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Volume 40 Issue 13 • July 29-Aug. 4, 2010
now in our 40th season

Getting Funky with Miss Fairchild

by Stephen William Bowler

Strap on your helmets and grease up the soles of your dancing shoes because we are going interview style with Nantucket’s very own “good time” music producing pop/funk/R&B supergroup sensation, Miss Fairchild. The 8 “Fairchilden” of the currently Boston based Show Band just finished a stint on Nantucket for some 4th festivities and a rockin’ show at The Muse Nightclub (July 9th), and were kind enough to answer a few questions before having to jet set back the mainland to continue their high energy & free spirited music drenched lifestyles.

Welcome back to Nantucket! How long has it been since your last visit?
Thanks Steve! It's actually been just 3 short months since we played on Nantucket last. We did an awesome annual fundraising event for the Nantucket AIDS Network back in April called Swing Into Spring; our second year in a row as the feature entertainment for the event. It's always a blast!

How many more trips to the island are you planning this summer? What does
the bands’ upcoming schedule look like for Nantucket shows?
Yeah, we're excited to be returning to Nantucket's nightclub scene this summer and pleased to be doing it at The Muse! We'll also be playing an all ages show for the Dreamland Foundation in the lot downtown on Monday, August 16th. There are always a few flings that fly in at the last minute (aka "island time"), so who knows where and when you'll catch Miss Fairchild this Summer!

Give me some history on the band. How long have you been together, how did you form, where do you all know each other from?
Well, for those of you on the Rock who've know about MF since the beginning, you might remember the band as a trio the first time you saw us! You would not be mistaken. Yes, Miss Fairchild is currently an 8-piece "R&B Show Band", but we had a meager beginning. We started as simply a studio project. Blossoming music producer Sammy Bananas (then P.Nice), recruited me, Daddy Wrall, to record vocals on some tunes he had programmed, and the next thing you know - BOOM! - a full blown project was born. Schuyler Dunlap, who we had played with in an island-band in high school days (...does anyone remember Jive Sucka!?) was brought in to lend arrangement, songwriting, and instrumental assistance to the project and then the duo became a trio. Since those days of old, the band size has grown in numbers and the music has seen many phases, but the vision has remained the same: give the people a show and make them feel good.

What was the inspiration for the band name?
   Well, the short version is that Miss Fairchild is kind of the muse for the band's songs. The long version, you can read about on our website, - look for the blog post entitled, "The Name." Trust me, it's worth the effort.

Where have you guys been playing recently? Any place that you have really memorable shows?
We've been hitting up our regular joints in Porltand, ME, Providence, RI, and Brooklyn, NY. Those are the cities that we hit with regularity and therefore the ones that contain our biggest fan bases. I'd say our most memorable gigs currently happen at our favorite Boston bar, Church, near Fenway Park. Awesome atmosphere, great staff, delicious food and a packed house! What more could you ask for in a gig? Readers, check it out for yourself if you're in the area on July 30th, for MF's headline show there! 

What kind of a crowd have you been drawing lately? What’s the largest group of people you’ve played in front of?
We've been drawing a steady crowd up in Boston for our regular gigs there, but our most impressive crowds have come from street fairs in years past. We play every year for the 5th Avenue Street Fair in Brooklyn, NY and are privileged to entertain hundreds of passer-by's of all ages. Our biggest crowd ever was at Foo Fest in Providence, RI, a few years back. It was in the thousands.

Give me a breakdown on MF’s repertoire and song catalogue.
Our repertoire is made up mostly of originals, but for longer shows we enjoy throwing in some choice covers to keep people peppy. We like to stick to R&B covers, but aren't locked into any one decade. We cover tunes from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's! We're still looking for our 00's cover tune, by the way. We're open to suggestions, reading public. We take crowd requests, but only in writing.. And by snail mail. And only if received in the 3rd week of the calendar month. So, plan ahead people.

It’s getting on towards 1am at the Muse and you are wrapping
up your set when the crowd starts dropping the “One More Song” chant, what do you do?
Our encore du jour is "Them Changes" by Buddy Miles. It's an old Funk/Rock standard that fewer and fewer people know every time we play it, but it never fails to blow peoples heads off anyway!

Any accomplishments or accolades the band has that you are particularly proud of?
To date, we're most proud of our association with reality TV, actually. (I know, go figure!) The band has enjoyed some great exposure the last few years by being licensed for TV shows such as The Real World and Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

What are the essential ingredients in a perfect dance party?
There's only one, really: Hot Sauce. The "hot sauce" is what we call Sammy Banana's weird studio ideas for our records! Squiggly synth lines, patty-cake clapping - that's the Hot Sauce!

What shows do you like to go and see yourself? Anyone you haven’t seen (dead or alive) but would absolutely love to?
Since I've moved to the city, I've been honored to witness shows by some of my heroes in music: Raphael Saadiq, Bone Thugs~N~Harmony, The Levon Helm Band, Graham Central Station, Prince - masters of their craft. Schuyler, Sammy and I often talk about our "time machine" list; the concerts and bands we'd love to see that happened in a specific place or time. Examples: the Original JB's (or "The New Breed Band") with James Brown, circa 1970, or Prince's Sign 'O' The Times band, circa '87 - '88.

Do you all play music full time, or are there other jobs/gigs on the side?
The band is split evenly between full-timers and people that have day jobs - of course, everybody's got a side gig! After all, that's the name of the game. Get out there and PLAY MUSIC!

Where do you see the band headed? 2020, what is Miss Fairchild doing (feel free to do a little improvisational storytelling)?
The band is reaching for the stars! After all, why aim for any less? You can't be successful in the music business if you don't want to be. We're winning people over one at a time and will continue to do so until we've got 'em all... Even if we're dead and gone by the time it happens. I have it in my mind that MF is destined to make a classic record that doesn't get its deserved attention until the year 2058 A.D.

For the guys that grew up here, it means a lot! To be able to entertain and give back to the scene that raised me as a musician is a priceless. The scene here is small, but rich and passionate. There's a lot of great talent out here, from vets like Jeff Ross and Jamie Howarth, to younger bands like Raised By Wolves and Perfect Day. There's something in the air here, besides salt!

Thanks much to Miss Fairchild! Check them out on the internet at both Facebook and Myspace and on their very own website where you can sign up for their email list. Be sure to keep up to date on concert info and if you are looking for something to make you stomp your feet and shake your head on your next car ride, jog, or at your desk, you can also find their work on Itunes, including their new single “Soda Pop.”


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