By Jack Pine
Its an early December night at Lil Bo Pub and Grille in TC. Outside it
is cold, snowy, and the roads are slick. Inside, singer Dawn Campbell is
trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with their sound system.
None of this is doing anything to mess with the enthusiasm she has for her
new band, The Bohemians.
I want foremost, a band that isnt like any other in Traverse City,
Campbell says. I want this to be groovy, I want people to dance to it;
but I want people to hear songs they dont hear on the radio.
The Bohemians include Campbell on vocals, Ron Getz on guitar, Ralph Humes
on bass and Roger Tarczon on drums. They describe their sound as soul
with room for improvisation. They play covers by Sade, Stevie Wonder,
Steely Dan and Jimmy Cliff, but a lot of their material comes from less
obvious R & B sources, such as Van Hunt and Jill Scott.
This band just has a different feel, Campbell continues. It is not
blues, it is not jazz, it is extremely soulful, rhythmic and
cross-generational. I want this to be music that no matter what age you
are you can relate to it.
Ron Getz has been performing with Campbell on and off some 20 years,
mostly in blues and rock bands.
This is different kind of music, Getz says, while tuning his guitar. It
is kind of R&B, but more like modern R&B. It is really a dance band.
The issues with the PA get resolved and the Bohemians are up and running.
They play a reworked arrangement of Sades No Ordinary Love, Steely
Dans Peg, the reggae classic Stir it Up and their Jill Scott and Van
Hunt songs. Its a different scene than the week before when the Bohemians
packed the place the night before Thanksgiving, but most everybody that
managed to get out of the house are up dancing and feeling the beat.
Its been a while since Campbell and Getz have teamed up, but the formula
is pretty simple. Strong singer, a rhythm section that grooves, and Getz
on guitar, who tears it up in a band like this. If you havent heard him
recently this band is good chance to be reminded how good he is again.
Not content to be just a cover band, Campbell is most excited about
playing new material and more of their own originals.
People are getting up and dancing to songs they havent heard before.
Campbell says. If you play good quality music and you have something to
bring to the table, people are going to be drawn to it.
The Bohemians are playing Wednesdays at Lil Bo, including their special
advance New Years Eve Party on December 23. They also perform Thursdays
at Holiday Inn West Bay.