Meet the Band: Pat Sandy (guitar), Angelo Ciu (guitar), Kevin Dyckes (saxophone), Benny Pacheco (drums) and Len Gray (bass)
jam session: Guitarists Pat Sandy and Angelo Ciu first met up at one of the many jam sessions they would attend in the mid-'90s at Westlake blues club, The Savannah. "The Savannah had a killer jam night run by [local guitarist] Michael Bay," says Sandy. "A lot of people used to show up there, so it was literally Grand Central Station for musicians, and our first real gig was in 1999. We started at a few small venues and then soon after that, we got booked at the Savannah where we had been hanging out every Thursday night." The band's line-up has changed over the years, but Sandy thinks of all his former band mates as "family" and says the current line-up is as good as the band's ever been.
horns aplenty: The band's use of horns really distinguishes it from other blues outfits in town. "I've always been a big fan of jump blues," says Sandy. "We've been blessed with dynamic sax players." On the band's first CD, Dyckes played bass and saxophone.
on writing new material: After playing a 15-year anniversary show, the band expects to get into the recording studio by the end of the year. "We realized it's been 15 years and we really wanted to do some more, so we're in the process of gathering new material," says Sandy. "Cleveland has always had such an eclectic, vibrant music scene, and it continues to blossom...all of us in the band are proud to be part of it."
why you should Hear them: On songs such as "You Never Know," the band opts for a poppy sound, and the wailing saxophones that emerge mid-song give the tune a jazzy feel. "Lately I've Been Thinking" comes off a bit like Springsteen with its baritone sax bits and husky vocals. "Freeway Song" has a Chicago-like jazz vibe to it. "When we put our first CD out, it was all originals and we got some airplay," says Sandy. "One of the local blues shows played 'Too Much Information.' It was a gas! We've had a lot of descriptions of the band over the years and we've been likened to a much smoother approach, rather than a harder type of blues style. The first CD covers a number of genres. "I was just trying to write stuff that the whole band would enjoy playing. I adore the blues but I also have lots of other influences and the original material reflects that - it's just a fun band and we always have a good time."
Where You Can Hear them: rhythmsyndicate.net.
Where You Can See them: The Rhythm Syndicate performs at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 11 at the Savannah in Westlake.