Story by Hillary Yocum
Photo by Valerie Brown
Seldomly do you see such an eclectic group of fans as those that came out to the Kent Stage to see The Speedbumps and G-Love & Special Sauce on June 23. Both young and old seemed to be moved by the soulful music of The Speedbumps as they crowded along the front of the stag to dance and sing along with the band.
The Speedbumps, which consists of Erik Urucki (lead vocals and acoustic guitar), Andrew Bonnis (upright/electric bass, acoustic guitar, ukulele), Sam Kristoff (cello) and Pat Hawkins (percussion) played for a packed house when they opened for G-Love & Special Sauce. It comes as no surprise that The Speedbumps has such a great following. Urycki’s laid-back attitude on and off the stage makes it very easy to relax and just enjoy the music. That combined with his heartfelt lyrics and the energy and talent coming from Bonnis on the multiple string instruments makes this band impossible to not be drawn in.
The night started off with Urycki and Bonnis playing a duo, Urycki with vocals and guitar and Bonnis switching between upright electric bass, acoustic guitar and ukulele. Kristoff and Hawkins joined in after a couple of songs with the cello and percussion.
The Speedbumps got the crowd revved up for G-Love, who came out and got everyone on their feet and dancing when he opened his part of the show with “Milk and Sugar”.
Opening for G-Love was a very special opportunity according to Erik Urycki. “I’ve been a fan since I was in seventh grade. I feel really blessed to be able to do this with the guys.” Urycki says.
G-Love, who describes himself as a “hip-hop blues artist” has been making and releasing music for 15 years. He’s released 10 albums, one of which, the self-titled album was certified gold on MTV.
The Speedbumps are currently working on promoting their latest album "The Moon Is Down," which came out last summer. Urycki says this differs from their last album, Apple Tree that came out in 2009 because there is more complexity in the lyrics
“The time has given me the chance to mature and my ability as a songwriter has expanded and become more broad,” Urycki says.
Uryecki derives his lyrics from anything that might be weighing on his mind.
Urycki says he draws inspiration for the new album “The Moon Is Down” from a variety of sources, such as political issues, personal life experiences or anything else that creates a strong emotional reaction.
This fall, The Speedbumps will be playing at various colleges around the country while they work on writing material for another album.
To find out more about The Speedbumps check out http://www.thespeedbumps.com.