By Anna Bryson
The newly-formed jam band Speak Easy showcased its folksy, get-on-your-feet-swinging sound for the first time, at Ale and the Witch last week.
The band is mostly made up of USF students and explores different types of music, fusing rock, alternative and other genres to form their own sound.
Bassist Brendon Porter, a sophomore majoring in biology at USF St. Petersburg, cites the Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers Band as influences.
Other members of the former band Avenue Icon, Speak Easy consists of Eric Yoder on guitar and vocals and Karekin Sahagian, industrial engineering junior at USF Tampa, on keyboard and vocals.
It’s apparent from watching them perform together and banter back and forth that there is a good blend of both friendship and musicianship. The up close and personal setting made for an intimate connection with the fans.
The band’s goal is to create something new that can appeal to a wide variety of people.
“We strive to have a personal connection with our fans,” said Porter. “We’re grateful for the support we’ve received and the amazing people around. We’ve met so many shining faces.”
The Tampa Bay area is an exploding cultural arts scene, no doubt, and Speak Easy is thrilled to be a part of that.
Porter said the band is loyal to their city and wants to be involved in the community by collaborating with other creatives and helping each other move up.
Eric Yoder, 20, Karekin Sahagian, 20, and Brendon Porter, 19, of the jam band Speak Easy debuted their first show Nov. 9 at Ale and the Witch. Anna Bryson | The Crow’s Nest