The Fringe

28 08 2009

Happy Friday. Represent. Today I’ve got a group that’s quite musically inclined. They’re Jacksonville group The Fringe. Next week’s Seattle Week, by the way, so look out for that. That means every artist I will cover is from Seattle. But for now, The Fringe.

Back in the day, I used to go see some of my friends play music in the San Marco region of Jacksonville. They played covers of popular songs and got tipped pretty well for it, not to mention the fact that they provided a pretty nice musical backdrop for many of my fond memories. They soon quit playing at San Marco and moved to the St. John’s Town Center. They were called ICQ, which stands for the Irving Clements Quartet, and the whole joke was that Irving was never there because he had scurvy… but there was no Irving. So it was really a trio.

The Fringe 1

When college rolled around, one third of ICQ took off to North Carolina for school, while the other two stuck around. Guitarist Jon Swan and violinist Felix Chang teamed up with vocalist Austin Smith, bassist Jeremy Gray, drummer Elon Hiers, pianist Bryant Miano, and saxophonist Richard Garcia, and The Fringe was born. Their sound is pretty original and very recognizable. What’s odd is that they’re so young, yet they have a mature sound (partially due to the instrument selection, I think). It’s pretty respectable. The instrumental parts are incredible. I can’t stress that enough.

It seems to me like this group was meant to play jazz, and it’s awesome to hear them. I got to see them live at the jazz festival, and I’ve gotta say, I was pretty impressed. I visited their MySpace page and listened to the five songs they have up. “Forget” and “Comfortable” are definitely my favorite songs on there. My one gripe is that there isn’t enough purely instrumental work. I think that if the album (which is releasing Fall 2009, according to the MySpace) had a few instrumental tracks, that’d be a strong plus.

The Fringe 2

Interested in catching The Fringe live? Well, they’ll be playing at Donovan’s Irish Pub in St. Augustine on September 19th. The show is set to get started at 8 PM, and best of all, it’s free. I think I’m going to try to make it out to that show and maybe even write a concert review. We’ll see how that goes.

Along with an album, The Fringe says there will be an album release tour coming up this fall as well. This will definitely be worth checking out, and if there’s a show near you, go catch it. If I find out the dates of the shows, I’ll probably post them up here. That’s it for this week. Peace.

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