the Soul Birds
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the Soul Birds

Orlando, Florida, United States | SELF

Orlando, Florida, United States | SELF
Band Rock Blues

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"The Soul Birds' ritual of a rock show at Holly and Dolly's, Casselberry"


If the first band was a bit straightforward, the band that followed them was somewhat mysterious. The members had been seen throughout the night mingling with the crowd. They were all dressed similarly like enigmas caught in a mid seventies time warp. Vests, boots and shaggy hair dos caught the curious eyes that knew they were in for something interesting. As the first act ended and the stage was changed out, the audience couldn’t help but notice the three guys setting their stage and altering its appearance and mood. The bass drum was somehow illuminated from the inside and the front skin was carved out with the shape of a large bird (perhaps an eagle or a hawk). On a table directly in front of the stage the front man neatly arranged and lit six candles as if performing some sort of pre show, rock n’ roll shaman ritual. Before long people throughout the bar took notice of the aroma that was now wafting through the place. On either side of the candle display now stood two sticks of patchouli incense. Its smoke was quickly curling upward and outward to be distributed throughout the place via the central air conditioning. Now, with the audience’s interest at full attention, the band took the stage.

They call themselves the Soul Birds. They stood before the crowd in full ‘70s rock regalia and didn’t disappoint. Forty years ago these guys would have blended in with culture and done well in the peak of the psychedelic rock era. These days it is easy for a band like this to be pinned as ‘just another gimmick’. But the Soul Birds are very good at what they do. They don’t ‘rip off’ Hendrix riffs and Jim Morrison lyrics; nor do they spoof or poke fun at that period; instead they just be themselves and do what they know. It doesn’t take long to see that this is a trio of musicians that have the utmost respect for their rock and roll heritage. They don’t mimic it, they make it their own. Guitarist Kenneth Fei, who also doubles as lead singer, plays with the spirit and flare of the era he personifies. His solos were imaginative and very much alive. On the opposite side of the stage, there stood Colin Fei, Ken’s brother and bassist. With a crown of curly hair, dark shades and brown vest, Colin closely matched in appearance the character ‘Hyde’ from that ‘70’s show. Whether this was intentional or not, he was very efficient at both playing the bass guitar and providing vocal harmony to the lead voice, demonstrating an impressive range and tone. In the back of the stage at the drum kit sat Konrad McKane. With his long hair and slightly feminine features he fits in perfectly with the image and style that this band oozes with. Although a little eccentric at times with his arm movements, McKane proves himself a worthy drummer, even including a number with a fancy rhythm tapped out on a cowbell.

The Soul Birds play off of each other well and showed great originality and musical technique. Their sound was very classic rock and psychedelic with hints of punk rock and folk. The music was well rehearsed and the vocals did well to hold the crowd’s attention. One song in particular featured a spoken intro verse and became a fun little song about drinking whiskey by a river in the south, and all with a catchy chorus sung in a close two part harmony. Drummer Konrad wore a headband of feathers in the American Indian style while Kenny and Colin each had single feathers dangling from their guitars. If indeed a rock ritual was taking place, the Soul birds provided it with passion and energy to spare. The Soul Birds have two dates lined up for the upcoming month of September. The first is on the fifth at the Music Appreciation Festival in Daytona Beach. The second is on the nineteenth in Orlando. They’ve also just released a debut EP. So if good groovy music is your thing, check out the Soul Birds.
- www.examiner.com


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Kenny and Colin are brothers. Morgan and Danny might as well be. They all joined up with one huge common interest, rock and roll music. Coming from two separate bands, the four merged in September 2010. With a full arsenal of songs written by Kenny and Morgans varied pasts, Danny and Colin round out the rythyms and fill in the gaps to bring sweet music to everyones ears. Both Kenny and Morgan switch off on lead vocals, keeping the listener guessing what will happen next, while Colin provides harmonies to back up their flowing melodies.

Now residing in Orlando, FL, the Soul Birds frequently perform their powerful show all over Central Florida, from Tampa to Cocoa and more. Their mindset is pure DIY. From merch to recording, all four members actively design and create products for their fans. And they are currently in the process of recording a full length album using a barebones set-up, aiming for a classic, vintage sound.

the Soul Birds are strongly influenced by almost every band that was around in the 60s and 70s, some of the favorites include: The Beatles, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Terry Reid, Bob Dylan, Steve Miller Band, Stevie Ray Vaugn. Some newer favorites include: The Black Crowes, The Flaming Lips, Howlin' Rain, and Kings of Leon.