Last night after five years of regular gigging, I played my last show with 7Souls, the cover band I helped to start back in July of 2017 — our first gig was in May of 2018 — leaving co-founder and bassist Dennis Myers as the sole remaining original member of the band.
Turnover in local bands is a common occurrence, and with changes in personnel there are sometimes changes in a band’s focus. With each new member, the direction of the band can shift a little more, reflecting the interests of newer members. This is especially in the case of variety bands, such as 7Souls. And, changing musical interest is often the reason members leave bands. Such is the case with my departure from 7Souls.
7Souls was formed as a classic rock and blues band with some forays into country and southern rock. As a classic rock and blues player with vocal abilities, I fit in well with that direction. Once we got out and gigging, we fairly quickly built a following and became fairly popular at a number of area venues. However, in the past couple of years, the band began to pick up more modern country and pop tunes. While we retained our audience fairly well, I became increasingly frustrated because, really, I swore off being in “pop” bands many years ago.
At the beginning of this year, our female lead vocalist left, and she was subsequently replaced with another top-notch performer. I quickly recognized two things. First, that she would bring pressure to make some far less subtle directional changes that I would not enjoy. But second, and more importantly in the grand scheme of things, she was mostly likely the best choice to replace our outgoing singer and the right choice for the band, regardless of how I felt about it.
In addition my feelings about the band’s subtle, and later not-so-subtle, directional shift I became increasingly interested in actually following the path that got me started in learning about and playing music some fifty years ago — electronic music. And so, I announced to the band and a few of our close fans that I would be leaving, initially setting an exit date at the end of April. After being asked to please reconsider, I agreed to try staying on longer, but in the end, I knew that it was really time for me to move on. I alluded to this in a post here at the beginning of this year.
To be clear, despite a bump in the road here and there, playing in 7Souls has been the absolute best band experience I have ever had and I think the world of every member, present and past, and it is my hope that we will remain friends for many years to come. It truly has been an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
It’s now time to look forward. I still have a lot of music in me, despite no longer being that classic rock and blues player I was a half dozen years ago and for so many years before. Going forward, my focus will be the electronic music that sparked my interest all those years ago. And, there is a new covers project as well, Shaggy ‘n’ Scooby, with close friend and keyboardist Andy Bruce. I’ll be singing most of the leads in the group, while Andy plays most of the keyboards, and we plan to also include a couple of other interested performers as well. The musical selection is centered on something once known as Album Oriented Rock or “AM Gold”, with a smattering of country and even a little jazz.
I may also occasionally fill in with 7Souls and Midnite Run.