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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Stank Willie

Lincolnshire, IL, February 15, 2003

Review by Steve Alspach

There's a new band in the Chicago/Rockford area that mixes a load of different styles into one seamless blend. Stank Willie is a band that originated in downstate Carbondale, Illinois, but have migrated north. On February 15, they did an opening set at the Cubby Bear. Their six-song set was full of tight playing, hot solos, and had quite a few folks out on the dance floor.
The band opened with a tune that sounded a bit like the Dave Matthews Band, and drummer Jeff Brackhan has a similar style to the DMB's Carter Beauford with his syncopated playing. Stank Willie also delved into funk-rock like Tower of Power. Besides having a two-man horn section, lead singer/keyboardist Matt Engbring had his sax at the ready as well. He is also a styled keyboardist, and knew how to interplay with the others in the band. Guitarist Dennis Feltner has a bluesy feel in his playing and his solos were very well-played. Bassist Adam Gardner laid down a solid bottom on his bass and got into some excellent riff-trading with Engbring. The just-added horn section kept a low profile, but once they get their grounding with the band, they will add an excellent jazzy touch.

Eric Meli
Eric Meli
This band is chock full of talent and tasty riffs, and on this evening they left the audience wanting more. With a band that has the chops like what these guys have, the sky is the limit.

Note: The photos accompanying the review were actually taken in Rockford, IL

Eric Meli
Eric Meli
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 3 at
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