Ivy Hill
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Ivy Hill


Band Rock Funk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"An Eclectic Collective Sound- Ivy Hill steps out of the mold"

By Erica Febre

With a six-piece band, it’s easy to figure why Ivy Hill doesn’t quite fit into a single genre. Each member brings a different sound to the game.

Together for almost a year now, Ivy Hill is Lori Kirk on lead vocals, beat box and visuals; Brendan Murphy on bass; Tung Pham on trumpet; Kevin Wallack on Wurlitzer, keys and saxophone; Gavin Paddock on drums, and percussion; and Mike Lacourse on guitar.

“Originally we wanted to do a pop thing. We followed the pop vein with simple stuff and catchy things over the songs,” Lacourse said.

“But, after we started practicing together and bringing the music together as a collective, that was when we branched out into a more jazz sound. It really just spawned something that was completely new for us too but really unique,” he said.

The members of Ivy Hill define themselves as an eclectic funky, jazz, and R&B collaboration. If they had one main goal, it would to get people grooving and dancing. Lacourse, who began playing with Kirk years before Ivy Hill was formed, had a foresight of where the music would take them.

“Lori has a really distinct voice and style that’s different from anything out there. I wanted to complement that, so I kind of had the instrumentation in mind already. The sound that we could accomplish would be possible through the key-boards and horns along with the classic band lineup of bass, guitar, and drums,” Lacourse said. Kirk, the leading lady, describes Ivy Hill as drawing from all those jazz, R&B and fun influences, but she also mentions Latin and Reggae influences helping to form a hearty groove.

“We have a couple slower ballads, we have funk and reggae songs, every kind of music, we have something for everyone. We really don’t fit into one genre but there are a lot different genres that fit into our music,” Kirk said.

Last October, Ivy Hill competed in a battle of the bands at Milly’s Tavern in Manchester. They won the competition, earning a chance to return and compete against another six bands.

Lacourse claims that Ivy Hill likes to play with rock bands because it catches the audience off guard. In the midst of all the hardcore screaming rock and metal, Ivy Hill takes the stage and presents a different jazz-like, funky groove.

-January 11, 2007

- Hippo Press

"They're Living On The Edge"

By Kevin Hakansson

A college campus is the perfect breeding for lots of up and coming groups playing certain styles of music. While rock bands, hip-hop acts, and even pop singers easily identify with the college age bracket as their target audience, some other more underground styles may not be as easy to bring to the attention of the youthful undergrad. This is a fact known, and just as quickly ignored, by Ivy Hill.

Many Groups have humble beginnings, and Ivy Hill is no exception. The band formed just this past March, with one simple goal in mind.
"We started with a goal of the Battle of the Bands in mind." keyboardist Kevin Wallack remembers. Wallack, a junior Music Business major, says that while the band knew from the beginning that they would continue playing out, producing a demo for Umass Lowell's annual Battle of the Bands was the first priority. The hard work paid off, as the band placed second.
The initial purpose of starting Ivy Hill was to create a band for vocalist Lori Kirk. "Originally it was a project for Lori Kirk to have her own songs played by a band," says trumpeter Tung Pham, a 2006 UML graduate.
"It kind of spawned into something different. We all started contributing musically and creatively."

The band continued practicing through the end of last semester into the summer, with a very collective approach to their songwriting.

"Every song we do is spawned from one person's idea, and the we add to it," Wallack says.

Ivy Hill's sound is firmly rooted in funk and R&B. Pham, who last year earned his degree in music performance, brings a well trained, experienced horn to the group. Bassist Brendan Murphy, a senior Sound Recording Technology major, provides a rumbling low end, classmate Mike Lacourse brings a wide variety of musical experience to his guitar, and recent addition Gavin paddock is known to be one of the most musical drummers in the area.

"Everyone in the group has different musical tastes, so it's hard to pinpoint exactly where our influences come from." Pham says, illustrating the eclectic minds that comprise Ivy Hill.

Kirk, the only non-music major in the group, draws a lot of influence from pop singers such as Mariah Carey, while Pham and Wallack are both jazzheads.

Having played all sorts of venues and stages at UML, Ivy Hill is hoping to branch out.

"In general, our goal is to play as much as possible, like any band," Wallack says, adding that the band is still working to identify its core audience.

However, Ivy Hill is not like any band. Their eclectic style and set of members make them one of the most unique engaging acts you'll find on campus.

-September 2006 - Umass Lowell Connector

"WERS Interview"

August 11, 2007

There’s a moment in The Simpsons where the overachieving Lisa is upset that she has become the second best student in her class. When coming to terms with her new status, she daydreams of a group called “The Second Best Band.” Her fellow band mates are Art Garfunkel, John Oates and Jim Messina. I only bring this up because some bands would feel discouraged after coming in second for so long, but not Boston’s Ivy Hill.

The group says that they’ve played a lot of Battle of the Bands competitions and have gotten very good at coming in second place, but they don’t seem any worse for wear due to their “born to runner-up” status.

With a nice blend of funk, rock, jazz, Latin and pop Ivy Hill have enough to go on until they make it to the summit of that loneliest number. On the track “Donde Estabas,” the group’s already funktastic song borrows the same horn section from The Chi-Lites’ “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)” that Beyonce used for her hit 2003 "Crazy in Love." Ooh, funky! Lookout, Paul Simon, Kenny Loggins and Daryl Hall.


-Nick Stefanovich - 88.9FM WERS Boston


Ivy Hill (November 2007) Coming soon!

Ivy Hill played live on WERS 88.9 FM Local Music Week (August 2007) -Songs: Sonic Pasta; Donde Estabas; Lady Anonymous

Demo EP (August 2006) -Track List: My My My; Prove Me Wrong; Fake Love Song; Sonic Pasta


Feeling a bit camera shy


With their energy-packed performances, irresistibly catchy melodies, and infectiously danceable grooves, Ivy Hill has been amazing audiences with a fun blend of rock, R&B, funk, jazz, Latin, and pop.

Lead singer/songwriter Lori Kirk commands the stage with her dynamic range of vocal skills, from smooth singing, to powerhouse belting, to lively storytelling, to sassy rapping, even to old-school beat-boxing. “I like to take the R&B melodies and melismas of Mariah Carey and Alicia Keys and mix it with rocker energy,” says Lori. “People are often surprised that a female front person has so much energy. Guys aren’t the only ones who can rock out, sweat under hot lights, and head bang!”

Energy is not the only quality Ivy Hill can boast of. Since most band members studied music in college, Ivy Hill is infused with skilled musicianship and talent. Guitarist Mike Lacourse, trumpeter Tung Pham, keyboard/saxophone player Kevin Wallack, bassist Frank Anes, and drummer Andy Fordyce combine their diverse musical backgrounds and talents to create stylish music that perfectly compliments Lori’s powerful voice. Notes guitarist Mike Lacourse: “The best thing about our band is that we find inspiration in each other. When one of us has an idea, we all pick up on it right away, working together to build it into something memorable.” With such talent in the band, it’s easy for Ivy Hill to create fresh, innovative music with timeless appeal. Says Lori: “I like to think that we’re doing something original with the spirit of Motown in our back pockets.”

With originality and creativity as their foundation, Ivy Hill has been able to expand their music across genres, bringing in a little something for everyone to enjoy. Their songs range from the mellow grooves of “Fake Love Song,” to the party-starting “Sonic Pasta,” to the Latin fusion of “Donde Estabas,” to the reggae tinged “Play My Song,” to the juicy vocal showcase in “My My My,” and so much more. “Listening to our music is like filling your cup with every soda in the soda fountain,” says keys/sax player Kevin Wallack. “It’s tasty, refreshing, and fun.”

From stylish clubs such as Felt in Boston, to crowded bars like Captain Carlo’s in Gloucester, to the most popular venues around Boston such as The Middle East, TT the Bears, and The Paradise Rock Club, people enjoy the music of Ivy Hill. “Our music is for everyone and anyone who wants to dance and feel good,” says trumpeter Tung Pham. “Whether we play a hip club or a local bar, our music appeals to so many different people that we make fans everywhere we go.”

With a self-produced, self-titled LP currently in the works for release this fall, plenty of shows lined up, and a steadily growing fan base, Ivy Hill is looking forward to a successful future. “Although we’ve just scratched the surface, I’m already having the time of my life,” says bassist Frank Anes. “When you love what you do, there is no limit to what you can accomplish, and we all love this gig.”