Number Three Combo
Number Three Combo is a trio that creates evocative musical soundscapes that often combines middle-eastern melodies and rhythms with rock, folk, electronica and blues compositions. The band has experimented several different genres including, psych-folk, world, and trance. Ex-Black Sun Ensemble members, Eric Johnson (12 string acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Joe E. Furno (flute, vocals) formed the trio in 2014 along with Cobracalia’s middle-eastern master percussionist Carl Hall (dumbek, acoustic percussion). Number Three Combo’s music, sometimes featuring lyrics, utilizes a mic’d 12 string acoustic guitar with effects that produces a unique shimmering sitar-like sound, punctuated by Furno’s electric flute, which is also electronically treated. The result is acoustic music that is both quietly pastoral and, at times, heavily textual and futuristic. Number Three Combo’s debut effort, “Retrofitting” is now available on SlowBurn Records.
In September of 2016, Number Three Combo released their sophomore effort, “Solarium.” The project marks stylistic departure from 2015 acoustic “Retrofitting.” “Solarium” is almost completely comprised of electronica, accented by acoustic percussion, some bass playing and the occasional vocal track. As always, Joe E. Furno’s flute playing creates counterpoint with percolating drum/bass loops and distorted Hammond organ. The band cited both the works of Tangerine Dream, along with the solo work for Hawkwind’s Robert Calvert and David Bowie as inspirations for the musical direction.
In June of 2017, Number Three Combo released their third and final recording, “Resurfacing.” In keep with the evolving nature of their releases, “Resurfacing” features drum set work by Darin Guthrie (Muddy Bug, Cobracalia) and bass by Zac Seasley (Full Sail). The result is a more traditional rock record – most of the songs feature Eric Johnson’s vocals, however the 12 string guitar, flute and hand drum combination from Number Three Combo’s 2015 debut, “Retrofitting” returns as well, delivering a combination of experimental rock with freak/psych folk rock elements. In addition to the acoustic musical elements, the ethereal quality of 2016’s “Solarium” is also featured, creating a project with a variety of styles that work seamlessly together to create a unique rock album. Having felt that their musical statement complete, the band agreed that “Resurfacing” would be their final musical statement together. It is unlikely that we will hear additional recordings from this group of Tucson musicians, which makes “Resurfacing” even more special.