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URBAN SOIL weaves Americana, rock and soul into their explosive live shows and tightly polished albums. They display the uncompromising energy that Urban Soil is consistent in delivering, and likewise exemplifies the band’s skillful-yet–visceral sound. They have the unique talent of transferring the energy of their live shows on to their studio recordings, resulting in an electrifying experience with every listen.
Influenced by early roots elements, Urban Soil uniquely fuses those sounds with a fresh take, delivering a blend of raw, nostalgic foundations with a modern and glistening slant.
Front-woman Sarah Reinke brings her old-soul vocals to the stage and studio with passionate style. Rounding out her talents on guitar and washboard, Reinke pulls you in instantly. Guitarist and vocalist, Eric Chesson delivers forceful and driving components with every lick, and offers steadfast vocals. Greg Meckley’s skillful violin and mandolin playing blends tight layers and bright sounds that solidify the band smoothly against driving guitars. Holding down the rhythm section, Scott Lewis and David Connors provide a concrete foundation on drums and bass respectively.
UNAKA PRONG: The music is based in a multitude of genres, but most directly pulls from jazz, prog rock, funk, reggae, and the blues.
“Unaka Prong ‘mixes a variety of genres that embody classic acts like Phish and Steely Dan,’ says keyboardist Chris Pope. ‘We like to challenge the music by pushing the boundaries of what is considered ‘pop’ by mixing it with jazz influences, which is where a lot of our fusion sound originates.’ Hargett said. ‘For songwriting, each member might come up with a line and a cohesive song will flourish if it sparks the creative process of all the band members,’ Pope said. ‘This is the way most of our songs are derived,’ he said. Sale, the band’s bassist, writes songs rooted in complex music theory, like ‘Crunch Berries,’ Sale said those types of songs are some of the most crazy and enjoyable to play. ‘Jonathan is like the mad man in the best sense possible,’ Pope said. ‘He has an incredible ear for perfecting parts of a song that are rendered unfinished or dissonant.’ Inspiration for Unaka Prong spans from various outlets, usually dependent on the person composing the song. ‘Daniel brings a more folky, rocky and all around badass nature to the vocals and guitar,’ Pope said. ‘The songs that John writes embody a Beatle-esque tone.’ Stevenson acknowledges that Pressley is still the only one who can adequately play the trumpet. The band members’ close relationship is evident through their effortless vibe when jamming together. Songs like ‘Truffle Shuffle’ showcase the band’s ability to elegantly change meter. When playing live, Unaka Prong is no stranger to improvising on stage. Setlists usually stay behind, Pressley said. ‘We make it a point for every live show to improvise on stage,’ Pressley said. ‘If we feel the need to make a set list, then we do it an hour before the show. Depending on the energy and where the show is heading, we could just be like ‘screw it, let’s just play this song instead.’ Energy, edge and excitement is the aesthetic the band strives for in a live setting, Pressley said.”