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"What People Are Saying!!"

"This is a live band...these guys really jam!"

"REK keeps you feet never stopped!"

"Rock, funk,'s all there!"

"Why don't rock bands play music like this anymore?"

"Led Zep meets Pink Floyd"

"Good musicianship and funky good" - Fans and local press

"The Haight's REK Jam, Rocks On Second CD"

UPPER HAIGHT — On the edge of the Upper Haight, just below the panhandle is a house best distinguished by its address. No sign announces the SleepyHouse, nom de guerre of the studio and crashpad of REK, a rock outfit that reclaims jamming from jam-bands and independence from the indy scene.

The group fits into neither genre but is adept at both qualities, and they prove it with their latest release, “Live @ The Last Day Saloon.” The CD, which debuted at the San Francisco venue on Nov. 4, captures the live energy that’s motored by Scotty “K” Taylor whose drumming runs circles around monotony, even during two 10-plus minute songs.

Bassist Eric Kermode lays punchy lines on tracks like “Spitshine,” creating a churning rhythm that closes out the record. In concert, the two build a damn sturdy foundation for the three-piece, managing to fill in the bottom solidly even in the adverse recording conditions in which the record was cut. According to front-man Rich Ciccotelli they just “messed with the EQ and released it” in order to have something new. (Their self-titled debuted in January 2003.)

“We’re playing music that we like to listen to,” say Ciccotelli “We tend to get a little spacey.” This is true of many of the guitar leads on the album like those on “Turkish Coffee,” but the overarching sound on the CD is groove-driven funk-rock. Chunky, bluesy influences are apparent and unsurprising given the band’s stomping grounds in the shadows of murals paying tribute to Jimi, Janice and Jim. The trio’s jazz roots are also apparent, especially in two tracks featuring the horn of guest Russell Blaine. A three-set evening at Jitney’s Bar & Beat Lounge allowed them to “get into a little swing,” said Ciccotelli, covering Coltrane’s version of “My Favorite Things.”

Their sound resists becoming sporadic despite their range of influences. “The audience is already dancing,” Kermode explains, “and then we move into something heavier and they stay dancing.” It’s a quality that allows them to blend crowds, but he adds, “If they’re just a bunch of rockers, we can rock them.”

REK has begun working on their next studio album, which they say is still a few months in the making. Their style dictates that they lay down a slough of tracks and then carefully pick through to find the right takes, not just for the individual song, but for the album as a whole. “It doesn’t have to be Dark Side,” says Ciccotelli, “but the album has a certain order and we have to find it . . . like a puzzle” Their challenge will be creating a studio-quality album that captures the energy of the live show as well as their recent release. As Ciccotelli reckoned, “It needs to sound like these guys are having fun.” So far so good.

By Cliff Agocs
Nov 30,2004 - San Francisco Observer


REK - self-titled debut CD 2002
REK - Live @ Milk 2003
REK - The Lost Atomic Space Tapes 2004
REK - 3 Song Demo EP 2004
REK - Live @ The Last Day Saloon 2004
REK - Live @ House Of Shields 2007



REK is a four piece heavy groove, Psychedelic funk-rock band of experienced and savvy players from San Francisco. REK brings influences from jazz and funk to create original rock music that truly moves people. Composed of veterans of the North coast music scene REK is an up and coming powerful band with an ever increasing following stretching from Portland to L.A.

REK's music can be heard featured on the public television cooking series The Hippy Gourmet airing nationally on PBS.

REK feels at times like they belong in another era, before generic radio rock, and people often say, "why don't people play music like this anymore?".

Rich has been playing guitar for over 20 years. He formed his first band at the age of twelve and immediately began writing songs. Starting with three chord, AC/DC type rock tunes, he quickly developed into a hard rock madman. By High School, Rich's band Tantrum was the best known young metal band in his hometown in New York. After ten years of playing the Tri-state circuit, Tantrum split ways and Rich moved to San francisco in 1994. Since then, The SleepyHouse, the house where he lives in the Haight/Ashbury District, has been a place for many to jam and form musical bonds with other great players. Rich formed the collective The SleepyHouse Records, and it's web site, as a way to promote the projects and artists involved. The SleepyHouse continues to branch out and grow.

If you listen closely, Russ can often be heard in various music halls and cafes throughout the Bay Area. He has played in several San Francisco-based groups over the past few years, most recently Izum and RnR. In addition to meddling on the Rhodes, he especially enjoys surprising listeners by floating his trumpet sound out where it is least expected.

Our drummer Mark Grupé hails from Virginia but has spent the past few years in New Mexico and Yosemite. He is finally putting his roots down in San Francisco while laying down REK’s rhythmic foundation. Mark gets his inspiration and style from old school proggers like Yes, Genesis, and Marillion. He is expanding his style through ensembles at the Jazz School in Berkeley.