Review by Greg Petty
OK Triangle music lovers – this weekend get yourself away from your TV set, Facebook messages on your smartphone or whatever else you are doing. Outstanding music is being produced and played right here in the Triangle. Our newest discovery is the Will McBride Group and their newest collaboration 3Play has just been released. I liked all three songs so much that I immediately downloaded them from iTunes… I think after hearing the tunes Ultimate Sacrifice, 90 Minutes to Nowhere and Mental Health Day that you’ll also want them in your library. After that, you may choose to go see them perform somewhere at one of the music venues the Triangle has to offer. Click the link below to hear one of the 3Play songs.
The band fuses rock, jazz, funk and R&B influences into music that gets you moving and grooving. The lyrics are intelligent, the musicians tight knit and the record production is first rate. The sound is lush but not overproduced. If you enjoy the fusion of all these great styles, I think you will determine that this is a band you will want to gather your friends and go out into the night to see a live performance. In fact, Barb and I are going to do that this weekend.
I am including the band’s bio below so you have all the info you need to hear and see them perform.
The Will McBride Group’s story begins in 2004 when Will was convinced by those around him to pursue his vision of a group that would feature Will’s original compositions to create an act unlike any band in the area. Music with a rock and pop groove, but also containing the jazz influence of rich complex chording, funk and Latin rhythmic overtones and amazingly infectious hooks. Will was able to provide his background as a session player and sideman in the Atlanta music scene, and his experience as a songwriter and composer. The Will McBride Group was born!
We believe that there is an audience for music that stimulates the primal need to move to the rhythm, yet also contains an intelligence of melody and composition found primarily in jazz. The music must be fun, but not overly simple. It must be alive and not stale, yet original. Add to that fresh lyrics from a real-life perspective that merge seamlessly with the infectious structure of the melody and you have what The Will McBride Group creates. The WMG also brings their own fresh interpretations of cover material from jazz, rock, latin, pop, and funk superstars to the mix. So what does all that mean? Imagine a funkier Steely Dan, or a jazzier John Mayer, or a more-vocal Santana, or an edgier Stevie Wonder…you get the picture.
n Guitarist, vocalist Will McBride (Atlanta songwriter/composer, jazz/funk “nut”, electrical engineer, wise-guy)
n Bassist, vocalist Sean Geist (Long Island journeyman, jazz-fusion enthusiast, network engineer, blogger kinda guy)
n Drummer, vocalist Eric Weaver (Berklee graduate, L.A session player, product manager, glass-half-full guy)
n 2006 Hillsborough Jazz Festival, opening act for Latin Grammy Sax player David Sanchez, estimated 500 in attendance
n 2007 Disco Rodeo, Raleigh, Stars Come Out for the Cure, opening act for Nantucket, estimated 350 in attendance
n 2008 Downtown Wake Forest, New Years Eve celebration, opening act for The Voltage Brothers, over 500 in attendance
n 2010 Koka Booth Amphitheater, headline for Triangle Uncorked!, for the 2nd time, over 1500 in attendance
n 2010 Downtown Raleigh, Fayetteville St. stage, Raleigh Wide Open, over 500 in attendance
n 2011 Hillsborough Jazz Festival, over 500 in attendance
n 2011 Koka Booth Amphitheater, opening act for Styx, estimated over 5000 in attendance
n “If you are looking for one of North Carolina’s premier fusion bands, look no further. The Will McBride Group’s groove-oriented blend of jazz, funk, and pop elements will, as they say, ‘satisfy your cool side…and move your backside.’” – Raj Dave, nc.magazine33.com/issue/february-2011
n “I was among the first to hear this new album from this trio based in Raleigh, NC, …this CD is excellent from beginning to end”. – Sue Hardee, http://www.raleighmusic.com/
n “I LOVED that first number-what was it? Also I was thinking how you all were kind of Steely Dan and then you did…was it ‘Josie’? I loved you guys and Styx was GREAT”. – Bob the Blade, 96Rock personality, 9/17/11 after show with Styx.
Contact info: www.reverbnation.com/willmcbridegroup, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sounds like: Mix jazz/latin/fusion/rock/pop guitar acts like Santana, Wes Montgomery, Steely Dan, Dire Straits, Lee Ritenour, John Mayer, with 70’s funk influence from Stevie Wonder, Sly Stone, Al Green, AWB, with layered vocals and you have the WMG.
n 2004: Jeff & Will record 9-song CD As Yet… with several other session players. The Will McBride Group forms, doing mostly jazz standards and a few originals.
n 2006 &2007: WMG books 50+ shows in a calendar year for the first time and performs with national touring acts, Nantucket and David Sanchez
n 2008: WMG again books 50+ shows in the calendar year, with more outdoor festivals.
n 2009: Will and Jeff, along with drummer Chris Conley release the 11-song CD Trifecta, which begins to receive repeated airplay on WRVA, WSHA, and WZTK in central NC.
n 2010: WMG does two downtown Raleigh festival performances and celebrates their 250th show. Chris Conley retires from the band
n 2011: Eric joins the band. WMG opens Styx’s Raleigh tour stop. WMG celebrates their 300th performance.
n 2012: Jeff Hatley retires from the band. WMG records three new songs with Grammy-nominated producer John Custer. Sean Geist joins the band.