Adam Ezra Group: A Colgate Grad Rocks Out

Deb Charney

For those of you who assumed that life after college meant doing grown-up things like showering and wearing clothes other than your first-year-issued CUAD Gear, you might want to check out Colgate alum Adam Ezra Olshansky ’99. He and his band, The Adam Ezra Group, will be playing during Spring Party Weekend, and Olshanksky’s personal hygiene is questionable, at best. This scruffy former lacrosse player, who decided to take his Environmental Geography degree and shove it under the couch next to dirty underwear in his basement apartment, has made a go at making music and has achieved success.Ezra, his five bandmates and many special guests are known as the Adam Ezra Group. The group is a Boston-based grassroots band that has popularized its acoustic-rock sound in the Budweiser True Music concert series. This tour began with a kick-off concert at Boston’s House of Blues and has since given the Adam Ezra Group the opportunity to perform at various venues across the country. The group has made appearances with the Goo Goo Dolls, The Donnas and The Pat McGee Band. Its music has also recently been featured on MTV’s reality series The Real World. Ezra’s lead vocals and the traditional rock instruments played by the members of the Group captivate audiences. It is the inclusion of special guests on such varied instruments as the harmonica, violin, flute and mandolin, however, that has set it apart from other acts currently achieving college popularity.The Adam Ezra Group has recorded two albums, and its music is now available to download on iTunes. The group’s debut album, Sessions, includes both live performances and pre-recorded studio tracks. Among the more popular hits on Sessions are “Coverman,” “Touchdown” and “California.” Its second album, Tumble Down Slow, was released only six months after Sessions and includes 16 of their songs. Included on Tumble Down Slow are “Fit to Mine,” “Do You See” and “Dynamite.” Tumble Down Slow was also nominated for 2004’s Local Album of the Year by the Boston Music Awards.Ezra and fellow vocalist Abbie Barrett, who will be performing with the band at this weekend’s show, are both Colgate University graduates of the Class of 1999. Since graduation, Ezra has pursued many interests outside the music industry. He has engaged in a multitude of experiences, including “living out of a van, farming in Canada, relief work in Kosovo, being a student in South Africa, a kitchen hand, a carpenter, a teacher and a traveler.” Although these endeavors seem to have taken him far from the music world, he sees all of these experiences as inspiration for his writing. “I like writing about people and their perspectives,” Ezra says. He finds travel important to his writing because it provides him with “new perspectives on the world.”As a Colgate student, Ezra was a lacrosse player, and Spring Party Weekend always fell during his sports season. Because he never really got to enjoy his Spring Party Weekend, Ezra is thrilled to be coming back to Colgate for this weekend’s performance. He commented that this return to Colgate will give him a chance to “finally soak it up a little bit!”The Adam Ezra Group will be performing this weekend as part of Colgate’s Spring Party Weekend events. The concert takes place today in front of the Sophomore Class House (94 Broad Street) from 5-7 p.m. The event is sponsored by all of the Colgate class councils.