Meet the Band: Luke Bergan (guitar), Dave Lynn (bass), Jay Stephens (keys), Mat Weisman (drums)
The History: Yosemight formed in late 2011 with the righteous goal of pursuing chilled-out grooves and upbeat, danceable rhythms. It all falls concisely into place at the band's live shows, which guarantee a good time for all involved. More to the point, however, the band's approach to music stems from sources like soaring, majestic "Reba" jams and the buoyant rhythms of, say, a midsummer's "Gotta Jibboo." To the uninitiated, just let the good times pull you onward; Yosemight is here to delight. "Every venue we've played in Cleveland has been really welcoming," Bergan says, expounding on the band's Columbus roots and Northeast Ohio touring.
The Debut: Yosemight's self-titled album hits streets this week, promising touchstone versions of songs they've been playing around town lately. Album opener "Spotted Off Path" has been garnering a terrific response during recent shows. Before diving into an ascendant guitar solo, Luke Bergan's vocal work is held up very well by the one-drop rhythm that Jay Stephens is kicking around on the keys. "Blind Seeing Eye Dog" is another highlight, giving each band member a chance to flaunt his talents via a bluegrass-style rhythm. "We'll play a song, and we usually have no idea what's going to happen five minutes in," Bergan says. Open-ended improv is the goal, and each member pulls off inter-band communication onstage with aplomb.
Why You Should Hear Them: The band's laid-back blend of reggae elements and jam-friendly improvisation is the perfect elixir for whatever ails ya. And, hey, the weather's fine in Cleveland these days. Throw on Yosemight's new album, and maybe throw back a coupla IPAs, and you've got the fixins for a wonderful afternoon.
Where You Can Hear Them: yosemight.com
Where You Can See Them: Yosemight performs with Dr. Fresh Butter and Plum Jam at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 9 at the Beachland Tavern. — Eric Sandy