Roster McCabe... mixing reggae, funk and guitar-rock... led by Steele's searing vocals and Daum's twisting guitar solos... [is one of] five up-and-coming jam bands that could draw audiences to the festivals of tomorrow. - BILLBOARD MAGAZINE
Roster McCabe likes to stay one step ahead. Musically, people know they love it, but they can't fully describe it. The bands coined phrase “Funky Reggae Dance Rock” gives a good hint of what you can expect from the 5 piece rock band, but speaks nothing to the depth and sincerity of the music. Professionally, the band is leading the way in the independent music world. Giving away all of their music for free, Roster McCabe has built a large, loyal following eager to share their music and bring friends to the live shows.
By the end of 2011, Roster McCabe had played 670 shows over the course of five years and has no plans of slowing down. Just this past year the band supported Matisyahu and Stephen Marley and rocked clubs and festivals in 23 states. Legendary keyboard/synth player Bernie Worrell of Parliment-Funkadelic, and Kyle Hollingsworth of the jam superstar band The String Cheese Incident have both sat in on stage with Roster McCabe.
A Roster McCabe live experience is just that: an experience. Unlike the one-hit-wonder pop bands that play the hit night after night to an audience in attendance for the one song, Roster McCabe brings a high energy, fresh show to loyal fans all across the country keeping each night unique with new arrangements to RMC staples while mixing in their take on well-known classics. No show is the same.
Built on the foundation of drummer Jeff Peterson and bassist Scott Muellenberg, the quintet brings an unstoppable dance party night after night. 26-year-old Peterson and 24-year-old Muellenberg sound like they've been grooving together for 30 years. The flair of Peterson's drumming never interferes with the deep groove of each song - something sought after but rarely attained by flashy drummers. Lead guitarist Michael David Daum brings even the most studied guitar heads to their knees with his unparalleled tone, technique and jaw-dropping solos. Drew Preiner keeps the dance party strong with catchy synth lines and heavy guitar counter-melodies to Daum's lead. When both guitars play in harmony, you swear you've been transported to an alternate universe where The Allman Brothers and Metallica snowboard together.
What adds the finishing touches to this irrepressible instrumentalist core is the soulful, heart wrenching vocals of Jamaican Alex Steele (well, half Jamaican/half Minnesotan). You come for the dance party and you leave with a new favorite singer and front man. As kind as he is powerful, Steele can belt out Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" to sound as if Robert Plant chose Vitamin Water instead of Whiskey. Always in control enough to soar above the band and over the crowd, but soulful enough to let everything go in bleeding, explosive passion.
Doubling on synth and keys, Steele and the guys (incorporating samples, arpeggiators and other various electronic elements) bring portions of the set to DJ rave-like electro heights. Don’t be surprised if you see this band sharing bills with top DJs and packing party tents at late night festival slots.
In their hometown of Minneapolis, Roster McCabe packs some of the most legendary venues like the Cabooze where 700 people came out to their CD release the night of one of Minnesota's largest blizzard's of the 2010/2011 winter. The most recent studio release, Through Space and Time, was recorded at the famed Pachyderm Studios and co-produced and mixed by Grammy nominated Paul Marino. The album fuses the best of the past 50 years of music into a cohesive, singable multi-genre album. Masterfully dipping into reggae, disco, funk, rock, electronica, metal, pop, soul and R&B, summing up the album with a single style would be disingenuous and impossible.
When asked why the band chose to give this album (and all music) away for free (which took over two years of writing, demoing, fundraising, recording and mixing), Preiner reveals, "For us, it's constantly about expanding and growing and getting more people to hear the music. We do that by playing as many shows as possible during the year, and growing our base is more important than residing in a dying music industry model."