One of the main things we like to do here at Guitar News Daily is showcase new bands that stand out and are doing things a little differently than the norm. I was lucky enough to come across a newly formed South Florida 4 piece group called SoleMark. Let’s take a closer look and see what SoleMark is all about.
Most music fans are familiar with the top jam bands that have been on the scene for years. We all know the superstars like Phish, .MOE and Umphrey’s McGhee. If you’ve been following the scene for a while there is no doubt you are familiar with other bands like Galactic and Lettuce (if you don’t know these bands you need to check them out), and if you really know your music then you know all about the likes of Maceo Parker, Herbie Hancock and John Scofield. If the list of musicians and groups that I’ve already mentioned is any indication SoleMark will fit in nicely with the groovy, funky, jammy goodness that the previously mentioned bands deliver.
Who Is SoleMark
Before I get into the music lets take a quick look at the musicians that make up this group. They were all incredibly talented, the music was tight and the band looked like they were having a ton of fun on stage.
Dave Kurzman – Saxs, Midi Wind Controller
TJ Prystal – Drums
Jesse Ricca – Guitar
Eli Mills – Bass
Ok…so that’s the group but what about the music. First off I want to say that from the opening note to the last song the crowd at Nectar in Ft. Lauderdale (no…not that Nectar’s Phish phans) was jamming to every tune the band ran through. As the evening progressed and the show went on the room began filling up as people passed by and heard the high energy band. I know most, if not all people go see a show strictly for the music. Obviously that is quite important because shitty music means a shitty show but to me there are a few other important factors that I like to consider when seeing live music.
- Was the band having fun or did it look like they could care less to be there? This is one of the first things I noticed (after the music). As a musician it isn’t always easy to keep up the high energy and have fun when you are playing in front of a small crowd. Not a problem for SoleMark! I have a feeling that if it was just me and one other person at the show that these guys would still deliver a top notch, high energy performance. What do I mean? I’ll tell you what I mean. Dave Kurzman bouncing around the stage, dancing and singing while playing, Jesse Ricca bobbing his head and tearing up the guitar while Eli Mills and TJ Prystal hold down the groove with the best of them. One of the best parts about seeing this was that while the musicianship was extremely tight these guys all had HUGE smiles on their faces. That’s what does it for me. The music is the music and if performed well it will sound great but if the band isn’t having fun and connecting with the audience I’m out of there. Needless to say I was there until the end!
- Is the crowd picking up what the band is laying down? Obviously this is also very important when it comes to a live show. Its not like a CD where you can skip ahead if you don’t like a particular tune. Again…not a problem for SoleMark. Everyone was dancing and loving the selection of tunes that the band went through.
- If the band covers other artists do they do it well and is it the same 15 cover songs that you hear in any club on any Friday or Saturday night? I’ve seen a ton of bands play in a ton of different venues. Parties, clubs, small venues, arenas and festivals. This was no ordinary cover band. You didn’t hear whatever is popular on the radio. What SoleMark brought out was awesome. Examples of some of the tunes were Never Called You Crazy by Galactic and Hang Up Your Hang Ups by Herbie Hancock. Like I said…not the usual songs you hear on your local radio stations or at the local bar.
I could go on talking up this new group but instead why don’t I let you see for yourself. Check out SoleMark performing live and hear it with your own ears.
If you are looking for some good, fun, funky music then make sure you put SoleMark on your list. You can hit up their band website at SoleMarkBand.com or hear some tunes on their YouTube, Soundcloud and Reverbnation pages. Also make sure you show these guys some love and ‘like’ them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Keep your eyes open for upcoming shows and get your ass out and see some great music if you get the chance. Also stay tuned as I will be heading to some more shows and try to get some time to speak with the band.