Atlanta premier progressive rock quintet, I.O.Z. brought their special blend of jams to another packed house at Smiths Olde Bar.  If you haven’t seen them, I.O.Z. music is definitely rock but perfectly infused with reggae and Cajun flavors that simmer in atmosphere and grooves reminiscent of a Pink Floyd and Talking Heads combination. This night, unlike the previous shows here, there were no flashing strobe lights or pulsing lasers to distract the crowd, this night was a strait up no frill I.O.Z. rock show. The band commanded the stage with an air of confidence and power, jammin’ out a 2+ hour set, treating the crowd to a live peek at the new upcoming record and the now classic tunes from the debut release.  I.O.Z. is fronted by founders, Steve Senn (vocals/rhythm guitar) and Daniel Groover (lead guitar and electronic programming) who share the songwriting duties, and are supported by an eclectic and energetic rhythm section including third original member Jeff “Huggy” Hunt on percussions, keys and washboard.  Bassist, Jonathan Lee and drummer, Greg Perry, both of whom joined on after the release of the self titled first record in 2010, were a perfect addition to complete this musical crew.


They came out to rock, opening the set with a couple of the new tunes before breaking into “Figment” — which has become a standard crowd favorite – this version featured guest sax player, from opening band Sol Driven Train, Russell Clarke.  The jam train continued to roll on as they cruised through a string of catchy groove-infested new tunes like Matamoros, Ghost Song and Don’t Let Go.  If the band itself wasn’t exciting enough, the sound in Smith’s was especially full and tight, thanks to the band’s studio sound wizard, Tony Terrebonne, behind the board.  Fans, new and old, were treated to original tracks like ‘Between the Lines’, ‘Back at Me’ plus an extended version of ‘Rahtikan Chant’, a personal favorite upbeat jam.  Though all are serious musicians, the camaraderie and joy they exude jamming together pours over into the crowd. Hunt, Lee and Perry all smiling behind the beats they deliver as each tune shows off Groover’s stunning guitar solos balanced against Senn’s ominous and personal vocal delivery.   The jam continued with more new tunes, ‘3:55’ and ‘Shallow Ground’ (which featured local sax man, Eric Fontaine) before they finished up in overdrive ending the set with, ‘Now’ — a mesmerizing rhythmic tune from the first record that features Hunt’s signature spoon work on the washboard, truly a rare sight here in Atlanta and a real thriller for the audience.  Given a small break the boys ended this musical marathon with 3 song encore of covers done I.O.Z. style that left the crowd wanting more – watch for their next show and their upcoming sophomore album that’s planned for release later this year.


Song List

Keep it Goin’

Morning Drive


Don’t Let Go


Ghost Song


Between the Lines

Rahtikan Chant

Back at Me


Shallow Ground



Float On

Dance on Vaseline

It’s Out There