Members: Jose Johnson, lead vocals and trumpet; Rod Goelz, bass and vocals; Michael Burton, lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitars; Roy Frush III, percussion; Scott Platts, rhythm guitar; Curt Sipe, tenor saxophones; Jared Daughton, keyboards, harp and vocals
Who we talked to: Goelz
How did the group get together? I used to play in a band called Life On Mercury. That band disbanded and I still wanted to do the same kind of thing. I formed (Groove Jones) with a drummer friend of mine and we just started doing a roundup, picking people who we liked and people who we really responded well with musically. That's always been the thing that we stuck with. (We've been together) for about a year and a half.
Where did the name come from? The name, for me, is always the hardest part. Groove Jones is the only name that we all agreed on. I would get on the name generators and would do all sorts of things to try to come up with names. I might have combined things I got from the band name generator and then I made a list of 120 or so. Some of them were god-awful.
Can you describe your sound and style? We take our influence from the '60s and '70s funk musicians (like) James Brown, Chuck Brown, Earth, Wind & Fire, Maceo Parker, . . . Graham Central Station and Sly And The Family Stone. It's fun music. We always say it feels like church when we play. (We) still have the good feeling days after (we play).
Are there any local artists you like? Personally . . . (I'm into) a local musician by the name of Ralph Real. When I first met him, he was freestyling. I've never seen anything like that. He knew what he was doing right off the top of his head. I'd love to be able to that, but I can't. (Laughs) I really think the world of (Real) as an artist. There's also a young trumpeter by the name of Mike Burton. I met Tim Warfield seven years ago, and it was a life-changing thing.
Are there any places in the area you guys like to play? We like Tailgaters (Grille & Drafthouse). That's where we really started working our sound. Bogey Macaws is another great place because they have a big room and the staff supports us.
How do you guys feel about the York music scene? Most of the stuff we do isn't a hard sell. Any place we play, they generally want us back because it's a party. York's not bad . . . as far as the people go. The people are really responsive. It's just that I guess we're at the stage that we have to prove to the bar owners that we can draw a crowd. They're used to trios and smaller bands, and we're a bigger band.
Is the dynamic different in a larger group? It's a headache. We do one or two rehearsals between shows. It's a lot of getting who can do what and when and all that kind of stuff. I got a cell phone for this reason. (Laughs) There are some not-so-local (members from Harrisburg).
Do you have any best memories so far? When we played Tailgaters over the summer. The last time we played there (in September), that's when everything came together. A lot of people we haven't seen for a while showed up, so that's always nice. I think my mother was there. (Laughs) It was a good time. We did their outdoor deck at sunset. Daine Paul Russell is another person (to mention) as far as local musicians. He was running sound for us that night. He's a harmonica player that doesn't play like anyone else you've ever heard. He can play it like a saxophone.
What are your goals for the future? We're in the studio putting together songs. Hopefully (our album) will be done by 2008. You have to juggle the schedules of all the people. We want to do a lot more playing, meet a lot more people and get this CD out.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF