Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Verdict Caribbean Band
Verdict has been rocking the house from venues as varied as the fabled Stone Pony in Asbury Park to the NFL Owners Meeting at the Super Bowl in Miami. Their polished energy has been fed from the wide ranging experiences of jamming with Chaka Khan and Stevie Wonder (what a surreal moment to have Johnny whispering the lyrics to Marley’s “Waiting in Vain” in Stevie’s ear since he didn’t know the second verse by heart), to performing “Stir it Up” and Chick Corea’s “Spain” with Prince Ali of Iran sitting in on drums.
Their passion is colored by opening for legends such as Sting and Madonna at the Gianni Versace memorial concert, to running for their lives as a near riot breaks out at a block party in Bensonhurst. The band’s undeniable talent brought this American based band the honor of performing at Carnival in Trinidad, appearances on network TV, and even a junket entertaining the legions of the Republican National Committee.
The story continues as does their unending quest to play the transcendent jam, create the perfect moment, and revel in the shared experience with you, the fans. Be there where the next chapter is written in the Verdict odyssey.
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Band Of The Week: The Verdict
Story by Rebecca Grites,
If you're looking for the verdict on great live entertainment guaranteed to get you into a summertime mood, then you're looking for a night out with The Verdict, a Caribbean-style band that performs live Sunday, June 13, and every Sunday this summer, at the Rum Runner Bar, located inside The Inlet at 988 Bay Ave. in Somers Point.
"The Verdict is good at working a crowd," says Johnny Youth, drummer and lead vocalist for the band. "We have dance moves that we tell the crowd to do, and we get everybody going."
Youth describes The Verdict as a real Caribbean band, as it mixes the genres of reggae, Latin and soca, a blend of soul and calypso.
"People in the past have called us a reggae band, but we're really more of a Caribbean band," he says. "We touch on all the islands of the Caribbean. Our sound is very conducive to dancing; we'll have a slow reggae song, but we'll pick it up to be high-tempo with the Latin and soca, so there's something there for everyone."
The Verdict formed approximately seven years ago in New York City. Though it saw fame in The Big Apple, its members preferred to play shore towns, especially those in southern New Jersey.
"Southern New Jersey is great," Youth says. "When you play this part of New Jersey, you get more people from different parts of the Northeast - you get Philly people, you get people from different parts of Pennsylvania, which is good to broaden our fanbase. New Jersey has great crowds, and in the summer, they're always dancing. They let us do what we come to do - have fun."
Be a part of all that fun at the Rum Runner Bar every Sunday throughout the summer at 7 p.m. Call the Rum Runner Bar at 609-926-9611.
Roster: Johnny Youth, drums, lead vocals; Parry Jack, keyboards, lead vocals; Raga, guitar and vocals; Marcelino Thompson, bass and vocals. Youth also hails Matt Elison as an honorary member of the band; he plays congas with the band at The Inlet in Somers Point.
What To Expect: The Verdict is known for its Caribbean sound, which mixes strains of reggae, soca and Latin. Youth hopes all newcomers to The Inlet will have as much fun as the band members did for their kick-off show Memorial Day Weekend. "The Inlet is just great," he says. "It was a beautiful night. We had a great crowd, and it just started off with a real bang. We want to keep it going, keep it successful."
Originals: "We have three original CDs," Youth says. "We also put out a couple of CDs with cover songs, but most of the cover music is Caribbean. So, if you're into that, you'd be familiar with those covers, but we also do a lot of American music in an island style." The band's most recent release, "Summertime Again," came out approximately two years ago, and they are currently working on another album.
Fan favorites: "We always play 'The Dollar Wine,' but we bump that one up a notch, and we like to work a crowd," Youth says. "We'll do some rock songs in reggae style, and our fans also really like when we play 'Suavemente,' which is a Puerto Rican song by Elvis Crespo. Our best original tune is 'Summertime Again.' We do that at every show because of how much people love that song."
Fun Fact: Youth, who hails from New Jersey, links the band's eclectic roots to why its sound is so distinct, fun and unique. "Perry is from St. Vincent, Raga is from Trinidad, and Marcelino is from Panama," he reveals. "So together, all that music, all those lifestyles, they create our sound."
Claim To Fame: "We did the NFL Owners Meeting at the Super Bowl," Youth begins. "We were playing once in Manhattan, and who walks in but Stevie Wonder, and he jammed with us. We've played shows for Sting and Madonna. We performed at Carnival in Trinidad, and we've been down to the islands many times to play."
Websites: www.verdictisin.com, www.facebook.com/verdictisin, www.myspace.com/verdictisin. You can also check out The Verdict on www.reverbnation.com.
Go See Them: 7 p.m. Sundays throughout the summer at the Rum Runner Bar, located inside The Inlet at 988 Bay Ave. in Somers Point. Call the Rum Runner at 609-926-9611.
YouTube Summer Time Again.
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