The Rain
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The Rain


Band Hip Hop Jazz


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Music Feature The Rain February 12, 2004"

As Friday afternoon turns into Friday night, the Shadow Lounge in East Liberty is gearing up for another installment of the Hip-Hop Café Series, its weekly open mic event. Inside, the members of the Rain carefully arrange their instruments on the lounge's small, candlelit stage just like they have done every week for the past two years. Tim Clark places his saxophone and flute on the stands next to his chair. Deak, also known as David Hall, taps the cymbals of his drum set a few times while listening with a careful ear. Jim Barr places two of his huge, electronic keyboards on a stand while Scott Simon plucks at his guitar and DJ Huggy, also known as Jaron Lamot, tunes his bass.
While the audience takes their seats in the Shadow Lounge's lovingly worn couches, the members of the Rain play their first notes of the evening. As the house band for the Hip-Hop Series, they have three main responsibilities: warming up the crowd, accompanying the patrons who choose to bare themselves on the open mic and playing backup for the featured act. It is a big job and one that requires the band to keep an open mind as far as the diversity of their performance goes. The band is rooted in the concept of bringing together different elements to create something new and exciting.

On any given night, one can expect to hear some combination of jazz, funk, rock, hip-hop and soul. "When people ask me about what kind of music we play, I always say that I can't give a short answer because we do incorporate a lot of different kinds of music," says Clark. Certainly, this attempt at fusing genres has been attempted before, but the members of the Rain feel that what they produce has more excitement. "A lot of bands try to do different things and be versatile, but sometimes that results in something very average," says Clark. "I think we do a good job of making everything be very entertaining and enjoyable for the crowd no matter what type of music we're playing."

The Rain originated nearly four years ago with a small experiment. "I was recording some hip-hop tracks with a friend of mine and we wanted to do a live track," says Huggy. At the time, the majority of Huggy's musical experience came from working as a hip-hop DJ for events around Pittsburgh, but some high-quality musicians who went to Schenley High School fit that bill. "I got in touch with Deak to play drums and he got in touch with two of his buddies," says Huggy. "They formed the Rain Quartet and played on the track that I was working on."

The quartet decided to stick together and to continue playing as a band, but after a few months some changes began to take place. "The original bassist decided that he wanted to leave," says Huggy, who occasionally sat in with the band as a DJ. "Just as a joke, one day I picked up the bass, learned a song and played it at a gig. After that, I was just hooked. It was a passion and I realized, 'I could get down with this.'"

As the band's lineup shifted, Deak and Huggy did not have to perform an extensive search for replacements. Through playing as the Rain Quartet, they met saxophonist Clark, a Philadelphia native who moved here to study music at the University of Pittsburgh, and guitarist Simon, who had already made a name for himself playing with local R&B groups like MiSandz and the HutchSimon Project. Barr, a Central Pennsylvania keyboardist, studied music alongside Deak at Duquesne University. The current lineup abbreviated their name to the Rain.

Although the Hip-Hop Café Series is their usual gig and an opportunity for them to flex their improvisational muscles, the Rain also excels at playing within the confines of rehearsed, genre-specific sets. "Here at the Shadow Lounge, we might take a jazz tune, stretch it out and go all the way to a drum solo where I can do whatever I want," says Deak. "At the opposite end, we just did a show at Club Café where there were an exact number of times that we were going to do this or that and it was all very scripted."

Clark adds, "Maybe I'll have one show where I'm programming complex patches for my synthesizer. Then I'll have another show where all I need is a piano and I can play whatever I feel like playing."

Flexibility is a major source of pride for the Rain. "We can carry a show and entertain an audience, but at the same time we do a lot of shows where we are backing local singers like Hutch of the HutchSimon Project or Gene Stovall," says Clark. "Some bands are used to being the main focal point and they might be a little too overbearing, but we're able to step back and let somebody else do what they do."

This ability is evident as the open mic portion of the evening begins. Members of the audience step up to the stage when their names are called and give the band vague directions like, "I need something slow" or "I need something moderate." The band never bats an eye. They simply glance at each other, murmur quick suggestions and begin to play. The result, wh - Pittsburgh Pulp


Artists The Rain has opened for

-Talib Kweli -Liberation
-Mary J Blige -Strict Flow
-Black Sheep -W. Ellington Felton
-Lord Finesse -Twin Poets
-Diamond D -Mother’s Favorite Child
-Grand Wizard Theodore -Beam
-RJD2 -Urban Ave 31
-Amerie -3 Apples High
-Dapp Theory -The Poogie Bell Band

Artists The Rain has performed with

-Grand Wizard Theodore
-Venus Malone
-Akil Esoon (of Beam)
-Masai Turner (formerly of Strict Flow)
-Charon Don
-HutchSimonProject (formerly of Mi Sandz)
-Gene Stovall
-J Flint

Some of the Venues where The Rain has performed

-Rosebud: Pittsburgh, PA
-Club Café: Pittsburgh, PA
-Meridian Hill (Malcolm X Park): Washington, DC
-Post Gazette Pavilion: Pittsburgh, PA
-Haverford College: Philadelphia, PA
-Shadow Lounge: Pittsburgh, PA
-Felt: Cleveland, OH
-Nick’s Fat City: Pittsburgh, PA
-Club Laga: Pittsburgh, PA
-The University of Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh, PA
-Penn State University: State College, PA

The Rain also performs at festivals, weddings and private functions.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Jim Barr, 24 (keyboards): Jim Barr is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Duquesne University with a degree in Music Technology. He was awarded the Outstanding Music Technology Student Award and was class Marshall. He has been playing piano and keyboards for 15 years and has studied under Carol Young, Gladys Stein, Anthony DiVittorio, and Ron Bickel. Currently, Jim teaches piano in the Pittsburgh area and is working on finishing a Master’s Degree in Multimedia/Interactive Media, also at Duquesne University. Influences to his playing and programming include: BT, Herbie Hancock, Moby, Dr. Dre, Timbaland, The Neptunes, Dream Theater, Radiohead, Linkin Park, Tribe Called Quest and the Roots to name a few. Jim Barr is available for dinner parties and petting zoos.

Tim Clark, 24 (saxophone/flute): Tim Clark has been playing music since the age of 10, and he has been heavily exposed to many different genres of music his entire life. His grandfather, “Texas Tenor” Ed Wiley Jr., has always been a major influence in his musical development. Wiley’s experience and impressive resume is part of the reason Clark has excelled in music from the beginning. Clark graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in music and intends to attain a Master’s degree in music education and eventually teach. While in college, he had the honor of receiving the Alfred D’Auberg scholarship for “musical and academic excellence,” and he was also the president of the university’s Jazz Ensemble. During this period, Clark had the opportunity to study under world famous saxophonist Dr. Nathan Davis for 3 years, which has enabled him to grow enormously as a musician. In addition to performing with The Rain, Tim Clark also teaches saxophone lessons at two different locations in Pittsburgh. His influences include Charlie Parker, Wayne Shorter, and John Coltrane.

DJ HUGGY, 24 (bass): DJ Huggy, born in Pittsburgh, is one of the original members of The Rain. He started playing the bass at the age of 20. Even with such a late start, he quickly became known for his incredible ability to lay down impressive bass lines. He first became a member of The Rain as its DJ. Soon, due to an unexpected departure of the band's then resident bass player, he decided to give the bass a try in an attempt to fill the voided spot. In the process, a spark was born, and an ever-burning passion to play the bass began. DJ Huggy has been playing the bass professionally since the first day he touched it, and he has played at many different venues in the Tri-state area. In seeing him play live, it is evident that he is heavily influenced by Hip-Hop, Soul, & Jazz. His main musical influences for the bass are Dwayne Dolphin, Verdine White, Stuart Zender, Victor Wooten, Stanley Clarke, Chuck Rainey, Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, and many others. In his spare time, he works as a recording engineer at his professional recording studio, ID Labs. He also has produced and arranged for several nationally known Hip-Hop Recording Artists. Currently he is working on many different producing projects while at the same time, recording with The Rain.

DEAK, 24 (drums) Deak has been drumming with The Rain since its inception almost four years ago. Even by that time, he was an accomplished percussionist, having begun his training in 1994.Before and after helping to found The Rain, Deak performed with many other local bands. In fact, he played his first professional gig at age 16. Deak knew that his talent was something special, so he enrolled in the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University and graduated with a B.S. in Music Therapy in May 2004. While in college, Deak developed a strong affinity for jazz music. Not only has he trained under legendary jazz drummer Roger Humphries, but he has also cultivated his melodic side by studying vibraphone. In addition to maintaining a busy performance schedule with The Rain, Deak continues to play the drums and vibes in many Pittsburgh-area venues. His goal is to bring to his music a synthesis of his influences – from Rimsky-Korsokov to Caribbean island Music – and to make the ‘2’ and ‘4’ feel better every time he picks up the sticks.

SCOTT SIMON, 24 (guitar) Greatly influenced by George Benson and Wes Montgomery, Scott Simon is the guitar protégé of jazz legend Jimmy Ponder, from whom he derived his smooth, melodic style. A fiery stage performer, Simon is capable of weaving pure, heartfelt musical ecstasy with his fingertips. In addition to being a part of The Rain, Simon is creating quite a stir along with vocalist Richard Hutchins, who together make up the HutchSimonProject. The HutchSimonProject recently released their first CD entitled "Out of the Shadow," which was recorded live at the Shadow Lounge in Pittsburgh. Since then they have been performing in Pittsburgh, New York City, Washington D.C., Philly, etc., and are planning performance dates in cities all over the country.