Group founder and composer Steve Wiest puts it this way: “What would Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears and Tower of Power sound like if they started out now?” That is the mission of this jam-packed all-star assemblage of world-renown musicians: to take the modern landscape of textures, hybrid styles and timely songwriting of the 21st Century and pour it all into the venerable tradition of the rocked out horn bands of yore.
Lead singer Lisa Dodd is a multiple CCMA-winning vocalist, Alberta Musician of The Year and bassist from Alberta, Canada. With a stellar voice described by Jonathan Widran in his blog The JW Vibe as “sandpaper and honey” Dodd’s astounding vocal range is the perfect icing to the powerhouse horn section and the state-of-the-art rhythm section that gives Vinyl Hampdin its unique signature sound. The all-star horn section is made up of Grammy-winning lead trumpet phenom Frank David Greene of Paul Shaffer-David Letterman and Christian McBride fame, tenor saxophonist Ray Herrmann from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame super-group Chicago, multiple Grammy nominee and acclaimed composer-trombonist Steve Wiest, renown woodwind artist Art Bouton on the bari sax and Sly5th Ave from Prince and The New Power Generation on tenor.
To fuel, propel and power such a mixture of Dodd and the all-star horn section, Vinyl Hampdin’s rhythm section is also a flat-out group of stellar virtuosos. Anchored by the former Musical Director for Maynard Ferguson and drumset artist with Doc Severinsen Stockton Helbing, and including multiple CCMA-winning Canadian guitarist Ryan Davidson, Eric Gunnison–former pianist with Carmen McRae and The Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, and prolific producer and composer Gerald Stockton on the bass, this unit produces an incomparable groove that lives up to the band’s motto of “Rocked out incredibly funky jaw dropping ear candy.”
At the center of what the band is all about is Wiest’s compositions and originals. With the band’s songwriting, Wiest and Dodd team up in the lyric writing department while Wiest composes the music in a manner true to the group’s heritage while sounding like it came right out of today’s popular composer community. And the covers! Each arrangement of well-known songs is re-imagined, twisted and super-charged by the pen of Wiest to the point that they are often described as ending up sounding better than the pieces they were based upon!
With the October 5, 2017 release of their critically-acclaimed debut project “RED” and the accompanying eleven videos directed by Grammy-winning cinematographer Andy LaViolette, Vinyl Hampdin has hit the ground running and is beginning to spread the good word of the modern jazz-informed rock horn band once again across the land.
And how are they doing with their stated mission? Well, Hugo Award-winning author and frequent David Crosby collaborator Spider Robinson has this to say: “…if Blood Sweat & Tears or Chicago or Tower of Power or Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood Of Breath had spent every second of the last 40 or 50 years in constant improvement and musical and spiritual growth, they might sound this good by now. And maybe not.”
Official website: vinylhampdin.com