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Artist of the day: Cosmic Gospel Hour

11

June

Cosmic.gospel.hour 

Formed earlier this year in Tampa, Cosmic Gospel Hour comprises three musicians of note and notoreity: Brent Rademaker, vocals and guitar; Jeffrey Underhill, vocals and bass, and Robert Mortellaro, drums. The group initially formed as a duo, with Rademaker and Underhill, and Mortellaro joined in April.

They play a sparkly, atmospheric style of folk and power pop with straightforward guitar-bass-drums setup. They cover a wide range of bands: The Byrds, Neil Young, the Everly Brothers, Buffalo Springfield, Teenage Fanclub, Gene Clark, Love and ELO. With an expert sense of timing, restraint and pretty off-kilter harmonies, the threesome can go from an upbeat romp to mellow folksiness, finished off with a spacey afterglow befitting the band’s name.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, they'll be part of the Brokenmold showcase at the Homemade Music Symposium at CL Space (Creative Loafing), 1300 E Eighth Ave., Suite W200. November Foxtrot Whiskey, Jim Morey Band and Florida Night Heat are also on the bill. Tickets are $5. Click here for details.

After the jump, get Julie Garisto's full profile of Cosmic Gospel Hour ...

 A supergroup of sorts: Formed earlier this year in Tampa, Cosmic Gospel Hour comprises three musicians of note and notoreity: Brent Rademaker, vocals and guitar; Jeffrey Underhill, vocals and bass, and Robert Mortellaro, drums. The group initially formed as a duo, with Rademaker and Underhill, and Mortellaro joined in April. The three, all in their mid 40s, have played in numerous bands of all types. Underhill performed with Rhode Island popsters Velvet Crush, a band that came to prominence in the ’90s. Rademaker opened for Duran Duran in the ’80s with the new wave band A New Personality and later joined the Byrds-inspired Sub Pop band Beachwood Sparks. Mortellaro has performed with the Rancid Polecats, Big Kitty, Heroine and Bite Size.

What they play: A sparkly, atmospheric style of folk and power pop with straightforward guitar-bass-drums setup. They cover a wide range of bands: The Byrds, Neil Young, the Everly Brothers, Buffalo Springfield, Teenage Fanclub, Gene Clark, Love and ELO. With an expert sense of timing, restraint and pretty off-kilter harmonies, the threesome can go from an upbeat romp to mellow folksiness, finished off with a spacey afterglow befitting the band’s name. Former music writer Mortellaro described the band’s atmospheric sound as “ephemeral,” and Underhill teased him for trotting out “a rock critic word.” That all said, it’s uncanny how CGH’s style supersedes any need for output from effects pedals and other gadgets.
Stage presence: When they perform live, Rademaker and Underhill sing face to face with an understated emotion and camaraderie that recall old-timey country duets.

Ikea and Everlys: Rademaker and Underhill met when Rademaker applied for a job at Ikea. He turned in his application to Underhill, who manages the store’s restaurant, but the conversation steered away from Swedish home fixtures. “Jeffrey and I’s first e-mail exchange, before we met, was on the Everly Brothers,” Rademaker said.

Underhill: “Instead of a drug test, it was litmus test!”

Rademaker: “We started out as an acoustic duo. We began by breaking down songs to the smallest parts and putting them back together again. Since Rob joined, we started surprising ourselves. It started evolving into a classic power pop. I was pulling of new things that were exciting to me.”

A nice surprise: Rademaker had been playing solo in Tampa for the past few years. He wasn’t sure if he would find a music compadre, someone with whom he shared respect and musical tastes — let alone two people. “I didn’t expect to get a band together,” Underhill  said.

Critic’s choice:  Mortellaro said he reviewed Velvet Crush when he was a rock critic for Weekly Planet and Focus. “I gave it a great review. I still have the record. I didn’t sell it to Vinyl Fever,” Mortellaro said with a laugh.

Hear them: 8 p.m. Saturday with November Foxtrot Whiskey, Jim Morey Band and Florida Night Heat at the Brokenmold Showcase of the Homemade Music Symposium, CL Space (Creative Loafing), 1300 E Eighth Ave., Suite W200 $5.

-- Julie Garisto, tbt*. Photo: Kathleen Nicholson

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:19pm]

    

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