THE BAND... and Friends
Monica has been having a love affair with music since her earliest days singing with her family in church, where a premium was placed on getting the melodies and harmonies right. The world is only now
meeting Monica in a soul band environment. After hearing her in action, you will wonder why it took so long. Citing influences as diverse as Patti Austin, Maysa, Ella Fitzgerald, and gospel luminary Tramaine Hawkins, Monica is eager to channel her gifts and energies into singing that makes the music live and breathe. Her love of music will grab you from the first note.
Bassist Edward Graham has spent more than 20 years attempting to unlock the secrets of better bass playing, and expects finally to crack the code at the band’s next performance. Emboldened by seeing unsuspecting audiences get up and dance, he figures something must be going right, so why not keep trying?
First inspired to play bass by a shocking inability to understand guitar, he was drawn deeper into the instrument by the music of Motown and the Beatles that prominently featured the distinctive bass stylings of James Jamerson and Paul McCartney, respectively.
He has played in bands of every stripe and volume level, and hopes there is at least a little of what first turned him on about the bass in every song he plays, regardless of genre. Edward’s principal ambition as a bass player is to make people want to dance, “because if people are dancing, you know they are listening, too.”
Back in the 70s, Kurt majored in guitar in college, playing with hippy band OCEAN ROSE, only to find that Johns Hopkins in fact offered no guitar major. Immediately upon graduation, he answered an ad in the paper which launched a 3-yr stint with Baltimore Soul stalwarts, LONDON FOG. The 80s found Kurt in Boston, studying guitar and playing in all manner of
variety bands. Back in Baltimore, he had a 16-yr run with country band STILLWATER.
Soul, funk, jazz, blues, rock and country….Kurt’s seeming lack of direction might seem a little scatter-brained, but also makes him a jack-of-all-trades and master of fun! He currently teaches guitar at his home in Pikesville, and is thrilled to be a part of THE SOUL MAGNETS scene, where it all comes together!
Percussionist Brent Hartley brings the Secret Sauce to the recipe. Playing a one-of-a-kind kit of his own devising, he sits on the kick drum while playing congas or the kit. This fits just right with any genre we can throw at him and won’t drown out the room, making the band small-room friendly.
Brent started with The Jaywalkers and D-Fibs out of college, had a 6-year stint playing Balinese gamelan, and was pulled out of semi-retirement by Edward for The Unfortunate Sons and The Soul Magnets. He keeps busy with multiple projects, including Panama Rex and High Heat.
For larger gigs, we add keyboards, saxes and horns, and other singers as the situation allows.
We’re often joined by our friend Steve Griffen, an immensely talented touring multi-instrumentalist who adds keyboards, saxophone, flute and more. He takes the band to new levels of greatness.
The Soul Magnets are a band’s band. At any performance are always found our musician friends who are always eager to jump up to join in for a few songs. That makes every show unique, where anything can happen, especially musical magic. We’re often joined on harmonica and vocals by “Blue Lou” Shach, Tom Chalkley or TJ Jenkins, and on vocals and storytelling by the legendary Motown veteran Chauncey Harris.