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"Funkharp's first concert was me on a boardwalk bench, all the instruments I could carry and an open guitar case with a sign saying 'Change'" says Joseph Randle, the man equated with the term Funkharp. He's a classic band nerd with a surprising tongue. Drifting between ultra-literate eloquence and childlike wonder, that "Change" sign on his guitar case was probably meant as a general statement, not a request for spare coin. Randle writes all of Funkharp's songs and jumps from instrument to instrument on stage constantly surprising his audience. Funkharp is often joined in studio and onstage by a rotating array of musicians, including the following:
-Kevin Hanes: A reserved person by nature, Kevin communicates his personality and story through his hybridized percussive style, combining elements of rock, jazz, and worldbeat.
-The Thundercat: a grinning and excitable bass phenom whose slap n' pop style interlocks with Randle's playing the way a zebra's stripes might fit together.
-Spencer Randle: A trombone prodigy and current student in NYU's jazz program, he has gigged with the likes of Lenny Pickett (of Saturday Night Live), jazz legend Sy Johnson, and George Mesterhazy (Grammy nominee and accompanist to Shirley Horn) though only a teenager. (He's also Funkharp's younger brother)
-Gene Orlando: a fellow multi-instrumentalist and a tonehead who creates soundscapes that envelop Funkharp’s signature sound.
Funkharp's roots are the small clubs of New York City and Philadelphia, but the band has taken to the road, tackling more and more of America's east coast and midwest. With the exception of a few lucky breaks (opening for Jeffrey Gaines, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Chiddy Bang or their charity performance at Ripken Stadium), Funkharp have grown from the ground up. A show at a friend's house party results in a concert at a nearby bar or club; then later turns into a performance at a local music festival and so forth.
"We've always relished a crowd's silence moreso than their applause," says Funkharp frontman, Joseph Randle, following a monster performance for over a 1000 screaming fans at a college Spring Fair, "I like dive bars, open mics, and busy restaurants that situate us in the background. Coaxing a crowd to quiet down and pay attention. That's our greatest achievement." Funkharp happily take on venues of every size and shape, mastering the art of crowd pleasing; courting each audience like a romance fated for that exact evening. When other bands shout so that people must hear, Funkharp speaks soundly so that people will listen.