Grand Rapids Rock/Pop/Soul trio Four Finger Five (Joe Sturgill guitar/vocals/keys, Steve Harris drums, Mike Phillips bass) began rehearsing together in a small studio over a decade ago. Evolving over the years, they played the circuit until they had established regional buzz, and eventually built a solid reputation on absorbing, energetic performances and innovative songwriting.
The fans have come to expect the unexpected, a mix of heady rock riffs alongside catchy pop melodies, and lyrics that swing from love in bloom to middle-class political angst and back again. The band has had national notice on Pandora and the CMJ charts, credits like Rothbury and sets before O.A.R. and Dave Mathews Band.
With their next release Soul in a Suitcase slated for November 2011, Four finger Five has raised the bar more than a few notches. Just when everyone thought they knew Four finger Five, after two award winning full-length records, an EP and over seven years of live shows, Soul in a Suitcase is moving the band’s sound into a realm that is somehow both wider and more distinct.
Lately they sound more like The Police, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the John Mayer Trio than Phish, despite their former national moniker of “Top 5 Up and Coming Festival Bands” (Billboard Magazine). They stroll onto the stage in suit and tie, and command their set for two full hours, expertly finessing a rapt audience of audiophiles and hipsters alike.
Thanks to true performances and influences ranging from The Beatles to Jay-Z, Radiohead to Clapton, and Genesis to The Black Keys, the trio’s fan base is growing larger and more diverse with every show. New and old fans sing happily in unison to songs they’ve heard just once. A thousands strong and steadily climbing online base frequently urges the band to, “Keep on breaking the rules.”