December Feature Artist… Tinker & Bang

As promised, Philly (One) Unified is bringing you another feature artist of the month. Our hope is to expose local talent that appeal to the masses. With such a rich musical history, there are many bands to see in our great city. We hope you’ll check this band out soon (their links are below and we’ll list them in the calendar when dates are available). Also, check out the other featured bands from our site.  And we’d like to thank Heather Radcliffe, vocalist of Tinker & Bang, for taking the time to share the bands story with us! 

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What is the name of your band and who are the members?
Tinker & Bang. Heather Radcliffe: Vocals, Rebecca Richardson: Piano, Ben Radcliffe: Drums

How was Tinker & Bang formed?
Rebecca and Ben had been long time friends who used to hang out at local punk shows in the late 90’s/ early 2000’s. In late 2009, they asked the question, “why the hell have we never played music together?” They spent the better part of a year playing together for fun and developing a strong musical connection. Then, in the fall of 2010, Ben went to study audio engineering at the Institute of Audio Research in New York City. Tinker & Bang continued to play together when Ben would come home for weekend visits. Shortly after completing his course, the two decided to bring Ben’s girlfriend (now wife), Heather, into the band to sing. This resulted in the band releasing their fully self-produced album “Pressure” in 2013.

What type of music do you play?
Each member brings very different styles to the band. Rebecca’s influences are more drawn from Motown and soul music. Whereas Ben’s tastes are more obscure rock and punk bands, and hip hop. Heather has always been very passionate about blues and pop. We then try to keep an open mind to find a middle ground in our songs. Which is sometimes easier said than done.

Do you do covers or original music?
We primarily play original music, but we do work in some covers as well. Though we tend to like putting our own spin on them.

What covers do you find yourself playing when you do?
We like to keep it diverse and put our own spin on covers. Some of the songs we have covered include “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (The Beatles), “Feeling Good” (Nina Simone), “The Beautiful People” (Marilyn Manson), and “Black Horse And A Cherry Tree” (KT Tunstall).

Who influenced the music you play and write?
Heather: Regina Spektor, Paramore, The Black Keys. Ben: mewithoutYou, The Blood Brothers, and any band Jon Theodore has ever drummed with… holy shit can that man drum. Rebecca: Michael Jackson, Tori Amos, Ray Charles, and Fiona Apple.

Your influences are quite diverse, which is great! Would you compare your sound to anyone in mainstream music?
I’m not sure that we sound like anything mainstream, however we’ve heard that we remind people of elements of other bands. Some of those bands include Paramore and The Dresden Dolls.

What inspires the songs you write?
It usually starts with an energy. Ben might have a beat idea, Rebecca may have some music, Heather might have some lyrics. Then we take whichever starting point and work off of whatever vibes it gives us. Sometimes we will even work off our moods at the time, whether it’s angry or happy, we try to use it to create.

What role does music play in your life?  Was it always something you had a passion for?
It’s safe to say that music has always had an enormous role in our lives because it truly is the great equalizer. It can enhance an already good mood, and also help you cope in hard times. This in turn makes it a constant passion of ours because whether you’re performing, creating, or just listening. There is nothing like music.

Are you pursuing music as a full-time career?
We each have to work our day jobs, unfortunately. But, we all want to turn our passion into our livelihood.

If you could play any venue in the world, where would you play?
Any venue in the world sounds nice enough to us… so long as the people are nice, and there’s food and whiskey to be had. We would really just love to travel and perform for a living wherever that might take us.

Where can people hear your songs? Are you playing anywhere live anytime soon?
We don’t have any shows coming up at the moment, but we are planning on putting out a new record next year!! We’ll set up some shows soon, but in between, we can often be found at The SawTown Tavern on Tuesday nights.

Do you enjoy the process of creating an album?
Absolutely! It’s a lot of hard work, especially for Ben, who is our drummer AND engineer, but we love it.

Is your album, “Pressure”, available to the public?
Yes, we have CDs with us when we play shows and a digital download is available on our Bandcamp.com page.

The following links are all places you can check out and like Tinker & Bang:

https://tinkerandbang.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/tinkerandbang/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaKb8vvU_Z_n3Wdu46pvA5Q
http://artistecard.com/tinkerandbang

 

November Feature Artist…Cultureal

Philly Unified loves music! We also love introducing our readers to bands in and around the Philly area.  Our passion is to expose people to the wonderful world of local music.

Today, we’re talking to Joshua Winer of local root reggae, dub and rocker band, Cultureal. An impressive ensemble of musicians that have a common goal to bring people closer together and ultimately, find healing through the music.

imageWho are the members of Cultureal? And where did the name, Cultureal, come from?
Joshua Winer: lead vocal/bass
Larry Toft: trombone
Wesley Rast: drums/vocal
Adam Hershberger: trumpet
Adam Flicker: organ/piano/synth/vocal
Elliott Levin: tenor saxophone/flute
Ray Pirre: lead guitar
Sonni Shine: vocal
Sargie: rhythm guitar
Brian Marsella: piano/clavinet/synth/melodica
Alexandra Day: vocal
Christina Klaproth: vocal
Alcides Rodriguez: percussion

This is a list of the permanent members of the band. In reality, there is an extended network of over 50 musicians who also play with us when other people can’t make it.

The name Cultureal was, at first, a play on the band named Culture. This was when the band was intended to just play covers. The name has come to mean many things to many people, but mainly seems to point out some type of authenticity in the way we approach our music and our lives. Real culture comes from the heart of each individual.

When did you get together as a group?
In 2006, the band formed and played its first show, a party in my back yard in Northern Liberties. Only 4 people from the Original band still play with Cultureal. Over time, many of the city’s reggae, jazz, and world music stars have joined our ranks to make one powerful group of individuals.

What type of music do you play?
We play roots reggae, dub and rockers music. As is customary with roots reggae, we embrace many styles of music within the rhythmic format of reggae.

Do you play covers or original music? 
Cultureal started as a cover band. Over the years, we started to develop more and more original music. Now at our full band shows we play mainly original music with one or two covers mixed in.

What influences the music you play?
The mission to bring people together to heal the planet has been our driving force from the beginning. Many beautiful musicians, poets, painters, sculptors, and artists of all types lived with the same mission. They have all inspired us to continue on the difficult yet rewarding path of being a musician in our modern era.

What inspires the songs your write?
Most of my songs contain a healing message, or a reminder of goals on the healing path. These messages are usually things I need to hear in my own life at that particular time. I figure if the song works for me then it will work for other people. You have to help yourself so you can help others.

What role does music play in your life? Was it always something you’ve all had a passion for?
Music has made me feel like everything is going to be alright in the darkest moments of my life. Performing music has been an overwhelming, intense, and brain expanding experience for me, especially in these last few years. It’s good for the brain.

Music really grabbed me as important when my mother used to sing to me as an infant. It was an amazing flow of beautiful colors and such a calming experience. Singing was always my favorite thing. I don’t remember before learning to sing so you could say I have ALWAYS had a passion for it!

Are you pursuing music as a full-time career?
Yes.

If you could play any venue in the world, where would you play?
Machu Picchu

Where can people hear your songs? Are you playing anywhere live anytime soon?
soundcloud.com/Cultureal
Facebook.com/culturealmusic

We don’t have any shows scheduled at the moment. We just finished our summer season where we played around 60 shows.

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October’s Featured Band… The Mix

It’s been a while since we’ve had a featured artist. We’re back at it with a featured band and plan to have one a month to introduce you to. 

Today we’re talking to Vic Monaco of local cover band, The Mix. We think you’ll find their history and love of classic rock and roll fun and wanting you to go check them out. The information shared below was taken largely from the band’s website as well as directly from Vic. Thanks so much, Vic, for sharing your bands story with us. Rock on!

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From left to right: Ric Lake, Vic Monaco, Billy Walp, and Bill Mecaughey

 

 

Who are the members of The Mix? And where did the band name come from?

The Band is me, Vic Monaco, Bill Mecaughey, Ric Lake and Billy Walp.

The band used to be called Vic’s Mix, when I had somewhat of a revolving cast of musicians playing with me. Once the personnel got settled, we changed it to The Mix.

The Mix represents the end of a musical chairs existence, both figuratively and literally, for me.

When did you get together as a group? How has it evolved into the current lineup?

We’ve been together about two years.

When my last band, Stealin’ The Covers, disbanded, I decided to try something different: a duo with STC guitarist (and cousin), John Daly. That project, Daly Double, was a leap of faith, not only due to its loss of a rhythm section but, also given Daly’s nomadic musical life that included touring with the late, Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys.

I soon needed to find a replacement for Daly and once again turned to an STC bandmate, multi-instrumentalist and Grammy-winning producer, Pat Robinson.
The project was re-named Musical Chairs, with the idea that on any given night, the audience wouldn’t know which of the duo’s musician friends might sit in. The name turned out to be even more appropriate as guitarist Brian Nagy eventually became a regular presence.

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With me serving as booker and musical director and the project alternating between a duo and trio, the name was changed to Vic’s Mix in the summer of 2013.

At a summer house party, I performed some songs with Bill Mecaughey, my very first musical partner from our teen years in the Fox-Chase-based band Hot Ice. Our collaboration lasted about seven years until Bill turned more toward R&B and jazz fusion.

We remained friends and the musical shorthand we shared was obvious to them at that party. The two of us started rehearsing in earnest in the spring of 2014 and played our first gig Memorial Day weekend.

The project took a giant leap ahead when Ric Lake added his bass and vocals to the musical mix in November 2014.

A couple of months later I invited another former bandmate, drummer and vocalist Billy Walp, to make the project a full band.

Apparent by this time that the lineup and camaraderie was rock solid, Vic’s Mix became simply The Mix in January 2016

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What type of music do you play?

We play music from the 1960s through the 1980s, including a “Beatles” set. The latter is unique in that it is largely acoustic and includes some music from the individual members of the “Beatles”. There are some folks who come to see us just to hear that set, which is always evolving. For instance, we’re learning “Eleanor Rigby” right now.

The band also plays an acoustic and harmony-laden show featuring a great mix of tunes. Think The Eagles , The Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen. While those names are very familiar, The Mix’s tunes are often songs you just don’t hear from other bands such as “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature” and “Hand Me Down World” by The Guess Who or “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen.

What (and/or who) influenced the music you play?

Being close to 60, many of these are the songs I grew up on. Plus, many of them are tunes Bill and I played in our first band together (Hot Ice) when we were teens. (We do them a WHOLE LOT BETTER now.)

What role does music play in your life? Was it always something you had a passion for? Are you pursuing music as a full-time career?

I started taking guitar lessons when I was 8 and took them for six years. I also had voice lessons both privately and at Temple University. I’ve been in bands since I was 15. I am very passionate about a lot of different music, not just the “oldies” we play, and I go to concerts often. It is not a full-time thing for me. Most of my full-time career has been spent as a newspaper reporter and editor.

 

If you could play any venue in the world, where would you play?

I’ve played some great venues (with other bands) including Citizens Bank Park and World Cafe Live (main stage), which were both VERY cool. I guess to answer your question, I’d like to keep it local (so friends can come) and intimate, so I’d say a place like World Cafe Live or The Keswick Theater.

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Where can people hear your songs? Are you playing anywhere live anytime soon?

We play at a lot of local venues including Baker’s American Grill in Southampton; The Dog & Bull Brew & Music House in Croydon; Curran’s in Bensalem; The Fireside lounge in the Brunswick Zone in Trevose; and Squirrel Murphy’s in Warminster. Our gig schedule is on our website (www.themixpa.com) along with our audio demo.