Jacob Hemphill (lead vocals & guitar) met Bobby Lee (bass) in the first grade in Virginia, shortly after Jacob returned from living in Africa with his family. The two instantly became best friends, and in middle school found a common love for hip hop, rock and reggae music. Throughout middle and high school, they met Ryan Berty (drums), Patrick O'Shea (keyboards) and Kenneth Brownell (percussion). Together they formed SOJA. In the formative years the band gigged locally in the DC area while a couple of the guys finished school. All the while making plans to hit the road after graduation...
In 2005 the band hit the road... and they hit the road hard. Often dubbed "road warriors", SOJA has brought their unique sound and stage show to nearly every city in North America, as well as many cities throughout Europe, South America, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean. While touring in Puerto Rico the band linked up with sax player Hellman Escorcia & trumpet player Rafael Rodriguez. These two exceptional musicians earned their position as SOJA's mainstay horn section by helping further develop the band's eclectic sound.
With no signs of slowing down. SOJA is planning a world tour for 2011/2012 in support of their upcoming album release. It's all about the message in the music for this band. "People think we write music about the earth for the earth's sake, but its not really like that. If we harm the earth, it will reject us. For all we know, its happened one hundred times before. This place gets too hot, that's it. Reset button. That's why I sing what I sing - to pull us all in the same direction, the same future. Without that, were finished (Jacob Hemphill)."
There is no doubt about it. This band is on the forefront of a Revolution with hopes to bring about positive change: environmentally, politically and socially. "Maybe we need to WANT to fix it. Maybe stop talking, maybe start listening. Maybe we need to look at this world less like a square and more like a circle. Maybe just maybe God's not unfair, maybe we're all his kids and he's up there. Maybe he loves us for all our races, maybe he hates us when we're all so racist. Maybe he sees us, when we dont care, that its heaven right here, but its hell over there. Then maybe the meek will inherit this earth, cause it was written before... so..." Everything Changes - SOJA.
Rock, Reggae and Hip Hop: Each is definable, recognizable and at once familiar to people the world over--but never before have those three forms of musical expression been blended into a sound that is as indefinable as it is recognizable and familiar. Enter the Philadelphia quartet known as The Movement.
Growing up with one another in Columbia, South Carolina, Joshua Swain and Jordan Miller spent time jamming in various high school bands together. Swain, a multi-instrumentalist versed in guitar, bass, and drums, left for Florida's Full Sail University in 2001, while Miller honed his freestyle rap, guitar, and keyboard skills in Columbia. Upon returning in 2002, Swain reconnected with Miller and the two began writing songs in Swain's garage using a drum machine and drawing from musical influences that ranged from Sublime to Tupac to Pink Floyd. The Movement was born.
Early incarnations of the band found them as a trio. It was Swain, Miller and DJ Jon Ruff. They developed a loyal following as a trio and went on to release their first full length album, entitled On Your Feet. That album, recorded and mixed in 24 studio hours, was released in March of 2004 and continues to be well received by new fans worldwide.
Fast forward to 2008. The band had built a loyal following while touring the Southeastern circuit nonstop and opening for national acts such as Steel Pulse, Blues Traveler, Slightly Stoopid, The Wailers, Ludacris, G. Love & Special Sauce, Common, Long Beach Shortbus, The Wu Tang Clan, 311, and Rebelution. Things were good but stale; the band wasn't breaking any new ground and the members began to lose interest. DJ Jon Ruff left the band to pursue a family while Josh and Jordan came to a crossroads. Enter producer Chris DiBeneditto (G. Love & Special Sauce, Slightly Stoopid, The Expendables), who had seen the band several times and was searching for new talent to work with. The Movement quickly teamed up with him at Philadelphonic Studios in Philadelphia to begin work on what would become "Set Sail". It was a creative tsunami--Josh and Jordan churned out eighteen songs within a week's time. Revived by the momentum, a commitment was made to relocate to Philadelphia in order to give the project every chance to blossom. The next step was to solidify the band's roster so Chris DiBeneditto contacted local drummer Gary Jackson. After one jam session together, Gary accepted an offer to join the band and promptly suggested bassist Jay "Smiles" Schmidt as the missing element. It clicked right away. The vibe was on. The Movement was reborn!
The prominent new additions to the group proved their worth immediately as the live music took on a potency it had never achieved with a looped beat. The band's dedication to touring virtually nonstop since the release of Set Sail has served to establish their increasing reputation as an unmissable live show. As a further result, Set Sail has thus far attained the number 7 spot on iTunes' Top 100 Reggae Albums, brushing shoulders with the releases of long-established icons of the genre. As the fanbase booms, the crowds reach a fever pitch--but this is only the beginning--The Movement is about to Set Sail!
KIDS THESE DAYS
Kids These Days comes from Chicago but their music comes from everywhere. With horns, a rapper, a blues-rock trio and a female singer, KTD blends a wide range of influences -- hip-hop, jazz, soul, blues, and classic rock -- into a unique, fresh sound that breaks boundaries while honoring America's musical heritage.
In their first 24 months, they have built a solid following, with over 11,000 fans on Facebook, who turn out for their high-energy, groove-oriented shows at clubs like Reggie's, Hideout, Subterranean, Lincoln Hall and The Metro.
While still in their teens, they beat out 150 Chicago bands of all-ages to win first place in the Congress Theater's Next Big Thing battle of the bands in November of 2009.
In March 2011, KTD made their first trip as a band to the illustrious music festival, South by Southwest in Austin, TX. It is safe to say that they made a little splash in the musical ocean, surprising the audiences at venues such as Peckerheads and Pure Volume House. On July 1st, 2011, KTD performed at Milwaukee's Summerfest, where they opened for Third Eye Blind, spreading their musical message to a very receptive audience of over 5000.
KTD includes Liam Cunningham on guitar and lead vocals, Lane Beckstrom on bass, Greg Landfair on drums, Macie Stewart on keys, lead vocals, and background vocals,Vic Mensa on rap vocals, Nico Segal on trumpet, and J.P. Floyd on trombone.
They have shared the stage with noted hip-hop artists Rhymefest, the Cool Kids, Mic Terror, and Dom Kennedy. Their influences run from the Roots, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix to classic bebop and modern jazz artists such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Christian McBride, Miguel Zenon, Nicholas Payton, and Roy Hargrove. Trained musicians, they also perform regularly with side projects at the Jazz Showcase, Symphony Center, Ravinia, The Velvet Lounge and the Chicago Jazz Festival.
KTD's first project "Hard Times", which features five original songs, is currently available on iTunes for download (at the low price of $3.99); it was released on June 28th 2011.
Look out for their next project, a mixtape, "Trap House Rock", which will feature songs that are mixed together with a KTD twist, paying tribute to their many, many influences!
High Noon Saloon (View)
701 E. Washington Ave
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 18|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|