Sweet Pick
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Sweet Pick

Band Rock Funk


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"Sweet Pick 'sweetens' up the rock scene"

Sweet Pick 'sweetens' up the rock scene
Local band brings the funk to McHenry County
Colin Leicht
Posted: 4/21/05
Sweet Pick Slideshow

On April 19, the MCC Courtyard was treated to a random case of funk. And who brought the funk? A band by the name of Sweet Pick. This experimental jazz/funk/rock/fusion quintet took the courtyard and entertained the many students and non-students, causing bouncing people and a groovy atmosphere.

The afternoon began with a basic jam, the kind of sound that Phish became famous for. If jam bands don't contain this fundamental rhythm, they fail to leave their mark; Sweet Pick has no problem passing this test, and after starting off their set with this vibe-setter, they leapt right into a reggae jam.

Whoa, halt your preconceptions; reggae never morphed into funk so smoothly before Sweet Pick pulled it off.

Although the vocals are often absent for their songs, the musical style of Sweet Pick is quite unique. Dual guitars, played by Matt Carmichael and Kevin Smith, weave in and out of each other, calling a shout-out to bands from every genre of the musical spectrum. Backed up by the saxophone stylings of Pete Geraci, who also plays here at MCC, the band at times sounds like the group James Brown would have had with him.

But a good sound is often established by a strong rhythm section; Gabriel Hammer, also an MCC drummer, comes across as a maestro. "I tend to take a more melodic approach to drumming," says Hammer. Yet the snap of the cymbals and the pocket of the groove would fall short without Kevin Cisner on bass. Although together the team sounds similar to funky-house music or disco, Cisner swears, "I never listen to any of that." In fact, the influences of the band are quite exotic, from Pachelbal to bluegrass. Yet the result is a sound that hits the ears like an entire decade of rock mixed into a single song.

If there is anything lacking with Sweet Pick, it's that their formula has typecast them into the same genre as the other hippie-rock bands that are dominating the local rock scene. Fortunately, most weekend rock concert-goers in McHenry County are into that type of groove.

For more information on Sweet Pick's upcoming shows call (815) 404-3883 or check out www.sweetpickmusic.com.

© Copyright 2007 Tartan - © Copyright 2007 Tartan


Windy City Records Summer 2007 Rock Compilation Cd.

New Album: "The Eureka Piece ", due out in Fall of 08.

"Upon driving through a flock of Birds"

Living it up at B-side(2007)

Upon driving through a flock of birds
Chaos in the Square

Sweet Pick (2005 self titled album)
Track Listing:
Disc 1-
Funky Chicken
Old Man on the Roof
Walkin Around
Rasta Song

Disc 2-
Steal Your Attention
Evolyn of Evolon
Wasted Words
Hands Clean
Yellow Bird

Sweet Pick was featured on 95.1 WIIL "Live From Woodland Audio with Mindy Novotny"

Sweet Pick is featured on Hostage Radio and Fearless Radio.



Like a cup of hit cider on a frozen February morning or a slice of cool watermelon on a hot July night, Sweet Pick devotes themselves to a musical performance as refreshing and unpredictable as the seasons of the Midwest. Planted four years ago in Woodstock, Illinois, Sweet Pick is rapidly growing into one of the areas most exciting and entertaining musical experiences. Performing as a five piece group of multi-instrumentalists, each member's depth of musical knowledge and versatility allows the band to explore infinite facets of sound and language. Tapping the wells of traditional jazz, funk, and rock while drawing from bluegrass and classical influences as well, Sweet Pick's commitment to live performances and audience interaction harvests a cutting edge show, among the finest in the midwest.

Past Venues Played:


Martyrs', Chicago IL
The Elbo Room, Chicago, IL
Goose Island Wrigleyville, Chicago, IL
Underground Lounge, Chicago, IL
Kinetic Playground, Chicago, IL
The Quad, University of Illinois at Chicago
Hoghead McDunna's, Chicago, IL
Silvie's Lounge, Chicago, IL
Bar Vertigo, Chicago, IL
U.S. Beer Company, Chicago, IL
The Original Mother's, Chicago, IL
Red Line Tap, Chicago, IL
Phyllis' Musical Inn, Chicago, IL
The Note, Chicago, IL
Lilly's, Chicago, IL
Double Door, Chicago IL
The Original Mothers, Chicago IL
Jak's Tap, Chicago, IL
Fantasy Lounge, Chicago IL
The Store, Chicago IL

Out of State:

Mr. Roberts, Madison, WI
Zanies Too, Indianapolis, IN
Peace Conspiracy Community Festival, Eldridge, MO

Northern Illinois:
Gus's Roadhouse, Woodstock, IL
Duke Obrien's, Crystal Lake, IL
Tires N' Flyers Festival,Galt Airport, Greenwood, IL
Waverly House, Woodstock, IL
Town Tap, Woodstock, IL
Liquid Blues, Woodstock, IL
Midsummer Meltdown, Algonquin, IL
Algonquin Roadhouse, Algonquin, IL
Fiesta Days, McHenry, IL
Dick Tracy Days Music Festival, Woodstock, IL
Upfest, Galt Airport, Wonder Lake, IL
Lenny the Legends, McHenry, IL
Hangouts Live, Wheeling, IL
Tommy's, Island Lake, IL
Moose Club, Woodstock, IL
McHenry County College, Crystal Lake, IL
D.C. Cobbs, Woodstock, IL
Durty Nellies, Palatine, IL
Rock City Social Music Festival, McHenry, IL