights

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