Vibe Syndicate

Vibe Syndicate

 Madison, Wisconsin, USA
BandR&BFunk

Midwest funk swimmin' in an East Coast groove

Biography

Vibe Syndicate is an original 6-piece band from Madison, Wisconsin whose sound incorporates elements of funk, soul, r&b, jazz and hip-hop. Influenced by everything from James Brown to Miles Davis, the band features Carolynn Black on vocals and the occasional tambourine, Jon Hoel on saxophone and flute, Wade Alters on keys, Todd Thomas on guitar, John Mesoloras on bass, and Aaron Streicher on drums. Their combined experience and musical knowledge is clearly evident in their electrifying stage performances. A typical set at a Vibe Syndicate show is heavy on the original tunes with some choice covers from artists like Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, and west coast funk band Breakestra, to name just a few.

Released in October 2007, their deubt cd “Check Yourself,” flows from one style to the next, wrapping political verses and lusty come-ons around funky grooves and sultry beats. The title track rants against an insensitive lover, while the calypso flavored “Give me more” pleads for, well, more. Ms. Black’s lyrics are often inspired by her experiences living in New York, including “Can you believe?” which recounts 9/11 as seen from her Brooklyn backyard.

Carolynn Black, who also sings with local legend Clyde Stubblefield, joined the band in 2005 after moving to Madison from New York where she was a regular performer at famed Greenwich Village club The Bitter End. John Mesoloras, also a local middle school music director, plays with several outfits including jazz chanteuse Gerri DiMaggio. Jon Hoel, a seriously funky brass man, also plays with The Get Down Syndrome and has helped to organize the Recreational Rhythms festival four years running. Todd Thomas, with great form and content, spent his time with Milwaukee area bands, Life On Other Planets, Symposium, The Pawns and First Light before heading his way to Madison.

Voted Best New Band in 2007 by Isthmus readers in the Annual Manual, Vibe Syndicate has also been nominated for Madison Area Music Awards (MAMA) in 2007, 2005 and 2004.

Lyrics

Only U

Written By: Carolynn Black

Baby you know I love it when you scratch my back, ooh yeah, right there
And you know I love it when you make me jump, so high
Cause nobody can do the way you do

No, only you can make me feel
The way that you do, tell me it’s real
Only you can make me see
How beautiful love can be
Only you

Baby you know I love it when you look my way
And you know I love it when you make me smile, so wide
Cause, nobody can do the way you do

Only you can make me feel
The way that you do, tell me it’s real
Only you can make me see
How beautiful love can be
Only you

Only you can make me feel
The way that you do, tell me it’s real
Only you can make me see
How beautiful love can be
Only you

Check Yourself

Written By: Carolynn Black

I got 4 years wasted, 4 years gone, 4 years less for me to find
Someone who feels for me the way I feel for you
I got 4 years spent on hopeless dreams that have left me with nothing more than
4 long years of sleepless nights

I got 4 years of phone sex, unfulfilling every time
3000 miles of disappointment
Well, at least the flight was free, or was it?
There’s always a cost and this one’s a bitch, my pride, self respect and dignity

I should’ve known all along, but no, not me
No, not silly, romantic, optimistic me
I should’ve seen who you really are but, baby I was so blind
You better check yourself and tell me what you see

I got 4 years of wanting gone down the drain
Yeah, 4 years of comparing every man I meet to you
What was I thinking? Or was I?
So much for my highly educated ass ever gettin’ it right.

I should’ve known all along, but no not me
No, not silly, romantic, optimistic me
I should’ve seen who you really are but, baby I was so blind
You better check yourself and tell me what you see
Yeah, not silly, romantic, optimistic me
I should’ve known who you really are but, baby I was so blind
Why don’t you check yourself and tell me what you see

Tell me, when you look in the mirror, what do you see
So much lost, not that you’d seem to know it or care to ask
As I lie next to you silently weeping, as you so peacefully snore
Right through one thousand four hundred thirty-nine days
One thousand four hundred thirty–nine nights give or take a few
3 shrinks, 2 towns, 4 apartments and one cat have all been witness to my misery,
Everybody, everybody

I should’ve known all along, but no not me
Not silly, romantic, optimistic me
I should’ve seen who you really are but, baby I was so blind
I was so blind, but you know
I should’ve known all along, but no not me
Oh baby not silly, romantic, optimistic me
I should’ve seen who you really but I was so blind
You better check yourself and tell me what you see

Relax Your Mind

Written By: Carolynn Black

Music saved my life not once but twice
Maybe three times I lost count a long time ago
Such a long, such a long time ago

Well I swear that I must be of feline design
To have ever, to have ever lasted this long
No I never thought I would last this long

But the music in my head, in my mind
Way deep down in my soul
Keeps me from going crazy and helps me to let go

If you love something set it free, yeah, isn’t that how the saying goes?
(well I don’t know about that) If you love something or some cat,
You better hold on tight, don’t ever let go, no, don’t ever let go no, no, no

Of the music in your head, in your mind
And way deep down in your soul
It’s gonna keep you from going crazy, and help you to let go

Give me more

Written By: Carolynn Black

Baby, I got to tell ya,
Something you should know.
Baby I got to show ya,
Just how I love you so.

You’ve got the sweetest eyes that I have ever seen,
I don’t think I can stare anymore.
You’ve got the sweetest lips that I have ever kissed,
Oh baby, you got to give me more.

Give me more, more, more, more, more,
Oh yeah, dontcha walk out my door till ya give me more.
Ooh yeah, give me more.

Baby, I got to tell ya,
Something you should know.
Baby I got to show ya,
Just how I love you so.

You’ve got the sweetest face that I have ever seen,
I don’t think I can stare anymore.
You’ve got the sweetest ass that I have ever squeezed,
Oh baby, you got to give me more.

Give me more, more, more, more, more.
Oh yeah, dontcha walk out my door, till ya give me more.
Ooh yeah, give me more.

Baby, I got to tell ya,
Something you should know.
Baby I got to show ya,
Just how I love you so.

Give me more, more, more, more, more.
Oh yeah, dontcha walk out my door, till ya give me more.
Ooh yeah, give me more.

Discography

Check Yourself - 2007

Set List

Original tunes:
All night
Only U
Everything
Can You Believe?
Check Yourself
Soul Music
Goodbye (Soul Music Pt. 2)
When it Rains
Dontchawannaknow
No Names
Give Me More
Top of the World
Fire Alarm Funk
Get on Down
Turn the lights on
Too Much (disco thing)

Covers:
Summertime
Use Me
I wish
Cramp Your Style
Move on Up
Action Jackson
Jungle Love
I Want You Back
Footsteps
Faithful
Kiss
Rock Steady