On Stage: The Main Squeeze

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By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times

The Main Squeeze

The Main Squeeze relocated from the Midwest to the West Coast and now are in the middle of a long tour of the East Coast – a tour that brings then to the area for a show on October 17 at Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, http://undergroundarts.org).

The band features Ben “Smiley” Silverstein, keyboards; Max Newman, guitar; Corey Frye, vocals; Rob Walker, bass; and Reuben Gingrich, drums.

Last year, The Main Squeeze  — a band melding soulful funk with rock n’ roll — relocated from its hometown of Chicago to Los Angeles and that proved to be an inspiration to the group’s musical sound.

The quintet initially headed to the West Coast to record its latest album, “Without A Sound”, and the five players opted to establish their new residence there.

Now, the band is embarking on the second leg of its tour in support of “Without A Sound,” including a headline performance at Underground Arts.

“This is a huge tour that started in L.A. where we live,” said Silverstein, during a phone interview last week from a tour stop in Orlando, Florida.

“The band first got together at Indiana University. Me and the guitarist knew each other from summer camp in upstate New York. We started as a college cover band playing frat parties. We also played a lot of clubs at the beginning but we were just playing covers.

“We were doing covers of Jimi Hendrix, Jay Z, the Beatles and Prince and then started introducing originals. We’ve always had the duality of funk and rock but lately have been focusing more on rock.

“We were all students at Indiana University when we moved to Chicago. We spent three years in Chicago and then moved to L.A. The move to L.A. affected our music mentality. It started when we were working with Randy Jackson a few years ago.”

Since being discovered by legendary producer, Randy Jackson, who helped to produce the band’s 2015 album, “Mind Your Head,” the Maun Squeeze has played at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and performed at high-profile music festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Summer Camp and High Sierra.

“While working with Randy, we learned how we could write more timeless songs. Since then, we’ve been working with good collaborators, producers and songwriters.

“We recorded ‘Without a Sound’ right after we moved to L.A. We started writing immediately and cut the album right before we stared touring. We recorded it at Fourth Street Studio in Santa Monica and released it in April.”

Video link for The Main Squeeze – https://youtu.be/jIO2I9wP-Ys.

The show at Underground Arts, which has McZwang Duo as the opener, will start at 9 p.m. Tickets are $18.

The Weeks

These days, when bands or musicians want to relocate, they look to Los Angeles on the West Coast or Brooklyn or Nashville on the East Coast.

The Weeks, who will be in the area for a show on October 18 at MilkBoy Philly (1100 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, 215- 925-6455, www.milkboyphilly.com), chose Nashville.

But, the band from Mississippi isn’t a new act hopping on the “move to Nashville” bandwagon. The Weeks – Cyle Barnes, Lead Vocals; Sam Williams, Guitar, Vocals; Cain Barnes, Drums; Damien Bone, Bass – have been “Music City” residents for a while.

“We moved to Nashville eight years ago,” said Williams, during a phone interview Saturday afternoon from a tour stop in Boston, Massachusetts.

“We’ve been a band for a long time. We first started playing in our hometown Florence, Mississippi and nearby Jackson, Mississippi in 2006.

“The twins (Cyle and Cain Barnes) met in the womb. They grew up with Damien. We all met up at shows in Jackson when we were about 17.

“We started a band and began playing local gigs. Then, all the cool bands in the Jackson area moved away so we stepped in. For the first three years we were together, we played about 150 shows a year in Mississippi.”

The Weeks play rock music hard and straight – not a lot of frills – and they are from the South. But, that doesn’t mean The Weeks are a “Southern Rock” band.

“We’ve been playing together a long time so the chemistry is there,” said Williams. “We all have a lot of different influences and we bring them together well. That lets us be soul, rock, glam or even country if we wanted.”

The Weeks are now touring in support of their new album “Easy.”

“The album came out in April,” said Williams. “We cut it in December 2015. We went to Memphis for two weeks and worked with producer Paul Ebersold at Ardent Studios.

“It’s a great studio with crazy vintage gear. They have the organ that Booker T. used on ‘Green Onions’ and they even have a mellotron. They have a lot of amps and keyboards from their Stax and Big Star days. We went analog with the recording. We did some tape and some digital. Everything we did digitally we ran through tape afterwards.

“We went to Memphis to work with a great producer in a great studio but we also went there to get away. If we stayed in Nashville to make the record, it would have felt too much like a regular job – you know, get up in the morning and go to the studio like you’re getting up to go to a regular job.”

A lot of factors allowed the quartet to create a powerful rock album.

“This album was more concise – more bare bones,” said Williams. “And, it’s more introspective. Right now, 50 per cent of our set is ‘Easy’ and the rest is from our previous records.”

Video link for The Weeks – https://youtu.be/5hQW8oLzVag.

The show at MilkBoy Philadelphia, which has Dan Luke and the Raid opening, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16.

Liza Colby Sound

Liza Colby, who will perform with her band the Liza Colby Sound on October 18 at Kung Fu Necktie (1248 North Front Street, Philadelphia, 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com), shares her name with another entertainer.

Liza Colby is also the name of a fictional character from the television soap opera “All My Children.”

But, there is nothing fictional about the Liza Colby who is bringing her group to Philly. She real and bigger-than-life. She combines the powerful vocal artistry of Steve Marriott (Humble Pie, Small Faces) and the raw sexiness of Tina Turner.

The Liza Colby Sound features Liza Colby – Lead Vocals, Tom McCaffrey – Guitar, C.P. Roth – Drums, and Alec Morton – bass

“We’ve been together about a decade” said Colby, during a phone interview last week from Manhattan. “

“I came from a musical family. My mother, father and brothers were all musicians.”

Her father John Colby composed the theme for ESPN’s Sports Center and her mother Beverly Colby sang with the Persuasions.

“I went to college at Johnson and Wales studying recreation and leisure – and I was miserable,” said Colby.

“I told my parents I wanted to drop out and pursue music. They warned me that it was a heavy situation. Luckily, I love what I do. I’m really fortunate to have the band I have.

“I was just writing a bunch, I grew up in the 90s listening to soul music, R&B and hip hop. I got started singing at rappers’ booths because they needed a singer. Then, producers wanted me to work on their stuff.”

Soon, Colby found her own niche.

“I was doing neo-soul,” said Colby. “My then-boyfriend told me that I should get together with Adam Roth.”

Roth played in a band with C.J. Roth and bassist Alec Morton. They were looking for a singer and she was looking for a band. The first product was an EP called “High Yellow.”

“I loved the Stones, Iggy Pop and Tina Turner, so it was a natural,” said Colby. “And, I loved Steve Marriott. He’s everything I love in a singer.”

An entry on the Lisa Colby Sound’s Facebook page states, “Imagine Led Zeppelin at Madison Square Garden meets James Brown at the Apollo. Picture Tina Turner prowling the stage like Iggy Pop with vocals that conjure Aretha Franklin and Humble Pie’s Steve Marriott.”

The show at Kung Fu Necktie is billed as “Wendigo Productions NY proudly presents: The Dirty Sweet Sounds Tour 2017 featuring The Sweet Things & The Liza Colby Sound.”

The core of The Liza Colby Sound was Adam Roth guitar, Alec Morton bass, and C.P. Roth drums. In December 2015, Adam Roth passed away after a brave battle with bile duct cancer. LCS remerged with fiery psychedelic guitarist Tom McCaffrey as a full-fledged member.

“Wendigo Productions took us under their wing with The Sweet Things,” said Colby. “We had a New Year’s Eve gig in 2015 and Dave Tierney from the Sweet Things asked me to sing on some of their songs.

“The Sweet Things are the best dudes ever. I started singing backup for then. So, we all became family and go on the road together. I don’t know if our band would still be together without them.

“It was really difficult losing Adam – in so many ways. Working with them has given me my fight back. It’s how I got my sea legs back.”

Colby is currently touring in support of her new EP “Draw.”

“The EP ‘Draw’ has both Adam and Tom on it,” said Colby. “It was first recorded at Mission Sound in Brooklyn at the end of 2014. We got Tom on it this summer and remixed and remastered it.”

The Sweet Things are a New York-based band featuring Dave Tierney – vocals/guitar, Lorne Behrman – guitar, Sam Hariss – bass/vocals, and Darren Fried – drums.

“We got started on the Lower East Side and now we’re out in Brooklyn,” said Tierney.

The Sweet Things

The Sweet Things’ story is a rock n’ roll fairytale. Behrman drank with Hariss and briefly discussed playing together, though neither really followed up on that. Fried and Behrman drank and discussed playing together, though neither really followed up on that.

Fried and Hariss met briefly at Behrman’s birthday – but neither really remember meeting. At one time or another, they all gigged separately with each other.

In February 2015, all four got together in a rehearsal room twice and quickly booked studio time. In March 2015, The Sweet Things somehow managed to remember and record the first two songs they worked on.
“We have a brand new single that came out at the beginning of this tour,” said Tierney. “It’s called ‘Dusty Ann,’ which reminds me of a Southern girl’s name. I love good rock and roll songs with girls’ names.”

Video link for The Liza Colby Sound – https://youtu.be/2R5rWZfPFzw.

Video link for The Sweet Things – https://youtu.be/cBkhg4qKMJQ.

The show at Kung Fu Necktie, which also features Satellite Hearts, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7.

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