Nicklab Posted June 8, 2016 Share Posted June 8, 2016 So, a friend of mine and I are starting a soul band. And we're pretty stoked for this. But first, a little backstory: Throughout my musical career I've largely been working in original bands. Nothing that really took root, but I found that working on original material was a bit more satisfying than playing the cover scene. In that scene I found that I was able to be a bit more creative, and I liked the venues. I had kind of given up on cover scenes because I just wasn't feeling it for the most part. A lot of the cover acts were playing a lot of the same sort of material, and to me it felt like just going through the motions. My last original band gig ran from 2010 to the beginning of 2013. My exit from that act coincided with my wife and I having a beautiful baby girl. And I found that our combined responsibilities for both work and parenting really would not allow for me to keep playing with the original band at the level that I had been. Fast forward to earlier this year, and I got contacted by the band leader from that act. She wanted to see if I would be interested in playing on their new record. The thing is, she and her partner had just had an addition to their family and their schedules were similarly restrictive. I would have to be able to work on their schedule. After some talks we found that just wouldn't work. But I still wanted to play. What to do? So I sat down with a guitar player friend of mine. We've played together on the jam scene for years, including some of the select cover gigs that I've played. The subject of a possible band came up. The focus? Soul music. Notably, paying attention to the Stax/Memphis scene. We both shared a love of Booker T. & The MG's. He loves Steve Cropper's playing, and I've been something of a devotee of Duck Dunn's style. But where to take this? Well, we started trying to figure out who to work with. One drummer in particular came to mind for both of us. He's a guy that we've played with on the jam scene, and he's pretty solid. But what about the rest of the lineup? We got to thinking about vocals, because a soul band just will not fly without a solid singer. So we thought back to our shared gigging experience and the female singer we worked with on those bills. It just so turns out that we take the same train into Manhattan! Maybe it's serendipity, but whatever the case, we sat down on the train to talk through the idea. I told her how we wanted to put together a Soul band, and funny enough she's into it. And DAMN, can she sing! This leads us to now, filling out the lineup. We're pretty much in agreement that a keyboard player and a male vocalist are major needs. The thought there being that with male and female lead vocalists we can cover a lot more material. As much as we would love to have some horn players, I've been a bit apprehensive. We're already leaning towards a 6 piece band, which is larger than anything I've done in a while. But when it comes to hiring horn players, I'd definitely like to get some feedback about bringing on a horn player or section. And then, the concept! I know there are lots of cover bands out there. But what about Soul bands? The idea here is to bring something a little different, but that's going to get people dancing. So the focus of the material is going to be that Stax/Volt scene from Memphis, some of the Atlantic R&B sound as recorded at Muscle Shoals, and some Classic rock that crosses over into some Soul territory (Van Morrison, Stones, etc) but then there's this twist: trying to incorporate some of the modern Soul revival sound from acts like Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Alabama Shakes and St. Paul & The Broken Bones. So if anyone has some feedback regarding lineups, material or what to charge club owners for what may be something of a specialty act, I am all ears! It's been a while since I've served as a band leader and the scheduling aspect alone is a little more challenging than I remember. Obligatory Social Media Link "My concern is, and I have to, uh, check with my accountant, that this might bump me into a higher, uh, tax..." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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