The Outer Proposition at Mary’s Place

The Outer Proposition at Mary’s Place

By music review

By Mike Davis

Music Critic

The Outer Proportion has arrived. They played a Halloween party at Mary’s Place of Rockford and showed a lot of promise for a new band with only a few gigs notched on their amplifiers. They played a mix of funk, rock, reggae, blues, jazz and country songs.

With such a varied collection of musical styles in their repertoire, The Outer Proportion avoids classification into one genre. The majority of their songs consisted of either rock or funk numbers, but just for fun, the band slipped in a few Johnny Cash-like two-beat country tunes into their set, which delighted the crowd, some blues and reggae tunes, too. The band’s current anthem, the blues song, “We Like Roast,” exemplifies singer/lyricist Pat Andres’ humorous nature, which appears in many of his lyrics, while he sang of the band’s carnivorous desire to consume roast. The band and the people at Mary’s provided free plates of roast with potatoes, carrots and onions to the audience in honor of the song. Maybe it was because of the free food, but the audience ate the song up.

Perhaps the best thing about this new group is that they do not play any cover songs. They performed more than 20 songs that evening, every one of which was written by the band. The group needs to tighten up their songs a bit yet, and singer Andres sometimes displays a tendency to put too many words into the lines he sings, which can hurt the melody. But the band will fix these problems with experience.

Other members of the group include Steve Kelly on guitar, John Funderburg on bass, Dave Slater on drums, Eric Morse on saxophone, and special guest for the evening, DJ Brother Adrian on turntables. Kelly and Morse performed most of the solos during the evening, tastefully adding to the songs, no matter what style of music they were playing. Morse deserves special credit for his ability to work the saxophone so well into the country songs. The sax is not something normally heard in country music, but Morse added a pleasant dimension to the few country numbers they played.

In honor of Halloween, the band stormed on stage wearing blue jump suits that covered them from head to foot, and each member wore a different style hat, except Slater, and crazy sunglasses to finish off the outfits. Drummer Slater looked especially funny because he had cut a hole in the top of his hood to pull his mound of dreadlocks through. What they were supposed to be was not obvious, but their costumes added to the fun of the evening, and that is what this band is all about–fun. They play music that they enjoy and makes the crowd want to get up and dance. Funky tunes like “Booty” and “Reverend” really got the crowd moving.

In a town with too few bands that play only original songs, The Outer Proportion exists as a much-needed addition to the local music scene. They play enough different styles of music that they provide something for everyone. No matter what style of music they play, each song can be danced to. These guys want their audience to share in the fun they have on stage. If you want to hear a good band and dance the night away, The Outer Proportion is a must see. Watch for them.

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