Electric Soul Method
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Electric Soul Method

Band Jazz Funk


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Electric Soul Method @ Knickerbocker's

Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

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The best kept secret in music


Funk and soul haven't exactly been staples on the Lincoln music scene, but Electric Soul Method is doing its best to change that.

Formed three years ago, the six-piece band plays classic groove-oriented music and has developed a solid local following. Friday, it's holding a CD release party for "The Freedom Dilemma," a debut album that sounds like it is a record from a veteran group.

That's not just because the members of Electric Soul Method can really play — you can't fake funk and soul like you can three-chord rock 'n' roll. It's also because they have borrowed smartly from the '60s and '70s, taking the old sounds and making them their own.

"What we're trying to do is explain in music and lyrics what we feel about what's going on around us — like any good artist," said Joshua Hoyer, the band's primary songwriter. "Even though some of the ideas and (chord) changes are borrowed from the past, it's about our lives today and how we're reacting to life."

The theme of the record is reflected in its title, an 11-track effort at exploring freedom in relation to love, career and society in general. But "The Freedom Dilemma" isn't a political polemic. Rather, it's a complex view of life delivered with heart and passion.

Hoyer does some of the singing, but the vocal star of Electric Soul Method is Laniece Micek, who contributes soaring, soulful vocals along with some percussion.

"Laniece is just outstanding," Hoyer said. "Her talent is essential to our band. She's definitely more than just a female vocalist. I've been told you need to have that female presence on stage. But we don't think of her like that. She's key to the band. And I think our vocal harmonies work well together, too."

Micek sometimes writes the words she sings, but Hoyer penned seven of the 11 tracks on the CD by himself.

"The majority of them come to me in full form," Hoyer said. "I'll hear them in my head and I go write it out. I'll hear the changes, then write out the words."

Hoyer got turned on to the world of jazz and blues in his first year of high school when he was placed in a jazz singing group. Then he lived in New Orleans for a time — "in New Orleans, there's a lot of funk," he said — and also spent some time in Oregon.

In the past three years, Electric Soul Method has been Hoyer's musical outlet. The band's membership has changed over that time. The current lineup of Hoyer, Micek, Nick Semrad on vocals and keyboards, Lucas Kellison on vocal and bass, Kyle Armes on drums and Luke Polipnick on guitar has been together for four months.

Electric Soul Method has built a strong local following: There are about 200 people on the band's e-mail list, and they usually draw large crowds to local venues.

"When we play the Zoo Bar, it's usually packed or at least pretty full," Hoyer said. "Up in Omaha, we're starting to build a following, too. But it's hard for us to find a venue in Omaha, because we're not blues or indie or whatever."

Tonight, Electric Soul Method is at the Royal Grove, a far larger room than The Zoo. The band has lined up old-school hip-hop group The Thoughtless Poets, Fuel Tank for a Sex Machine, another groove/funk-oriented band, and Columbia, Mo.'s Bockman, a popular jam ban,d to join them on the 8:30 p.m. show.

This summer, Electric Soul Method will begin playing outside Nebraska, with a tour that will take it to Minneapolis, Chicago and the Upper Midwest already in the works. That makes "The Freedom Dilemma" essential as both a marketing tool to send to clubs for possible gigs and for extra income on the road.

"It'll be gas money," Hoyer said.

Reach L. Kent Wolgamott at 473-7244 or kwolgamott@journalstar.com.

If you go

What: Electric Soul Method with Bockman, Fuel Tank for a Sex Machine, The Thoughtless Poets
Where: Royal Grove, 340 W. Cornhusker
When: 8:30 p.m. Friday
Tickets: $5
- Lincoln Journal Star


Live Pandemonium, currently unavailable.
The Freedom Dilemma, available at shows and Homer's in Lincoln and Omaha.


Feeling a bit camera shy


In a town where music fans are fickle at best, Electric Soul Method has created a diverse, loyal following. Highlighted by a 300 plus CD Release show and opening for Karl Denson, ESM has made steady progress over the past year and a half. ESM is known for it's infectious grooves and it's exceptional musicianship. Each player could star in their own band and probably will sometime soon. Each lead is a testament to the dedication these guy's have to their artform.
ESM is a diamond in the rough, and a force to be reckoned with.