"A wicked cayenne-spicy mix of brassy salsa, New Orleans jazz, P-funk, and cocktail exotica," says Jim Ridley of The Nashville Scene. This band pulls from seven different backgrounds, seven different sets of influences...of course it's going to be diverse.
The Guy Smiley Blues Exchange, formed in 1993, has been compared to groove/jazz artists like Groove Collective, Phish, and Medeski Martin & Wood. The main focus of the band is the horn section: Patrick Dolan on alto and baritone saxes and flute, and Chris West on soprano, tenor and baritone saxes and flute. Jon Grant plays bass, and Graham Spice rounds out the rhythm section playing keyboard and guitar. DJ Viper may also be found touring with the band from time to time. Their sound is a collection of many musical styles. In one live performance they play everything from straight-ahead jazz to rock to Latin to funk. They stretch the word m-u-s-i-c. "Our songs go from the absurd to the conceptually serious," muses the band's founding member Graham Spice.
"We'll do an old Italian drinking song," he pauses, "that we wrote (laughs...) to a song that pushes the technical and theoretical aspects of music."
"I call it 'Post-Modern funk'," the band's drummer adds in.
"We're all about energy," Spice describes the band's live performance. "When you combine seven people on stage giving 120 percent that's like almost 1,000 percent, I think. No, it's not. That's like 840 percent or something. But it's still about the energy." The band combines their pyschafunkadoobalicious grooves with stage antics and costumes.
"We brought Patrick on stage in a coffin and resurrected him on Halloween," Graham recalls. "The Death Of Funk came in and pronounced him dead and we sighted the old Pychafunkadoobalicious - expialidocious awake - from - the - dead chant and brought him back to life."
"This is how we are. We can't help it," Patrick admits with a Spinal Tap inflection in his voice.
The band has released a new second recording, called GSBE LIVE. This CD is a live performance, recorded on December 1, 2000 in Nashville, Tennessee. This project was independently released in April of 2001. Their debut CD was recorded at White House Studios in Nashville, TN. The entire project was recorded, mixed, and produced by the band in two months with advice from Richard Dodd (Traveling Wilburys, Tom Petty) and Alan Shacklock (Pink Floyd, Roger Waters). The self-titled CD, independently released in May of 1998, displays the diversity of their music. The CD also demonstrates the energy and the technical ability within the band.
Christ West appears on a recent HBO movie soundtrack. Chris West and fellow
horn section member, Patrick Dolan have performed with members of The Flecktones
such as Bela Fleck, Jeff Coffin, Roy Wooten, and Victor
Wooten. Speaking of the Wooten bothers, Graham Spice recorded a project for
Treason Records with Reggie & Victor Wooten, and J. D. Blair. Chris West
has additionally performed with Jay Rodriguez of Groove Collective, the Dirty
Dozen Brass Band and has studied with Jeff Coffin from Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.
They have combined their experiences, their influences, and their energy to create The Guy Smiley Blues Exchange. Psychafunkadoobalicious.
The Band's two recordings are available at Amazon.com and local record stores now!
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