The RootSoul Project
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The RootSoul Project

Band Folk Acoustic


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



"The RootSoul Project: Consciously cool. Affectionately chic."

The RootSoul Project:
Consciously cool. Affectionately chic.
By Katie Salter

..."Playing a mix of covers as well their originals, RootSoul takes otherwise full, layered sounds and strips them down acoustically. On top of it all, lead singer Randy McQuay makes his lurid voice come alive with a stretched diaphragm that doesn’t seem biologically sound in a small-town white boy. Such an evocative combo gives the band a very unique attitude. This attitude grows from the band’s never ending quest to pay homage to roots music, like reggae, jazz and folk, which they fuse into soothing sounds of their own."

..."Lush with sultry vocals, RootSoul has a conscious cool to its rhythms, as heard in 'Right Here' (a song you can hear on the band’s website, Despite its frequent late-night performance, there is something about the tune that is like the bittersweet peace of rain in the morning. The music starts off slow and careful, but the lyrics leave listeners with a sense of progression: 'I’m going through some changes,' lead singer Randy McQuay croons with affection that rises from the core of the body. A place where feeling meets physicality, it’s soulful and tight."

..."RootSoul is a feel-good band with unmistakable talent and a penchant for entertaining the crowd."..."It only takes one show to get hooked, so you’re sure to join the masses who have made this local act the talk about town."
- Encore Magazine


Seen: At Rox in downtown Wilmington
April 10
By Jaclyn Piermarini
Star News Correspondent

..."This is a serious musical undertaking that stretches across several styles of music."

..."The crowd that gathered around them no doubt had a blast that night as they danced and sang along to their favorite hits."
- Star News


..."The name says it all for The RootSoul Project, blending genres of all sorts for a unique sound that may seem unexpected coming from five white guys. But we shall not be deceived—this band knows how to make us move." - Encore Magazine


"Little Things" (2005)
"The RootSoul Project" (2007)
"Will You Be Ready?" (2008)



RootSoul Project is duo from Wilmington, North Carolina that blends the soulful aspects of numerous genres from rock and blues, to reggae and hip-hop. The band has been together since Spring of 2004, and has performed alongside names like Tim Reynolds, Culture, Victor Wooten, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Corey Smith, The Nappy Roots, Matisyahu, and Widespread Panic. RootSoul Project was also a house band at The House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach through the summer of 2008.

RootSoul Project is just what the name says it is. It started as a project to fuse the styles of roots music that the band loves with the styles of rock & roll, hip-hop, and soul that they grew up listening to. The result is a sound that pays homage to their musical role-models, while staying fresh in its approach and delivery. RSP tries to emphasize versatility in their shows, transitioning between contemporary and traditional styles of music without alienating the listeners.

Randy McQuay (vocals, keyboard, guitar, harmonica, drums) fronts the group, writing most of the songs and laying down the soulful vocals that have become the calling card of RSP. His vocals are heavily influenced by classic soul, reggae, country, and hip-hop, and are often compared to singers like Otis Redding and Ray Charles. Randy’s musical education started in high school, and continued through college, where he began to learn the piano, and majored in percussion.

It was in college where he met back up with a high school friend, Justin Johnson (lead guitar, slide guitar, bass). Justin’s main influences have been blues, bluegrass and early rock n’ roll. During a gig in the summer of 2002, Justin was asked to sit in on a few songs with Randy’s band. The few songs turned into the whole night, and he began playing every gig with Randy, adding his unique style of lead guitar to the band's sound. Eventually, the group’s name was changed to The RootSoul Project and Randy and Justin began touring around North and South Carolina either as a duo, or with a full band.

In January of 2005, Randy and Justin went into the studio with a few friends to record their first album, featuring acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmonica, slide guitar, percussion, and cello. The tracks were recorded and produced by Tommy Brothers at Audio Genesis in Wilmington, NC. The songs formed their first album, “Little Things”, which has received a great response from fans, solid reviews, and airplay on several radio stations.

Another year of gigging and writing followed, and in the Summer of 2006, RootSoul Project went back into the studio to record a self-titled, full band album. This time they brought along TJ Prystal (drums), Mike Hickman (bass, cello), and Rich Zimmerman (saxophone). The recording was done at Matrix studios in Wilmington, NC, and released in 2007.

In 2008, RootSoul Project went back into the studio to record an all gospel album, with Randy and Justin recording all of the tracks themselves on guitar, mandolin, bass, drums and harmonica. Once again the recording was done with Tommy Brothers at Audio Genesis.