A&E » Arts

Ten is the funky number

Soulstream history uncorked for Corncuopia at ARTrageous



What: Cornucopia

What: Soulstream

When: Thursday, Nov. 8, 9 p.m.

Where: The Brewhouse

Tickets: $45/$25

Learning the history of how the Vancouver groove band Soulstream came together was a bit like sitting down to read Encyclopedia Britannica all the way up to “S” — but with 10 band members, what do you expect?

Some might remember Soulstream’s humble beginnings in the mid-1990s when Soulstream ringmaster Randall Stoll led a four-piece acid jazz, funk and groove band called Slick which regularly played the Savage Beagle in Whistler as well as the Chameleon in Vancouver.

And if you don’t remember Slick, most likely you are familiar with its bass player, Marc Rogers who has since moved on to play for The Philosopher Kings.

Even though acid jazz was popular in the clubs at the time, the jazz fusion never quite clicked, sending Stoll off on lengthy tours with K.D. Lang. Eventually the Vancouver boy found himself at home once again, more dissatisfied than ever with the usual music routine. So he began his recruit for musicians who would whole-heartedly commit to groove, and Sacred Linoleum was born.

“I wanted to reform a new band that was capable of incorporating elements of jazz and groove with musicians that actually loved playing, and listening, to circular grooves, and not just looking for a place to wank all day and night — not that there is anything wrong with that,” Stoll said.

A soul creek began to flow with Stoll (drums), Rogers (bass), Brad Turner (keyboards), Karen Graves (sax, flute), Russ Klyne (guitar), Marcos Barro (percussion) and Cam Grant (vocals) on board this West Coast ride.

The seven-piece band soon became eight as lineups outside of bars grew and turned the corner to a larger venue called Bar None in Yaletown. Tania Hancheoff (vocals) joined the crew with Pepe Danza (replaced Barro), Vince Mai (trumpet) and Tim Fuller (replacing Grant) following. And the band’s name was changed to Soulstream.

And then there were nine.

A year later, number 10 waltzed into Bar None exclaiming, “What the hell is a band doing playing Herbie Hancock, James Brown and Tower of Power without a baritone sax!”

Baritone sax player Bill Runge was so disgusted with the black hole in Soulstream’s sound; he sat in for free, from overture to ovation.

Runge was finally inducted into the Soulstream boat and the rest is history, almost a decade of it.

Ten players for 10 years.