Roster McCabe
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Roster McCabe

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Band Rock Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Roster McCabe"

This five-piece band has got this jam-rock meets soul-reggae meets Matisyahu-style quick-tongued delivery thing going on. - Telluride Daily Planet

"The Misadventures of Roster McCabe"

The original songs tend to see-saw up and down through big frenetic jams and mellow reggae breakdowns throughout the course of their extended, but not belabored song structures. The most distinguishing trait would be the lead vocals of keyboard player Alex Steele who brings a hip-hop, roosty reggae energy which easily staves away the dreaded "standard jam fare" label. It's a fresh approach, particularly for anyone who likes reggae music with a more energetic and improvisational bent. - Hidden Track

"5 Up and Coming Jam Bands"

Roster McCabe... mixing reggae, funk and guitar-rock... led by Steele's searing vocals and Daum's twisting guitar solos... [one of] five up-and-coming jam bands that could draw audiences to the festivals of tomorrow. - Billboard Magazine

"Roster McCabe (Tuesday, November 21, 2006, Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis)"

By Mike Minehart

When you follow a band for as long as I have, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect from them on any given night. Roster McCabe was one of the very first bands that got me into the Twin Cities local music scene, and to date I've attended more shows from them (22) than any other band. But not even a year's worth of gigs from these guys could have prepared me for what I was lucky enough to witness at the Fine Line Tuesday night.

Though originally a four-piece acoustic group, the departure of their former lead singer over the summer prompted moving percussionist Alex Steele from backing to lead vocals. The remaining trio, with Michael Daum (lead guitar) and Drew Preiner (acoustic guitar/backing vocals), decided to expand their sound by adding a drummer, bassist, and saxophone player to their lineup. Local singer/songwriter Ari Herstand also makes guest appearances on trumpet with them from time to time as well. The newly reborn Roster McCabe recorded their latest EP, Contradicting Gravity at the end of August and have been gigging hard around the Twin Cities ever since.

When I arrived at the Fine Line right at 9:15 p.m., Roster McCabe's scheduled starting time, I expected that the band would still be setting up for their set – from what I've seen, shows rarely ever seem to start on time no matter who is playing or where it's happening. To my surprise, they were midway through their first song, "See You Soon," and already had the crowd movin' and shakin' along to their smooth blend of funk rock and jam. Even more incredible to me was the fact that there was literally a crowd of about 200 people out for this show, and on a Tuesday night no less! I've been used to seeing these guys play more intimate shows for so long that I was amazed at how thick the crowd was, making it tricky to maneuver through the venue for good picture angles at times.

With their fan base out in full force, Roster McCabe gave the Fine Line yet another memorable performance on this night. Featuring the debut of lead singer/percussionist Steele performing on keys, the band put forth a heartfelt performance of songs from their EP mixed in with a few covers of artists such as Bob Marley and Matisyahu, which meshed in perfectly with their style of music. This was definitely helped by the fact that Steele is half-Jamaican, and he sported one of his custom hand-made T-shirts with the phrase "Just Be" in large, stenciled letters as his fashion statement for the night. Daum and Jason Parvey (saxophone) traded funky, smooth solos as Preiner and the rest of the band kept the crowd all in motion during their set. Herstand made an appearance at the end, pulling out his trumpet on "Constellations" and the fan favorite and final song of their set, "Last Call."

In the end, Roster McCabe is yet another local band on the rise, and on this night, they may have just taken the next step up on the proverbial ladder of the local music scene. Their set of jam/funk tunes, combined with a great crowd and a very colorful smoke and lighting setup made for something special this night at the Fine Line. - How Was The Show

"Roster McCabe Summerfest Review (By Steven Potter)"

Combining lyrics full of emotion with jazz, reggae and rock elements, first-time 'festers Roster McCabe brought a folksy mixture of music to the small but intimate Chipotle Rhythm Kitchen on Saturday.

Passers-by gravitated toward the group, drawn in by songs such as the mid-tempo "Burn Bright" and "Last Call," a tentatively hopeful track about commitment.

One of the standouts from the band's hourlong set was "The Traveler," a funky, fast-paced reggae jam that showcased the quintet's instrumental skills.

The Minneapolis band will headline the Rhythm Kitchen at 10 tonight. - Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

"Local Band Lends a Hand To Guster"

It's set to be their biggest local show ever - an estimated 3,000 fans.

Local act Roster McCabe will open for Guster and The Format tonight at the Lend a Hand Hear the Band concert sponsored by the Minnesota Student Association at Northrop Auditorium.

The band members, who started the group two years ago, said it was "dumb luck" that got them the gig with Guster.

"Having the gig has exceeded all of our expectations," vocalist Alex Steele said.

MSA student president Max Page said the band's popularity in the local scene helped motivate students to volunteer.

"We knew they had a big following on campus," he said. "They fit the same groove, and (the three bands) layer each other nicely."

Roster McCabe earned a student following by playing weekly reggae shows at the Steak Knife in Dinkytown.

Steele is known for his soulful voice, which can easily transition between rhythm and blues sounds to full-out reggae.

"Let's do this one Rasta McCabe style," Steele joked, warming up for a song Monday night while practicing in the basement of a Southeast Como home.

The band's members include Steele, guitarists Mike Daum and Drew Preiner, bassist Scott Muellenberg, saxophonist Jason Parvey and drummer Scott Zaker, who joined the group in January.

The new lineup has only been playing together a short time, but a weekly Thursday night show at Sally's Saloon and Eatery has given them time to settle into their style. They released an EP last year called Contradicting Gravity and plan to record a follow-up in the fall.

Zaker, who moved to Minnesota from California last fall, said they've been practicing like mad for the magnitude of the expected crowd.

The band is focused on moving beyond just acoustic songs, fusing jam, reggae, R&B, jazz and funk.

"We want to break through as many genres as possible and create a sound that makes people happy," Zaker said. "We practice and play more than most bands because we love what we do."
where to go

Roster McCabe
What: Local band
When: 10:30 p.m. every Thursdays and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 28.
Where: Sally's Saloon & Eatery
For more information, go to:

Currently unsigned, Preiner said marketing the band without a manager has been a frustrating learning experience, which often takes time away from getting to solely focus on making music. Networking with other artists is vital, he said.

Local artist Ari Herstand knew the band early on and has helped them feel out the local scene.

"I've seen them progress from a scripted tight harmonious sound to funk pop groove, with very good jam sensibilities," he said. "They're just starting to discover their sound." - The Minnesota Daily

"The Rhythm/The Elements CD Review"

Roster McCabe "The Rhythm/The Elements"
This band is possibly one of the most promising young bands on the independent scene today. You don't hear much about them, but you should, and it's quite possible that their new album will change all that. Roster McCabe is one part jam band, one part jazz band, and one part indie band. They mix together elements of all different types of music to create an incredibly unique sound. You can hear elements of bands like Dave Matthews Band and Guster as well as elements of melodic indie bands like The Shins and even Death Cab For Cutie. The album features eight incredibly different musical compositions including one heavily influenced reggae song ('The Traveler') and one instrumental ('Night Phoenix') which could be, musically, the album's best track. Regardless of your interests, there is something for everyone in Roster McCabe's sound and this album is a truly remarkable display of that. It's title, 'The Rhythm/The Elements', really fit's this album perfectly. -

"Minneapolis band offers an original and funky rhythm"

Take a chance on something that isn't as mainstream with this.

Do yourself a favor: Quit listening to FM radio airwaves playing Fergie two times an hour, every hour of the day. Stop paying MTV the attention it hasn't deserved since 1987. Stop secretly watching "Hannah Montana" on the Disney channel behind closed doors late at night.

Delete everything off of your iPod that sounds like Something Corporate or The Starting Line or has anything to do with panicking at discotheques. If there's anything with the words "Life", "House", "Nickel", or "Back" in the name of the band, get rid of that as well. Once you've detoxified yourself of these life-threatening ear-poisons, pop this in and hit repeat: The Rhythm/The Elements, by Roster McCabe.

This Minneapolis-based band is a delicious gumbo of jazz, funk and reggae with spicy hints of latin and indie all stirred up and heated to a unique perfection like no other. "The Rhythm/The Elements" is a follow up to Roster McCabe's 2006 EP, "Contradicting Gravity". The newer album is noticeably more mature and well-rounded, but still produces a sound designed to move the bodies of all its listeners.

It's hard to listen to these bouncy feel-good tunes and not have the strong urge to breakout into a spontaneous dance party. Roster McCabe's matchless sound is created by an obvious skill for collaboration among the band members. Keyboardist and lead singer, Alex Steele, provides soulful vocals that soar beautifully over the electrifying rhythm of Drew Preiner on guitar, lead guitarist Michael Daum's catchy riffs, and Jason Parvey's unexpected saxophone attack. Mix in Scott Muellenberg rockin' the bass, a few funky-good drum beats, and you have one of the best new independent bands on today's Minneapolis music scene. "The Rhythm/The Elements" is one of those rare CDs that you can listen to from start to finish without wanting to skip ahead to the next track.

The disc features eight original tracks, including "The Traveler", a song rich with body-swaying reggae beats; "Night Phoenix", an incredible instrumental track that is pure jam session; and "Southern Shore", the acoustic beauty that finishes off the album perfectly, taking it down a notch and leaving you in a chill state of being.

Laced in between all of those ear and body pleasers are fun, playful jazzy tunes that are sure to brighten your day and make you get up offa that thing (shake till you feel better). So get your hands on a copy of "The Rhythm/The Elements," invite some friends over, designate a dance party area, crack open a few beers, and have yourselves a real good time, mon.

This CD leaves you with a warm-happy-fuzzy feeling that lasts all night long and throughout the next day, even in these lovely Midwest negative winter wind chills. - Dakota Student

"Music Never Looked So Good"

By Brianna Conway

It's not very often there's something to do in Grand Forks on a Saturday night outside the 4-block radius of sub-par downtown night life, or a likely-to-get-busted house party on Cambridge Street. But this weekend, we're all in luck. The Loading Dock in the Memorial Union will be hosting a concert tomorrow night.

"Another pop/rock/indie/cover band playing at the Loading Dock?" you might be thinking, "What else is new? I'm peacin' out to the bars." No, no, UND, hold on - this is something you have never laid ears on before. Put down the aviators, cancel the Cab Crawler downtown, and read on…Roster McCabe will be bringing the funk and heating up the Loading Dock tomorrow night, Saturday April 26th. Hailing from Minneapolis, MN, Roster McCabe mixes a smooth, soulful blend of jazz, reggae, funk and progressive, with natural accents of love and passion.

"We all enjoy so many different types of music. We try to take elements that we love about those artists and put them into our own songs," says rhythm guitarist Drew Preiner, describing the mix as including "the funkiness of Earth Wind and Fire, the heartfelt lyrics of Norah Jones, the improvisation of Umphrey's McGee, and the excitement and franticness of Incubus." Some of the other bands and artists that have inspired the sounds of Roster McCabe include Steely Dan, Bob Marley, Phish, The String Cheese Incident, Dave Matthews Band, and The Police.

"The music we play takes a lot of great aspects from jazz, funk, rock, reggae and jam and fuses them together in a way that makes it impossible for you to keep your head from movin' with the beat," says lead singer and keyboardist Alex Steele, "It's just funky, uplifting music with a positive energy to it." Listening to Roster McCabe, you'll notice the obvious skill for collaboration among the band members. Alex Steele provides strong soulful vocals that flow smoothly over a fun, funky musical foundation. Laying down that musical foundation for Roster McCabe is lead guitarist Mike Daum, bassist and vocalist Scott Muellenberg, saxophonist Jason Parvey, rhythm guitarist and vocalist Drew Preiner, newcomer Jeff Peterson on the drums, and Steele also at the keyboard.

l of this combines to make a rich, unique sound that can be compared to no other. Roster McCabe has a rapidly growing fan base of college-aged students in the Midwest area. Last summer, they had the opportunity to play at the world's largest music festival - Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI. The twenty-six shows they played over the eleven day music festival got them a lot of attention. "We were able to build up a buzz which led to more and more people at our shows," says Preiner, "The great thing about Summerfest is that everyone is there to hear great new music. I think it was the perfect show for us because we have a sound that people weren't really used to hearing."

Just a couple months before Summerfest, Roster McCabe had the opportunity to open for Guster and The Format at the Northrop Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus. With nearly 3,000 people in attendance, it was by far the biggest crowd they had played in front of. "It was surreal," says Preiner, "We had only been Roster McCabe as we are today for six months. We were pretty nervous." Steele also comments on the experience, "It was a little overwhelming, but I think when you decide that you want to do music for a living, you have to be ready for every opportunity that is presented to you." Roster McCabe's CD, The Rhythm/The Elements, is an ear-pleasing, body-moving album full of soulful vocals, catchy riffs, and fun jazzy grooves, all dancing around lyrics addressing matters of love, sex, life and tranquility. With Daum coming up with the original ideas for Roster McCabe's songs, he and Steele and Preiner then work together to write the lyrics. Both lyrically and musically, The Rhythm/The Elements is full of feel-good tunes.

"The songs are an expression of life and what we as humans strive for," says Steele, "Something uplifting, of love and tranquility. We try to spread a positive message through our music." If you've heard Roster McCabe before, you know of the feel-good, happy, positive tunes that The Rhythm/The Elements encompasses. But have you experienced the feel-good, happy, positive tunes at a live show? It's a completely different (and even better) experience. "The album is a snapshot of how the songs lived in August of 2007," Preiner explains, "Since the songs are continuously evolving with new parts, new harmonies, and new jams, the songs at the shows are a snapshot of how that song is currently living. The songs never die and they never stand still. They are always running around, finding new messes to get into and new friends to hang out with," Preiner continues, "Maybe they'll hang out with Steely Dan or Umphrey's McGee. Maybe they'll hangout with Warren G and do some regulating. Or maybe they'll hang out with another one of our songs."

Preiner goes on to say, "We are continuously trying to make our performance better than the last because we are never satisfied." Roster McCabe's high-energy shows generate a pure happy, euphoric vibe that saturates the air and intoxicates every member of the audience. "We create smiles, singing, dancing and positive energy," says Steele, "It lifts the spirit. People come out to our shows and genuinely have a good time." I've seen it happen myself. Nobody ever leaves a Roster McCabe show unhappy, unless "nobody" includes Simon Cowell. That British bastard hates everyone.

But one of the most unique things about Roster McCabe, and what so many other bands out there today seem to miss, is the way they treat their fan base - as friends. It's apparent both before shows and after shows that the members of Roster McCabe are all very close to their fans. "We would rather have friends than fans any day, because friends will always support you," says Steele, "I think once you start treating fans like fans and not like friends, you lose sight of why you are on stage in the first place - it's to reach people on a higher level. We make it a point to meet as many people as we can after shows. It's humbling to know that people come out and really enjoy what we're doing. It's a great feeling, and we owe everything to them."

Roster McCabe has the ability to deliver a riveting live performance. Their love and passion for the music they create is so brilliantly intense that it can be seen, felt, heard, touched, and tasted by every member in the audience at their live shows. "The thing I like most about music is that it's the one language that is 100% universal," Steele says, "Everyone listens to music. Whether it's angry, happy, sad, filled with love, whatever - you don't need to know the language to feel those things. And that's why I do it."

Also playing with Roster McCabe at the Loading Dock tomorrow night is another Minneapolis-based band - The Alarmists. Boasting a sound of rock and roll with a twist of classic rock, The Alarmists draw inspiration from Tom Petty, The Beatles, Radiohead, Wilco, and Spoon. Like Roster McCabe, this is The Alarmists first trip out to UND. Lead singer Eric Lovold tells us what kind of show to expect. "If you like rock, you're going to get rock. If people aren't afraid to get up and dance, they might get an opportunity to do that too."

For those of you who haven't heard Roster McCabe or The Alarmists before, what are you waiting for? Head on over to their MySpaces and check them out before the show on Saturday night. "I think people are realizing now that music doesn't have to be found only on Clear Channel radio stations or on a top 40 chart," says Steele, "Independent artists are out there doing great things - you just have to find them. It's a power to the people movement."

Joe Blacks, Gilly's and Level 10 will all be exactly where they are next weekend - Roster McCabe will not be. So hit up the Loading Dock tomorrow night and show up fashionably late to your other Saturday night shindigs after the show, because this is something you will not want to miss. Regardless of what kind of music you listen to, The Alarmists and Roster McCabe show will be a good time for everyone. Show starts at 9:30pm, is free and is open to anyone and everyone. Two of the best bands on Minneapolis's independent music scene playing together? "Peace out, bars - I'm going to the Loading Dock." Yeah, that's what I thought.
- The Dakota Student


Live at the Cabooze Vol. 2 (2011)
Through Space & Time (2010)
Live at the Cabooze (2008)
The Rhythm/The Elements (2007)



Roster McCabe... mixing reggae, funk and guitar-rock... led by Steele's searing vocals and Daum's twisting guitar solos... [is one of] five up-and-coming jam bands that could draw audiences to the festivals of tomorrow. - BILLBOARD MAGAZINE

Roster McCabe sounds like no one and sounds like everyone. The second release of this three-year-old band, Through Space and Time demonstrates a deep, fresh, and inventive approach to modern music by twenty something musicians.

Recorded at the famed Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, Minnesota and mastered by renowned Brian "BigBassBrian" Gardner, this Minneapolis based quintet has created a new hybrid sound fusing the best of the past 50 years of music into a cohesive, singable multi-genre album. Masterfully dipping into reggae, disco, funk, rock, metal, pop, soul and R&B, summing up this album with a single style would be disingenuous and impossible.

The rhythm section made up of 25 year old Jeff Peterson on drums and 23 year old Scott Muellenberg on bass sound like they've been grooving together for 30 years. The flair of Peterson's drumming never interferes with the deep groove of each song- something sought after but rarely attained by flashy drummers. The metal-esque parallel guitar riffs throughout the album powerfully played by Drew Preiner and Michael David Daum offer a healthy juxtaposition to Alex Steele's soulful vocals.

From the inspiring reggae based "Swords" admitting in these uncertain times that "love might be the only solid ground" to the club-raver instrumental "Soar" including a guitar solo by Daum that sounds like it was lifted from a Manhattan jazz club in the 1970s, the depth of diversity within this collection of songs secures a full-length listen without fatigue.

While Roster McCabe live shows embrace extended arrangements and improvisation, in Through Space & Time each song was crafted with the aid of co-producer Chris Kalgren to highlight the best of what fans have loved about this band for years. Nashville songwriters could take cues from these melodies, while jazz players would marvel at the solos.

With the intricacies of the arrangements, details such as tones, lyrics, vocal harmonies and performances could have been over looked, but every element was meticulously fashioned with Kalgren and co- producer Paul Marino to fit perfectly into this album. Grammy nominated Marino, arguably one of the best mixing engineers in the world, managed to warmly utilize the full sonic sphere while still offering incredible clarity of each recorded element.

The finishing sonic touches were added by mastering engineer Brian "BigBassBrian" Garnder, who has worked with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Dr. Dre.

Through Space & Time reminds you why you love music. Listen with headphones for true ear candy. Funded by fan donations achieved through, Through Space & Time is truly an effort dedicated to Roster McCabe's loyal fan base, who made this endeavor possible.

Playing over 150 shows in 2010, Roster McCabe plans to continue to tour heavily in 2011 promoting this release.