Artist Spotlight / News

Gala In The Grove Artist Spotlight #5: Yam Yam


by Danny McCoy |

When a new band catches the attention of a large music scene as quickly as this one has it is never something to be taken lightly. Yam Yam is a project that has only existed since November of 2015, but in that time they have blazed a trail of several extremely rowdy shows all of which have turned into funked out dance parties. The sound of Yam Yam is one the likes of, Medeski Martin & Wood, Vulfpeck and Badbadnotgood. You can expect their set to be a delicious mix of extremely funky improvisation, fast paced rhythmic Latin grooves, and covers ranging from Michael Jackson to Outkast.

It must be noted that each member of this band has been playing in extremely active and crowd-drawing bands for quite some time such as Flower Garden, Shawan and the Wonton, Mad Men and Ghost Town Cinema. Mike Dempsey (aka The Wizard) rocks the keys/organ/synthesizer with an energy very few musicians ever reach. He is a founding member of the insanely energetic jazzy hip-hop band Mad Men (Carlisle, PA), a current member of Harrisburg’s favorite roots/blues band Shawan and the Wonton, alongside Xander Moppin – bassist of Yam Yam.

Xander has been making a name for himself in the PA music scene in these past 3 years while playing with two of Harrisburg’s hottest groups; most notably playing bass in  the prog-rock/art-rock group Flower Garden, as well as The Bird Reserve – an infinitely smooth and funky rock project created by Tom Fuller who conveniently is the guitarist of Yam Yam.

By now you are hopefully starting to realize why this brand new band has been able to grow and develop so fluidly, if not, you will when I tell you about their drummer. Daniel Delaney sits behind the kit, though some have sworn they thought it was Animal (of The Muppets) during sets. This guy has a touch and technique about his drumming that I doubt many have witnessed before, and he proved this last year when (at 19) he won a drum-off at Guitar Center against over 40 drummers of all ages and styles. Dan joined Flower Garden as their auxiliary percussionist two years ago, eventually switching to full drum kit, and ever since their rhythmic capabilities have skyrocketed. He is a metalhead gone jazz-fiend and I guarantee he will do nothing short of captivate you for every second he is on stage.

This is Yam Yam: Harrisburg’s funkiest super-group, a motley crew of musical renegades who always bring the party for their sets. At Gala in the Grove 2016 you will be able to catch these guys doing two sets, one of all original songs and one of all covers. You can also catch their other projects such as Flower Garden and The Bird Reserve, neither of which ever disappoint a crowd looking to groove hard.

Yam Yam Bandcamp // Facebook

Yam Yam – Yam Yam — Name Your Price

Upcoming Shows:
April 9th – Gala in the Grove Pre-Party @ Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center (9pm, $10, 21+)

April 17th – The MakeSpace (Harrisburg) w/ WILDER MAKER (7pm, $5, All Ages)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s