Words by Jesse Filippelli
Photos by Yasmina Bobeena
Nestled under the Spanish moss of Tallahassee there is a sound emerging through the Florida States Seminole war chant, and it’s coming from a group who call themselves “Shoes and Laces.” Since November 2010 the band has been on a musical journey giving fans a taste of jazz, funk, psychedelic rock, and even a little bluegrass.
On September 7th the band released their first full-length album, “Melodious Junk” at Tallahassee’s All Saint Hop Yard. Fans were treated to the album in its entirety as well as funky covers of the Beatles and Grateful Dead. Standing out in their sound is a harmonic bliss created by guitarist Josh Gendal and saxophonist/guitarist Ben Luria, specifically throughout originals “Saliva” and “Bare Walls.”
This past week the band took over Bullwinkle’s in Tallahassee with a 2-night run which included multiple collaborations and over 6 hours of music. Night one filled quickly as FSU fans were treated to the Seminole war chant being teased throughout the night’s music. Shoes and Laces find their way into the ears of any music listener whether they are jamming on “Shakedown Street” or bringing back memories with TLC’s “Waterfalls” there is something for everybody in their music. Country fans were even treated to a bluegrass rendition of their original “Saliva” featuring a guest mandolin player.
Night two was packed! Shoulder to shoulder on the dance floor, fans were ready for funk and the boys didn’t disappoint. Breaking into the opening track from their Unit 17 EP, “Rachel’s Rugelach” set the vibe for what would turn into musical potluck, including collaborations with trumpet player Tim Blackmon Jr., guitarist/father Steve Luria, and a very special sit in from Donna the Buffalo drummer Mark Raudabaugh and keyboardist/organ player David McCracken. The now 6-member musical ensemble laid down “Fly Like An Eagle” by Steve Miller Band. “I love getting new people to play with us and see how we react to a new voice as a group,” said Shoes and Laces drummer Reo Morris.
The apparent passion and love that these individuals have put into their music is inspiring. The sense of excitement and enjoyment being had by the band flows from the speakers and into the crowd, creating a superb musical experience for all. Keep yourself updated with the most recent show announcements on their Facebook page or their official website.