Profound Nature of Life
As a longstanding staple in the Chicago music scene since 1997, Forty Piece Choir continues their unique blend of Rock-N-Roll, Pop, Indie, Psychedelic, Blues, and Americana genres to capture harmonious arrangements of dynamic brilliance. The heart of the group is it's uncompromising will to create artistic music, often drawing comparisons to influences such as the Beatles, Velvet Underground, Wilco, 13th Floor Elevators, Flaming Lips, Pink Floyd, and the Jesus and Mary Chain. Lyrically optimistic, their words transpire the philosophy of life, love, family, faith, hope, happiness, and even compassion for death. Forty Piece Choir releases their fourth full length "The Profound Nature of Life" abroad on Cooked County Records with a performance at House of Blues. Exclusively distributed through CD Baby and it's digital partnerships that include Apple iTunes and eMusic, the album was recorded by the band and mixed/mastered by Mike Hagler of King Size Sound Labs (Wilco, OK Go, Neko Case). With rawness akin to 50's Rock-N-Roll artists, the group crafts their most upbeat effort while retaining their eclectic array of musical inspirations. In 1997 Forty Piece Choir formed when Dana Okon and Dan Dominiak met in the south side coffee house circuit. With the addition of rhythm section Ryan DeYoung and Mike Boyle of punk outfit Winepress, Kelly Kruse was soon added on keyboards and vocals. They aspired to create artistic music with positive ideals. Adding Chuck Gonwa on bass and Eric Hofmeister on the drums by 1998, home recording sessions ensued with up and coming producer/engineer Edgars Legzdins (Plane) whom would soon join Forty Piece Choir on guitar and vocals. In 1999 the sextet released their debut full length Salud on Cooked County Records, the bands self run label imprint. Home Pride Productions explained, "Forty Piece Choir lives in a world where music and life, fate and karma are all beautifully intertwined. All of this hippie feel-good vibe would be only so much positioning if it didn't find it's way into the grooves, but it does, in spades." Grabbing the ear of disc jockey James VanOsdal at Q101 in 2000, the debut's opening track Snail On A Star was included alongside Lucky Boys Confusion, Sister Machine Gun, and the J. Davis Trio on the "Local 101 ~ Volume 2" compilation. By 2000 Forty Piece Choir grew into a septet including current members of The 1900s Ed Anderson on multi-instrumentation and vocals, Tim Minnick on drums, and the addition of Timothy "Smu" McCarthy on bass. Meticulously recorded by Legzdins, their sophomore full length Face Your Fear was released in 2002. Mixed by Brian Deck (Iron & Wine, Modest Mouse, Califone) at Engine Music Studios, the album was brought to life through Deck's interpretation. Illinois Entertainer expressed "Face Your Fear overflows with sweetly crafted sophistication that manages to be achingly gorgeous, swimmingly whimsical, and playfully eclectic while sounding lushly integrated." Tennessee, the third Cooked County Records installment from 2003, saw the group maturing as a quintet. Recorded by Groovemaster Studio producer/engineer John Doyle (Plain White T's, Disturbed, Kill Hannah), the band solidified it's home recording techniques with Doyle's keen ear. Roots Music Report declares, "Forty Piece Choir has created an absolutely phenomenal album. Tennessee is a rollercoaster of an album that at times submerses itself deep within the mind, and floods the senses with audio ecstasy." Forty Piece Choir has shared the stage with Stars, Gogol Bordello, Jackson Browne, Waco Brothers, Essex Green, Baldwin Brothers, Umphrey's McGee, Ekoostik Hookah, and an endless array of talented artists. While frequenting the Chicago club scene, Forty Piece Choir has appeared at House of Blues, Metro, Double Door, Schubas, Empty Bottle, Park West, and everywhere in between. Festivals, including Toronto's North by Northeast Music Festival and Sturgeon Bay's Steel Bridge Song Fest, have received the energy of Forty Piece Choir's music favorably. "It's an energy that makes for a good live show, says Hostage Radio program director Billy Giannopoulos. "They're a band that a lot of Chicago acts should look up to."