Sunday, August 31, 2014
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Bass player Owen Biddle leaves The Roots, Mark Kelley joins the band

Bass player Owen Biddle has left Philadelphia hip-hop and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon house band The Roots, and will pursue his own New York-based art-jazz-rock-funk project Mister Barrington, according to Roots manager Richard Nichols.

Bass player Owen Biddle leaves The Roots, Mark Kelley joins the band

Bass player Owen Biddle has left Philadelphia hip-hop and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon house band The Roots, and will pursue his own New York-based art-jazz-rock-funk project Mister Barrington, according to Roots manager Richard Nichols. The Plymouth Whitemarsh-grad, who's pictured at the far left, studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and has also played with Philadelphia indie pop band Trolleyvox, joined the The Roots in 2007, after the departure of longtime bassist Leonard Hubbard Jr.

Biddle will be replaced by Mark Kelley, a Houston native who's the son of classical pianist, and who also plays cello and piano. He's played with the Berklee College of Music's All Star Quartet. You can check him out doing so below, and see him teaming with Me'Shell Ndgeocello on a cover of Prince's "Lady Cab Driver," in a clip in which the music kicks in around the 4 minute mark. (Also, check out Biddle playing with Mr. Barrington at New York's Rockwood Music Hall.)

Kelley, who immediately gives Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson competition for the best hair in the band, starts work on Monday when Fallon returns from summer vacation. No word on whether he'll also take over Biddle's role as the bass player's alcoholic spouse  in the Fallon sketch "The Real Housewives of Late Night."

Previously: Note To Kanye and Jay-Z: Don't mess with Syl Johnson Follow In The Mix on Twitter here

Dan DeLuca Inquirer Music Critic
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