ONE OF the area’s favourite bands is no more.
Soul Professors played its official final concert of blues, Motown and funk at cancer society fundraiser Jackstock May 25. (They did return to play one set at the Relay for Life last Saturday.)
Sax player Paul Sametz says it’s hard to keep a band together with so many members, 10 or more, and there’s really no place to play in town, except for the bar at the Northern Motor Inn.
“A couple of people resigned and there were a couple attempts to get replacements and we possibly could play as a smaller combo, but I think that might be letting down some of the audience,” said Sametz, adding that there’s about 180 to 200 people who have come to every gig the band has played.
Saxophonist Glen Grieve left the band and two of the members are in Dr. Fishy too, he said.
When the band started out six years ago, the members would hold their own gigs and put on special Halloween and Valentine’s Day events. Then they managed to get some times to play at the Northern but that was about the only place to play, said Sametz.
Soul Professors have played at many charity events too, he added.
“We’ve very supportive of community events like that,” he said.
There’s a risk to putting on their own shows and it costs money to play regular gigs as there’s guitar strings to be replaced, and suits to get laundered, he said.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do without playing with these guys,” said Sametz.
“It’s really inspiring to play with female vocalists,” he said, adding they are amazing.
Since the band started, it’s had five female vocalists: former vocalists Britt Macleod, Rachel Schroeder, Samantha Kantola and current members Melia Stephens and Stephanie Baker.
Sametz credits music teacher Darryl McDicken with helping the band with its repertoire – McDicken has a masters degree in jazz.
Sametz also credits trombone player James Powell for hosting the band’s rehearsals at his “jam shack” as well as being a dedicated, fine trombone player who loves playing and sounds great.
The band’s longevity is a “testament to how fabulous this style of music is. It’s a real inspiration and a lot of fun.” He said the band would be willing to play special events in future.