The Show(case) Must Go On!

YO, FLACO!
NOMINATED IN HIP-HOP
During the past several years, Yo, Flaco! has gotten so much attention for winning or placing highly in several best-unsigned-band contests that its music has sometimes gotten lost in the shuffle. As a result, some people who think they know what the band sounds like from turning an ear to Goin' At It and Bring the Battle On, a pair of discs unleashed in late 2001, may be very wrong.

"We were listening to a lot of jazz at that time, so when I listen to those albums, I hear a lot of Wes Montgomery, a lot of Thelonious Monk," says Yo guitarist Brandon Martin. "We're still listening to a ton of jazz now, but I think we're listening more to hip-hop -- and the band fuses a lot of other genres, depending on what different bandmembers bring in. The scale is always fluctuating back and forth."

That's as it should be, considering the number of folks in the Yo, Flaco! Team: Martin is joined by bassist Wes Coplen, keyboardist Matt Piazza, drummer Seth Murphy, trombonist/conch-shell player Adam Bartczak, saxophonist Ethan Raczka, and Neil McIntyre on the microphone. Despite the size of this on-stage contingent, Martin feels that the act's disparate elements mesh in a cohesive way whether they're playing for hometown dwellers who've supported Yo, Flaco! since the '90s or out-of-towners who've discovered the band during one of its frequent tours.

"With as many hours as we've spent in a van together, all of our influences have melded together," he says. "Now they all come from the same place." -- Roberts

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