Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites

Photo courtesy of JaNicki Photography.

This Band Could be Your Life: Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites
by Joanna Wilson

Have you heard about the latest attention-getting band in the Akron area? This eight-member group has been together just over a year and has already made quite a name and reputation for themselves with a sound that's both familiar and new.  Playing soul music, Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites know the classics as well as the future of music.

Band members include: Nick Fritsch on Drums, Bob Basone on Bass, Brent Wesley on Vocals, Albert Santilli III on Keys, Jimmy Parsons on Guitar, Max Brady on Trombone, Nathan Paul-Davis on Saxophone and Matt Garrett on Trumpet.

Brent Wesley on vocals.  Photo courtesy of JaNicki Photography.

I had heard about Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites before I had a chance to catch their act.  But they exceeded my expectations when I saw them this past June at The Lockview.  Their first set was original music and the second set was cover songs.  I remember they played "Valerie" by the Zutons (Amy Winehouse's cover version is more popular in the States), the soul classic "Try A Little Tenderness," James Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," Archie Bell & the Drells' forever hot classic "Tighten Up" and would you believe a funky sweet version of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love?"  Temperatures had reached over 90 degrees on that day in June but at night on the rooftop patio of the Lockview under the stars, everyone was on their feet, dancin' and sweatin' contrary to any common sense.  Including myself.

On the Lockview rooftop patio.  Photo courtesy of JaNicki Photography.
Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites' sound is both a throwback to classic soul and funk (the sax, trombone, trumpet section is as hot as it gets!) but contemporary sounding with new material that somehow improves on the past.  Pulling together all the great musical threads of the past, this local band is embracing an exciting and high-energy future.  I can't wait to take that tuneful journey with them! You know a band has hit on something good when the crowd is filled with college-aged kids that know all the words as well as people in age groups that may have originally attended concerts of the best of the 1960s-70s soul groups.  Everybody seems to get the fantastic sound of Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites!

The band is promising a vinyl release coming out soon.  But you can see them perform this Friday August 10th at the Square Records Anniversary Show at Musica.  Show starts at 10pm.  In the meantime, check out the band's facebook page: Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites and the facebook event for Friday's show

No comments:

Post a Comment