What: Con Brio, with Sam Ravenna

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: Domino Room, 51 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend

Cost: $12 plus fees in advance, $17 at the door

Contact: midtownbend.com or 541-408-4329

Touring helped shape Con Brio’s second album, “Explorer,” in more ways than one.

The San Francisco soul and R&B hybrid spent the better part of two years touring behind its 2016 debut, “Paradise,” often working on new material for its follow-up in between dates. Obviously, the seven-piece band used the roadwork to hone its slinky, funk- and R&B-infused attack, but a lot was going on in the U.S. at the time, too: Donald Trump was elected president during one of the band’s tours, and the Black Lives Matter movement rose to the fore of America’s social and political consciousness.

Throughout the tours, the band’s members fielded lots of questions from interviewers about these subjects. “Paradise” tackled many of these issues directly, particularly on “Free and Brave,” a song that examines police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement and was partially inspired by the death of lead singer Ziek McCarter’s father in a police-involved shooting in Texas.

“It made us be able to look at America, look at where we come from in a different way,” McCarter said recently from a tour stop near Lake Tahoe, California. The group will play the Domino Room on Wednesday. “But (it) also (made us) look at how we can provide another — the opposite end of the spectrum through our live performance, through our music, kind of even out the craziness of it, just provide some healing through the music, provide some liberation and just joy and connectedness. Things weren’t always like this, but things won’t always be like this, as well.”

“Explorer” certainly tackles tough themes, especially in its back half on songs such as “Royal Rage” and “United State of Mind,” a song that suggests stepping away from the U.S. to gain a deeper perspective of the world. But even the headier tracks feature a palpable sense of joy that comes through in body-shaking rhythms and McCarter’s James Brown- and Michael Jackson-inflected vocals.

As McCarter explained: “What would Earth, Wind and Fire do? Earth, Wind and Fire would … sing a simple song. What would Sly and the Family Stone do? Create some of the moments through music that unite us, that empower us, and that’s what ‘Explorer’ was more centered in.”

Fans can expect more of those musical moments at the band’s Bend show with McCarter teasing new songs. The band will release a handful of collaborative singles this year, and last week dropped a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City.”

It can be tough to balance new material with fan favorites in the live show, McCarter said. And even with the divisions gripping the U.S. and the world, audiences have responded positively to the band’s more politically charged material.

“We were just in France this past summer, and we didn’t play ‘Free and Brave,’” McCarter said. “… We were trying to play some of the new songs and create a hybrid set of all the songs that we love, and ‘Free and Brave’ didn’t make it. And people were just like, ‘Play “Free and Brave!”’ This dude got onstage, and this is in Paris, France, and I was like, man, how is this resonating? But it’s real for people. Not everyone’s sweeping it under the rug.”

Musically, “Explorer” finds the band expanding on the hybrid sound it has developed since forming in 2013, adding more elements of modern pop to its old-school mix. McCarter and the rest of the band — trumpeter Brendan Liu, tenor saxophonist Marcus Stephens, guitarist Benjamin Andrews, keyboardist Patrick Glynn, bassist Jonathan Kirchner and drummer Andrew Laubacher — brought different influences to the collaborative writing process.

“I think 4 out of 7 have gone to school for music, jazz training,” McCarter said. “… Everyone is not limited to, I guess, one genre that they pull from most. But I will say Ben Andrews, the guitarist, definitely is a certified rock ’n’ roll star. He brings that element in surplus, and we love him for it, but he’s also classically trained.”

That rock side of the band comes through in a cover of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” that serves as the album’s centerpiece. The band’s manager suggested the cover.

“The idea hit to just slow it down, so I created a rhythm, a pace for the song that I was feeling — it was kind of smooth R&B-ish,” McCarter said. “We all gelled around that pace and vibed a little bit; everybody added their nuances. Because really — you’re covering the song, but you’re just like, let’s add a little smooth R&B, neo-soul-esque (style), but keep it raw at the same time, because the song is super raw. And I don’t know, what wouldn’t Kurt Cobain do? And that’s singing in falsetto.”

The energy in the band’s music is reflected in its name, which is taken from the musical direction “with spirit.” It’s also reflected live especially by McCarter, whose quiet, shy demeanor on the phone belied his well-documented penchant for wild dance moves onstage.

“My mom said I was doing flips and dancing as soon as I could walk, so that came first,” McCarter said. “I always knew that this was what I wanted to do, and (I thought that) I’ll learn how to sing along the way better, and get better at that. But dancing was just like, I don’t know. I’m a very physically oriented person, (and it’s) something you can just kind of do; it’s like playing basketball or something. I was always dancing in the mirror or setting up cameras at my house and just dancing in them for hours and then looking at the tape assessing myself.”

22916432