While having the pleasure to interview and chat with Stem Beach Soul Revival (SBSR), words and phrases tended to be repeated in earnest. If all of these words were distilled into only the purest and most common elements, a concentrated trifecta of sex, dance, and soul would remain. These could effectively represent a three-word constitution under which, it is safe to believe, all members of Stem Beach Soul Revival would live with flag waving patriotism. It is clear that this gang, with the universal language of music, wants to seize its audience directly by the booty and bring love back together with the dance-floor again.
Thunder was cracking whips all around as sheets of fat rain drops forced a better part of the crowd indoors. It was a late night, and the bar was moving plenty of beer. Pueblo’s only soul band was about to strike and we, the audience, could sense it. It felt as if we were standing outside in the storm again… only this time on a naked hill poking antennae up into the sky. Something was about to happen, that much was sure.
When examining a machine in order to see what makes it work, it is imperative to consider its components. With due diligence, Stem Beach Soul Revival is comprised of the following nuts, bolts, and doohickeys: Lacey Camille Santiago (vocals), Shaun “Monkey” Herrera (drums), Shanon Sinclair (guitar), John Bueno (bass), and Paul Rosales (gee-tar). It is vital to note that the members of SBSR represent(ed) bands such as Doomwitch Rhythmancer Ensemble, Pseudo U, American Mourning, and The Insecurities. With such veteran membership, no doubt, Pueblo is betting on a very fast horse.
The impact of the strike was exhilarating, and the band already looked like it was playing in the rain. Sweat soaked in passion, the singer was delivering phrase after phrase with what only could have been a belt. She possessed a nervous energy that made us trust her; it made us hop on the train and understand that it was going somewhere we wanted to be. It felt fine to have fun, although we had just met, the band was making out with us as a single instrument.
Playing live after only one month of existing sounds bodacious at best, but in effect, the SBSR live experience is a spectacle of skill, passion, and creativity. Stem Beach Soul Revival utilizes the power of hindsight to mix the sound of traditional UK Reggae and American soul with a recognizable spirit of romanticism. In essence, they have built a veritable monument out of cover songs, being more of a tribute band to a bygone era than a typical cover band meow-meowing through modern rock favorites at a DUI fundraiser (whoops, I meant to say “festival”). After all, reviving the sounds of Toots and the Maytals, Brenton Wood, Jimmy Cliff, and The Temptations will give SBSR backdoor keys to the hearts of most self-righteous rock and roll purists floating around out there in the critical ether.
The storm was over and we called with one voice for the music to continue. If we yelled loudly enough, it would listen… it might even stay overnight. In true gentleman-lady-likeness, the music had to go home for the night and leave us giddy and drunk. Through all chant and protest the music laughingly assured us that it wanted to take it slow. It wanted to get to know us. We said,” are you sure, it is raining outside?” The music turned to John Bueno to reply. John assured us:
“We have only been a band for a [few months]; if you keep coming to our shows, maybe there will be an encore.”
By Kevin Healy