8traC steps in as Boulder’s modern Motown connection

:: KGNU Monday Night Kabaret :: Nov. 7
:: CD Release Party :: Rhumba :: Nov. 8

By Chibo Acevedo

Since early in 2004, 8traC has been pounding out Motown sounds, R&B rhythms, soulful funky grooves and newer interpretations all along the Front Range.

Originally spawned as a cover band with old school R&B roots as inspiration, 8traC has taken strides to develop its own material and is now proving to be a powerful force in the Front Range music scene. Be it hard hitting funk with a message or passionate grooves with lush harmonies and musical integrity, the plight of the human condition is at the core of the 8traC vision.

Spearheaded by power-vocalist Chantel Mead, 8traC started out by bringing some of the old school Motown and funk back to life with fresh new arrangements. Their influences run far and wide, but include the likes of Quincy Jones, Michael Franti and Stevie Wonder, just to name a few.

A little more than a year into the life of the project, ‘Chanti’ finally stepped up with her original material and, in collaboration with Derek VanScoten (guitar) and Chris Misner (drums), a nucleus of creativity was brought to light. VanScoten’s rich pallet of layers and textures, not to mention a very schooled background, coupled with Misner’s extensive realm of rhythms, makes the groove of the original material unstoppable.

Take all of this, add a tight horn section, deeply soulful bass, and poignant lyrics sung with authority, and you have the heart of 8traC.

The band is somewhat of a local ‘super group’ as many of its members play in other well known acts in and around the Front Range, including Devious3, Cabaret Diosa, and Jubal and The Rude Boys. The remaining line-up of the band includes Paul McDaniel on bass, Erinn Bone on trumpet and backing vocals, and Serafin Sanchez on saxophone and backing vocals.  Considering this, and all the various influences brought to the table, their sound is a fresh and invigorating slant on the old-school style.

8traC have just finished their first original EP, entitled the Uplift EP and, according to Mead, the band is recording a full-length album this winter, with plans of hitting the road next summer.

The Marquee caught up with Mead recently, who said that the band’s goal is to simply have fun, but to also convey a positive message.

“Our music is strongly message driven,” Mead said. “Though I don’t overly state this in our bio, my lyrics are consciously focused on issues that affect us deeply every day. Be it fear and war, or love and community, it’s all life and we all deal with it.   So where are we headed? We can only hope in the direction of unity through music.”


:: KGNU Monday Night Kabaret :: Nov. 7

:: CD Release Party :: Rhumba :: Nov. 8

Spectate if you Gravitate:

• Stevie Wonder

• Quincy Jones

• Michael Franti

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