Artist of the day: Cope
Sometime around the early ’90s, when brothers Kenny and Dennis Stadelman were guitar-wielding teens in Northeastern Ohio, they planted the seeds of Cope. They've since seen members come and go, cycling through various changes of their hummable, danceable style. Unlike your typical sprawling, inaudible jam bands, Cope keeps melody and ear-friendly song structures at the core. The Stadelmans even cite the Beatles as a major influence.
On Friday, Cope will release their new CD, Going Home, with a show at 8 p.m. at Skipper's Smokehouse with Christie Lenee and the Funkgrass Groove. Tickets are $8.
Click here to listen to the title track from the new CD. And after the jump, get Julie Garisto's full profile of this ramblin', jammin' band...
Cope-ious talent: Dennis Stadelman, guitar, banjo and vocals; Kenny Stadelman, bass and vocals; Juan Montero, saxophone and vocals; and Dave Gerulat, drums and vocals.
Formed: Sometime around the early ’90s, when the Stadelman brothers were guitar-wielding teens in Northeastern Ohio. Kenny and Dennis planted the seeds of Cope and have since seen members come and go, cycling through various changes of their hummable, danceable style. Unlike your typical sprawling, inaudible jam bands, Cope keeps melody and ear-friendly song structures at the core. The Stadelmans even cite the Beatles as a major influence. Montero, a friend through other bands on the jam/improvisational/experimental circuit, joined in 2004 and Gerulat joined in the past couple of years, replacing Kenny and Dennis’ cousin Roger Pinkerton.
What’s changed over the years? The addition of keyboards and horns to what was essentially a guitar-based rock, pop and reggae-world beat band. “We have a rounder sound now,” Kenny says. “We fill in more frequencies. Now we play a reggae song with keyboards and organ and it sounds right.”
Dennis: “Having a wider variety of instruments lends authenticity. We have everything from hip-hop bats to disco to funk to techno and it helps to have the instruments to play all these styles.”
Montero: “We make a soup out of everything you’ve heard.”
New CD: Going Home, which is being released this weekend. The group recorded the CD in a live, analog format with the help of Ken Faulkenberry at Audio Lab and then had the demos retouched by engineering whiz Steve Connelly of Zen Recording (and several local bands through the years).
Trippy artwork: Artist Bean Spence designed the cover to be 3-dimensional and it even comes with 3-D glasses.
Memorable gigs: A concert the guys call Skipperado, lovingly named after a packed Skipper’s Smokehouse show on March 6, when South Florida’s Langerado Music Festival got canceled due to sluggish ticket sales. “Skipper’s is our favorite venue,” adds Dennis.
He gets around: “I’m the whoringest musician in town,” Montero jokes. He plays in a handful of local bands — some he’s specific about and some, well, not so much. For starters, Montero, along with the Stadelman brothers, plays in the ever-popular Buffalo Strange, of which he’s a founding member. He also leads the Juanjamon Band and plays occasionally with Christie Lenee. Gerulat, incidentally, has played with the on-again-off-again band boon.
How much jam spreads on this bandwich? All four agree that they like to keep the structure and improvisation balanced. “It’s the best of both worlds,” Kenny says.
Gerulat: “We interweave and we come back apart.”
Hear them: At their CD release party at 8 p.m. Friday with Christie Lenee and the Funkgrass Groove, Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $8. (813) 971-0666.
-- Julie Garisto, tbt*