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Splendid Havoc Puts Passion in Pasticcio

Valerie Kirn-Duensing - July 1st, 2004
For old fans of the Traverse City band “Splendid Havoc,” change is in the air. For those not yet acquainted with the band, a treat is in store as their second CD is being released this summer, entitled “Pasticcio” – which, incidentally, is Italian for medley or combination of work.
“In the past we used to be sort of folksy, but now we have new band members and have taken a different path,” says Michelle Socha, lead vocalist and founder of the band.
If you are a tried and true fan, don’t freak! The primary focus of the group is still tight vocal harmonies; the band just decided to stretch its legs, so to speak, and flex the musical muscles of some of the new members. The result is a variety of styles and sounds that piece together like a beautiful patchwork quilt.
“What I like about this new CD is that there’s a lot of passion and energy in the music,” Socha says. “Not one song sounds the same.”
The CD consists of nine original songs, each written and composed by various band members. The sounds range from pop, to rock, to funk, to do-wop and everything in between. Socha was involved in writing seven of the songs, including “Standing” which is a tribute to September 11.
Two of the songs have been getting significant airplay on local radio stations. “Bottle Boy” was a WKHQ “New Music Challenge” winner and “The Smile” was a “Song Wars” winner for four consecutive nights on WTCM FM. As a side note, “The Smile” competed against several national bands and show host Norm Jones did not announce to listeners beforehand that this was a local band.
“We definitely have a vocal niche,” Socha says. “In the past, we had two to three vocalists. With the addition of guitarist Scott Hawkins, we now have up to four vocal harmonies that sound awesome.”
Band members consist of Michelle Socha (vocals, percussion), Donnel Grahl (vocals, percussion), Scott Hawkins (guitar, bass, vocals), Steve Weldon (saxophone, keyboards), Roland Woodring (drums, percussion), Debbie Street (keyboards, guitar, vocals), and Kim Tripp (percussion, drums).
Guest artists on the new CD include Marty Sage from “Fourth House In,” guitarist Joe Krellwitz, and Dale Smith, the band’s former bass player who moved to Arizona.
Drummer Woodring produced all of the artwork for the new CD, including his original design and sketch for the cover and came up with clever title of the CD.
So where does the band go from here?
“Right now, we are all getting along great and are trying to have fun with this,” Socha says. “We do hope to jump to a higher level of performance. We have our eye on opening act opportunities at Interlochen and things like that. Basically, we’ll have to wait to see where this new CD takes us.”
Splendid Havoc will kick off the release of their new CD with a performance on Saturday, July 3, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. out on the deck at the Holiday Inn in Traverse City. They will be performing several songs from the new CD, as well as several cover tunes.
Their new CD, “Pasticcio,” will be available at the Holiday Inn gig for $15 or can be purchased at Borders, New Moon Records and on the band’s website, www.splendidhavoc.com


 
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