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"It's All About The Fans"

Amps 11 Magazine
January 2006

The darkened concert hall is sweetened with the heat of hundreds of bodies. The lights go out. The screams begin. A subtle reddish glow crawls from the darkness of the stage, giving a softened definition to the sea of fans crowding at its footlight. They are ready for a show. Through the shadows the four emerge bathed in a ruby aura. The screams increase. Through the cacophony of voices, familiar phrases swim in the thickened air. The singer smiles, lookingback over his shoulder. Drumsticks set the pace and the sound of a guitar whips through the speakers, joined by a thunderous choir of bass and percussion. The show begins. From the first note of the set to the fading applause after the encore, the audiencemoves with every lyric, ever guitar lick and by theirenthusiasm and support they take the band to a higher place and push the performance to the next level. The fans werejust as much a part of this show as the band itself. And the band loves them for this.

The band in question, a Charlotte based quartet known as Simplified, know that it’s the fans that make then a success. More so, they feel truly humbled and blessed by the support they receive. In just two years together, Simplified have built this loyal following through a highly successful formula of musical talent, great songwriting, and over 200 live shows together. Despite having little to no local media coverage, Simplified have become one of the largest drawing acts in the area. Simplified have been able to do something most local bands have struggled with: building and maintaining a strong fan base. Charlotte, despite being the largest city in North Carolina, falls far behind many other cities in the state as a hotbed of artistic endeavors. But there is talent here, a lot of talent. The music scene is as diverse and strong as any other city in the southeast. Yet, most bands go unnoticed by the general population. So how did Simplified surpass this stigmata and build such a successful grass roots following? Lets talk fans. Walk into any Simplfied show and you will notice something… diversity. From the bumping and grinding of georgous groupies toe the approving nods of the ‘old school’ rockers, it seems that Simplified have been able to create a sound with wide appeal. And everywhere they play, their fanbase grows. As Chris Sheridan, guitarist of Simplified puts it, "… what blows me away is that almost every new city we play in, someone seems to have already heard our music. Whether it is a friend who passed a CD along to them, or they saw us somewhere else, it never fails, someone always know us."

Just like any business, the guys have always believed that the key to building a successful following is marketing. "You can have the greatest band in the world, but if you don’t market yourselves correctly, you will never get anywhere. ", states Lynch, the bassist of the band. "You need to utilize every toolat your disposal. The internet, merchandise, name recognition, and word of mouth are absolutely essential if you want people to take notice. You can’t just sit around and wait for someone to hand success to you. You have to work for it, and work hard."

Simplified will be holding a CD Release Party at the Visulite Theater in Charlotte on January 20 to celebrate the unceilingof the aptly titled Live At The Visulite, a collection of 14 original live tracks. This is a show you should not miss. The newCD will be available at and music stores throughout the southeast.- N.E. Smithfor more information on - N.E. Smith

"Live At The Visulite CD Review"

Amps 11 Magazine
February 2006
CD Review – Simplified “Live At The Visulite”

The boys of Simplified are road dogs. They play hard and often, and the seasoning that comes only with experience has never more apparent in this band than it is on their new live CD, Live At The Visulite, recorded here in Charlotte. Every member of this band is phenomenal and what’s more phenomenal is that they have found each other and formed such a powerful musical infrastructure. Lead singer, Clee Laster, has the ability to ease you into every track with his cool vocal style that draws you into the lyrics rather than forcing them down your throat like so many singers/screamers do these days. Chris Sheridan, lead guitarist, shines in every song with scorching leads reminiscent of the Black Crowes. But even though his licks are just as memorable as the lyrics, they don’t over power the song; they simply compliment it. Chris Lynch and Tim Lail on bass and percussion respectively are probably one of the best rhythm sections I’ve ever heard, keeping the energy high by dancing all over the progression of each song, but at the same time holding every thing together, never missing a beat. With 15 original tracks, Live At The Visulite demonstrates Simplified’s ability to not only hang with the best of the jambands, but also to orchestrate and execute a well put together original tune from beginning to end.
- Seth Boulton

"Upcoming Columbia, SC Show Review"

Free Times Magazine
February 1, 2006

This Charlotte band has only been together for a couple of years, but they have put out 3 CDs, including this month’s Live At The Visulite. Two of these releases, in fact, have been live albums, pointing to the band’s strength as a stage unit. They seem well suited to the club environment, with a healthy dose of Southern rock grooves holding up a sound that borrows from Ben Harper, Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise and even Edwin McCain, without sounding too much like any one of them. - Kevin Oliver

"Good Songs; Exciting Performances!"

May 2004

Like their name suggests, the band Simplified cuts through the usual music business fad-type bullshit to give music lovers just what true music lovers want: good songs and exciting live performances. No more, no less. And isn’t that enough?

Not only is this lack of pretense refreshing, but it is about time some band finally got it right and dispensed with the needless hoopla usually found with most successful performing artists. For once, there are no attitudes or preening egos, just four talented musicians whose sole purpose for being there is creating good music and making their audience happy. It does sound… er, simple, doesn’t it? It begs the obvious question of why other bands seem to have such a problem with it while Simplified does it so well.

To be honest, the name Simplified is a misnomer, a dichotomy. While Simplified excels at making their music seem accessible, the band’s music actually is very complex in it’s origins and development. Each member of the band brings their own varied set of influences to the mix, though two bandmembers may stand out a little more than the rest. Clee Laster (vocals and guitar) and Chris Sheridan (electric and acoustic guitar) were there first, starting their professional relationship as an acoustic duo in Charlotte, gaining a measure of fame thanks to Laster’s soulful vocals and Sheridan’s agile guitar playing. Eventually, the two found musical soulmates in bassist Chris Lynch and drummer (also the newest member) Tim Lail and Simplified began their quest to conquer the music business.

Since then, the band has won over tons of fans without any of the gimmicks that most bands use. In Simplified’s case, it is all about creating solid songs and honest rock music that makes you want to dance and have a great time. It sounds easy enough, but most bands fail miserably and it is only the rare few that can actually turn a night out at a local watering hole into an experience your tell your friends about in the morning.

For those seeking out transcendent rock music without any BS, you would do yourself well to check out Simplified at this months event and whenever the band plays near you. Believe me, you will not regret it. - Scott Homewood

"Press Quotes"


Regarding the release of the debut EP : ACT 1 and the official CD Release Party :
"The release of Act 1 marks a mature and fully realized sound for the Charlotte quartet. No flash and fire here, no arm wrestling with the neck of the guitar to spew heavy riffs, just rock laced with roots sentiments and even some reggae thrown in for a tropical vibe."
(The CD Release party received a BEST BET star)
Creative Loafing (Charlotte Edition)
October 27, 2004

Regarding the song All Along The Way (from ACT 1) :
“The song mines the territory made famous by Dick Dale and the Ventures. Its not surf music, it has these cool latin undertones. This is absolutely killer, the slight raspiness of the singer's voice complemented with the silky yet somewhat gritty guitar tones are just a brilliant combination. I must play it again. I think the way this is produced is very effective, the slight low-fi and faint delay on the vocal works like a charm. The drums, bass and guitar parts are just so well meshed, its so well put together, so tight, the arrangement is beautiful, natural, flows like blood through my veins. And no dicking around, say what you came to say and finish it off with a fluourish. I love it. A big 5 and you deserve it.”
Reviewed by: slimjimmie
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

“From the production to the tight performance to the smooth, offhand performance of the singer, this song is a nicely polished gem. Thanks to a solid and swinging rhythm section) the bossa feel is nicely stated—but it's not overdone to the point where the song sounds like a cheesy '60s cha cha. Expecially liked the Instrumental interlude between the first chorus and second verse, the nice solo, and tasteful bridge—great job!”
Reviewed by: SpeakLanguage
Mahopac, New York

Some other notable quotes :
“Truth in advertising here, as Simplified eschews the fancy for funky with an EP of seven songs mostly about the ladies. Chicks who "wiggle," chicks who "jiggle," chicks who giveth and chicks who taketh away. Not exactly N.O.W. (National Organization of Women) material, but it's safe to say that's not who's listening to this radio-friendly fare. “
Creative Loafing - Various

"Comments from the Simplified Forum"

Comments taken from the Simplified Website Forum:

“…I try every weekend to see a live band or hit some small venue and I would venture to say I have seen over 100 live bands in the past 10 months, you guys by far are the best, as a matter of fact I paid over 250.00 a ticket to see the eagles a few month's ago and I enjoyed your show better than theirs. I talked with all of you at one point of the show and I was very impressed with the attitude of all the band members. one thing I noticed and pointed out to a friend of mine was the fact that every member of the band enjoyed what they were doing, you guys were happy to be there and had a good time, which made us have an even better time, if you guys aren't top 40 in the next year or so I will
kiss someone's ass!!!!!!!…”
-Mark Parham

“A friend gave me a copy of your cd and I love it! I can't wait to hear you live!!!”

“… I was kind of debating it cause I wasn't really paying attention at first, but the more I listened I thought you guys had a unique sound and didn't want to miss out on something that could be bigger than the show. And man was I right! The more I listen to this disk the more I love it. … thanks for some great original music to listen to in this age of manufactured bands.”
- Matt

“I just wanted to say that yall rock! I work at the Wild Wing Cafe, when you guys came on friday of masters week I was working inside but found myself wondering outside just to listen. I can't wait untill yall come back and play!! Hope to hear you play again soon!”

“I caught you guys at the Hickory Tavern on Providence Rd....Let me just tell you guys once again... You rocked my world tonight! Not only do you guys sound amazing, you are all really nice! Way to be cool guys, haha! I really enjoyed hearing you guys play tonight! … Nice vibe! I will be catching MANY more shows I hope!”

“oh my god... i saw them this past weekend in at Murphy's in Boone, NC. These guys freakin' rock. PLEEAASSEE come back through our area soon!!!”
-Amber - Fans and Friends

"Complex Set of Music"

Lake Norman Magazine
July 2005

Complex mix of music - Simplified taps into multiple genres

Influences of rock, beach, and rhythm and blues find their way into the music of the band Simplified, thanks to diverse musical backgrounds. “We’re kind of a band of oddities,” says Chris Sheridan, who plays electric and acoustic guitar. It appears to be an appealing combination for audiences, who appreciate the sound. The music is just as the band name implies. “It’s one name that’s memorable and stood out – in terms of music and the attitudes we all have,” Sheridan says. He is joined by Clee Laster, who plays guitar and sings, Chris Lynch on bass and Tim Lail on drums. “I would describe our music as Southern rock with pop,” Sheridan says. “We’re the Allman Brothers mixed with Dave Matthews and Sublime.” Performances consist of an equal mix of cover songs and originals. Cover songs include “Black Magic Woman” by Santana, “Midnight Special” by Creedence Clearwater Revival and “Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan. Original songs include “Something Bigger,” which was written while band members were in Nags Head for a performance; “High Every Day,” a song about love, and “Zygote,” which is part reggae, part Caribbean jam and part funk. “We like to leave (the music) up to interpretation,” Sheridan says. “People should make it how they want to feel.” In the year and a half they’ve been together, they have performed at more than 150 shows, released two CDs and formed their own label, Hippizaz Records. Later this summer, they will release their first full-length studio album and a DVD from their spring performance at the Visulite Theatre in Charlotte. “We’ve worked really hard to get to this level,” Sheridan says. “I think our music is such a fresh sound. I think that’s what people want now.”
- Cathy Swiney


Live At The Double Door (August 2004)
A live CD of 11 original songs recorded at Charlotte’s legendary Double Door.

Act 1 (October 2004)
A 6 song EP recorded at GAT3 Studios in Charlotte, NC.

Live At The Visulite (January 2006)
A 14 song CD recorded live at The Visulite Theater in Charlotte, NC.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Simplified have been tearing up the southern music scene for just over two years now. And in that short tenure, they have built a loyal following of fans by delivering incredible live performances packed with undeniably catchy original music. This quartet have a southern style all their own. With roots that intertwine with the likes of Sublime, Jack Johnson and Ben Harper, but still maintaining an original sound that transcends labels, Simplified have become the band to watch in 2006.

With over 230 shows to their credit, the media have aptly called the boys ‘road dogs’. The live shows bring an energy that draws in even those who have never seen Simplified in concert before. Their fans dance and sing along, and become as much a part of the show as the band itself. They are continuing to maintain an aggressive touring schedule; now playing around 20 shows a month spanning 5 states.

The talents of each individual in the band are undeniable, but when they play together, they become something more, something special. Clee Laster’s soulful voice and laid back guitar lines, Chris Sheridan’s technical and artistic six string stylings, Chris Lynch’s rhythmically bold bass work, and the expressive and unshakeable beats of Tim Lail form a truly rare and not to be missed combination.

The band’s music has gained widespread attention through inclusion on the soundtrack for the motion picture ‘The Rest of Your Life’, and has placed strong in rankings on Non-Comm radio. They have been featured regularly on Clear Channel station 106.5 ‘The End’, and their music is gaining retail distribution channels throughout the southeast, as well as international web sales and online awareness.

With the release of their third album, ‘Live At The Visulite’, Simplified have begun to embark on an expansion of their musical influence first through the southeast, then the world.