Band: Yeah, Probably
Date: Saturday, April 22, 9 p.m.
Venue: Top of the Bay, 28971 U.S. Highway 98 (Daphne), 251-621-1177
Tickets: Call for more information
Lagniappe’s Mobile Bay and New Southern Music showcases at SouthSounds brought together an assortment of music from around the Southeast. Based on each band’s talent and performance, the showcases’ panel of judges had their work cut out for them. A vast array of musical styles and genres were represented, including punk, blues, Southern rock, jam and soul.
After rating the bands on everything from originality to stage presence, the judges chose one band to receive a prize package including of three days of studio time at Rick Hirsch’s Studio H20 (with accommodations), a $500 gift card to Andy’s Music, a $200 gift card to Callaghan’s, a $100 gas gift card and an opportunity to play at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi.
One of the newer bands on the scene — Azalea City trio Yeah, Probably — overtook the competition with some of the most original sounds of the weekend. Shea White’s plucky guitar grooves met with Quintin Ayers’ grooving bass work and Phillip Baggins’ tight drum rhythms to produce a funky mélange of jazz, pop and modern soul.
Yeah, Probably’s sonic mixture is at once unfamiliar and refreshing. Throughout the showcases, Baggins said this trademark style built his confidence.
“I already knew that we won, not being proud or anything, but nobody has our sound,” Baggins said. “It was a surreal feeling. We just looked at each other and it was like, ‘What just happened?’” White said. “It was definitely cool, because a few of the bands we knew, and I’ve looked up to these people as musicians. It was nice to be on the same stage and same playing field … ”
“It was nice having judges from out of town,” Ayers added. “There were no politics.”
The band members agree the foundation of their sound is built on several concepts. First, there is a mutual attraction to “good music.” Also, White says, the group’s sound is an exercise in balancing the technical aspects of the jazz world with soulful pop overtones that are popular these days. From Kazoola to Dauphin Street Blues Company, this winning musical formula has made them quickly grow into one of the area’s favorite groups.
“From my writing standpoint, I like using cool melodies that go with cool chords,” White said. “That’s the jazz influence of it. We find weird ways to put weird melodies to cool, different chords. We also have a pop influence that is more pleasing to the layperson. We try to combine the two to find something that we like to do and what we like to hear.”
One important facet that makes this band so popular is the chemistry shared between the members, one that began to form five years ago when they started performing in Faulkner State Community College’s “The Sun Chief Sound.” The musical bond between White, Baggins and Ayers grew, even as they were performing with other projects. Four months ago, the trio decided to set aside other bands and day jobs and replace them with Yeah, Probably.
Baggins says this chemistry is best witnessed during their live performances, where he says the band tends to experiment. White adds this practice gives the audience the opportunity to never hear any song played the same way twice.
“We listen to each other,” White explained. “If he’s doing something cool, then we’ll catch on. I can’t do that with other people that I play with like I can with them.”
Those who witnessed the band’s SouthSounds showcase received a sneak preview of their upcoming, self-titled EP. They recruited Greg DeLuca (The Mulligan Brothers) to assist in capturing their original music. Currently, the band is waiting patiently as the album is mixed and mastered in Nashville by former Gulf Coast resident/musician Steven Van Etten.
“We’re just kind of waiting,” White said. “As soon as we get it in our hands, we’re going to start the process of getting it out. Hopefully, we’ll have it in our hands in two or three weeks.”
As far as what they plan to do with their prize package, Yeah, Probably has already put some of the perks to use. White and Ayers have upgraded the pedal boards for their guitars. Baggins says he has a metronome and new drumsticks on the way. The band has also been in touch with Rick Hirsch and will enter Studio H2O with this local music legend as soon as the two entities are available. Until then, they plan to write as much music as possible and nurture their audience.
“Hopefully, we’ll be expanding our reach, as far as fan base and playing different places and more festivals and bigger venues,” White said. “That’s our short-term goal. Our long-term goal is to be rich and famous. I’m hoping that these four songs on our EP will identify our genre. I feel like it could go a little further.”