(Inner Limits | Photo courtesy of Inner Limits)
Inner Limits, an energetic blues/funk/rock group that weaves original material and unique arrangements of solid classic blues and rock songs into each set, just released their debut album Hit the Highway. They are doing a CD release show at Volcanic Theatre on June 29 with local band Company Grand opening for them. This first album is their version of classic blues songs, a second album coming out in the next month or two is all rock covers arranged in their own unique way. “We’re hoping to surprise the audience with copies of this second album that nobody knows about yet — special surprise for my hometown!” said Torrey Newhard, keyboardist.
Newhart grew up in Bend and went to Lava Ridge Elementary, Sky View Middle and Mountain View High School and is now located in Eugene, Oregon. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2014 with a master’s degree in music and was awarded Most Outstanding Performer in Jazz Studies the same year. Newhart performs well over a hundred shows annually, with regional musicians in many configurations. He has recorded and released records with Steve Vacchi, Tony Glausi’s Funk Nonet, Joshua Hettwer, Mastrogiovanni Ska Project, Tony Glausi, Jessika Smith, Inner Limits, Michael Radliff, Paul Krueger, The Long Shots and Kevin McDonald in addition to his own album Marmara. Newhart’s most recent jazz project Obsidian Animals released their debut double-LP vinyl Sound In-Sight in November of 2016 and Inner Limit’s debut blues album Hit the Highway was released in January, 2019.
The group frequently headlines regional craft beer and music festivals and keeps a busy performance schedule at wineries, breweries and casinos. The band consists of Jesse Greenlee on drums/vocals, Olem Alves on guitar/vocals and Torrey Newhart on keyboard/vocals.
In addition to his performing career, Newhart the choral director at a local high school called the Academy of Arts and Academics as well as adjunct jazz piano at the University of Oregon. He also has a growing number of private students. Newhart believes that a vibrant jazz scene is possible in Oregon and volunteers his time as a board member of the Willamette Jazz Society and in 2016 he launched the Sunday “Learners” Jam at the Jazz Station, a program designed to educate musicians of all ages and abilities with rotating weekly hosts.