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Band World Reggae


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"Connected Does It Again"

A staple of the Santa Cruz music scene for four years now, Connected continues to dribble succulent, funky juju from its very pores. This trio's three-part harmony-laden jams span many styles, the common thread being a groove that was born with a party in its pants. With this their third album in almost as many years, Connected has proven that they are as effective in the studio as they are on the stage. Local surf hounds Epicure open at the 21 and over release celebration for Connected's new Chaos & Harmony disc. Free CD's for the first fifty through the door, and libations abound. - The Good Times (Santa Cruz)

"Connected @ Margaritaville"

There are few better antidotes to the bone-chilling and mood-killing effects of a cold winter night in Santa Cruz than a good margarita and the bright, mellow sounds of Santa Cruz-based band Connected. You can find this sun-envoking combination when the trio comes to Margaritaville in the Capitola Village. Featuring Nick Handley on guitar, Mick Butow on bass, and Larry Brooks on drums, Connected has been often called Santa Cruz's "hardest working band," having played more than 200 shows in the last year. The result of this experience is a very tight, yet comfortable sound that promises to coax more than a few out onto the dance floor. With shades of reggae and mellow ska, Connected will play songs from their two albums, "Connected" and "For the Moment," as well as their own twists on popular covers. The show will be a "Pimp and Ho" theme with costume prizes awarded, so be sure to skank it up.
-HUNTER HOLCOMBE- - Good Times Santa Cruz

""Favorite Bands of 2003""

Connected has established the reputation as the hardest working band in Santa Cruz, playing more shows per week than most bands play per month. They have created a tightness that can only be accomplished with such a persistent live gig schedule. They have also managed to realease two cd's (Connected and For The Moment) within a couple months of each other, which is a huge accomplishment in itself. There is no dought that this Santa Cruz based three piece are on their way to something big. The music is just too smooth and good feeling for the masses not to love. - Your Music Magazine

"Viva's new Thursday night house band mixes it up"

Connected brings it's show to Viva Monterey every Thursday night-and every Thursday night it's a different show. The promotional poster for the show advertises "Reggae and Hip Hop" over an image of palm trees on a tropical atoll. I thought this meant that Connected would be a turntablist playing dub versions of Bob Marley songs. Actually, Connected is a band with a turntablist. But every week Connected's lineup changes.

When I saw the band last Thursday, the core group of guitarist, drummer, bassist and turntablist were joined by a guy playing congas and a timable player named Django, from the Santa Cruz reggae band Free Energy.

Sometimes, someone from the crowd would jump up on-stage and start freestyling.

"A lot of the time we ask people from the crowd to flow or sing." says drummer Larry Brooks. Connected's unpredictability adds to the bands's upbeat energy; the guy pounding drinks at the bar might be rocking the mic on the next tune.

Connected also takes a freewheeling approach to the Thursday night time slot. Rather than play the whole night, the band invites other local and regional bands to take the stage and surprise guests. Past guest bands have included the CUSMB rock band Phicus and Santa Cruz's Epicure.

Last Thursday, the guest band didn't show, so Connected played the full 10-until-1am set of sets. They hit the stage with a mix of reggae, hip hop and rock; sometimes playing all the styles in the same song. I immediately thought of Sublime. My colleague from work, himself a musician, was pleasantly surprised that the band was so tight.

After playing a few groove-laden original compositions, the group launched into a great version of the Police's "So Lonely." On the next song, another original, singer/guitarist Nick Handley spent most of the song dancing to the rhythms being created behind him, while adding a little bit of wah-wah guitar to the mix. It was cool.

The band was formed a couple years ago when old pals Brooks and Butow started working together at Guitar Showcase in San Jose. They added guitarist/singer Nick Handley and a year later the group played it's first official show at the Catalyst opening up for Dub Congress. All of the band members write songs and play more then one instrument.

In Connected's early days, the band members would confuse the audience by switching instruments every few songs, but now the band members try to stick to one instrument to solidify their sound.

Connected just finished an eight-song self-produced album that the band will sell at shows and at local record stores.

Brooks, a Monterey native, is hoping that Connected can help pull CSUMB college students to downtown Monterey. So far, Connected has definitely impressed one Monterey resident: Viva owner Vince LaRocca has hired the band to play every Thursday for the rest of the summer.

- Coast weekly Monterey


"ConnecteD" self-titled debut (2003)
"For The Moment" (2004)
"Chaos & Harmony" (2005)



Since their formation in the summer of 2001, Connected has managed to elevate themselves through the industry ranks to becoming a self managed, full-time band. In their five years of existence, this band has achieved goals such as recording three full length albums, developing an extensive fan base all over California, building many solid business relationships with venues of all sorts, appearing on television shows, opening for national acts, and generating enough revenue through their band to be able to solely play music for a living. Needless to say, Connected has set their goals high in their musical careers.

As difficult as it is in the music business, Connected maintains a very rigorous and persistent schedule to keep their business flowing in the positive. Connected averages 250 shows a year, sometimes having as many as ten a week. Their second album release "For the Moment" has sold over 3000 copies and has consistent rotation on many college radio stations throughout California. In the January 2004 issue of Your Music Magazine, Connected was voted Santa Cruz's favorite and hardest working band.
In 2005, Connected released their third opus, entitled "Chaos & Harmony". The album has been doing well in sales and has three songs being played on various college stations around the state.
Currently Connected is working on it's fourth and most ambitious album that is set for release in Summer of this year.
"One of Connected's most valued traits is their ability to adapt to any situation," said Tristan Mclarty, general manager of Santa Cruz hot spot Margaritaville. With a very tightly polished musical product, Connected can play any type of venue. From large night clubs to small intimate settings, this band plays them all. Another not so typical attribute is their ability to play either electric or acoustic sets depending on what the venue and crowd desire. This quality always makes the Connected experience new and surprising.

With over one hundred songs in their repertoire, Connected is able to keep an audience captivated by playing both groovy originals, and eclectic classic covers with a modern spin. After years of trying to describe their sound, Connected has finally coined the expression "tropical funk." This statement is personified by their large fan base consisting of people ranging from children to senior citizens, and everything in between.

A quartet, Connected consists of Nick Handley on rhythm guitar, Mick Butow on bass, Sam Fischer on lead, and Kevin Burklund on drums. Handley and Butow trade the lead vocal role throughout the set while Fischer completes the three-part harmonies reminiscent of days past. "The harmonies have really helped set us apart and added a certain depth that people really respond to", comments co-founder Mick Butow.
Here are what some of the people who do business with Connected on a regular basis had to say in regards to their consumate professionalism:

"Connected is one of the lowest maintenance bands that play at our club. They are very easy to work with"
-Nicole GarciAguire-
( Booking Agent for 99 Bottles Night Club, Santa Cruz, CA)

"Connected always comes in here ready to go and with a definite understanding of how to make me money. I wish all the acts I employ could be as effective for my business as Connected."
-Matt Brushman-
(Owner of Bay Bar & Grill
Capitola, CA)

"These guys are so much fun and good energy, I just want to clock off and party with the rest of the crowd when they get going."
-Guy Matejka-
(General Manager of Mr. Rick's Night Club
Avila Beach, CA)