Get to know: The Colby Dobbs Band

| October 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

The Colby Dobbs Band backstage (L-R: Arabo Bey, trumpet; Marcus Harmon, saxophone; Matt Szytber, guitar; Dan Lawlor, drums; Colby Dobbs, piano/vocals; David Sentendrey, bass)

Aug. 4 at the Double Door Inn, there was a sense of excitement in the air.

On stage there were sounds being crafted unlike anything heard in the local music scene.

The musicianship was apparent but not in-your-face, the songs were expertly crafted and the band was clearly having the time of its life.

It was hard to believe this was one of the few concerts the Colby Dobbs Band had headlined.

Formed roughly two and a half years ago, the Colby Dobbs Band has foregone the traditional method of thinking concerning new groups: Play as many shows as possible, and then release an album.

In fact, there was never any intent for this group of musicians to be an actual band.

“I had left the group I was in prior and taken six months or so off, to see if I really wanted to write songs and play music,” said pianist/lead singer Colby Dobbs.

“I kept writing during my hiatus and ended up in a recording studio cutting demos. [The engineer] recommended our now drummer [Dan Lawlor] and we’ve worked together ever since.

“Dan knew our guitar player and when that same track needed a guitar solo Matt Sztyber was the guy that came in to play on the track. [Bassist] David Sentendrey came into the fold a few months later.

“It was never meant to be a band, but we all liked the songs and liked playing together so we ended up cutting an entire album.”

The debut album, “The Great Unknown,” was released in May 2012, and was recorded over a 14-month period, quite a while for a band to craft their debut.

It is interesting to note the evolution of the band’s sound throughout.

“The album is a steady progression of where the band has come to,” said Sentendrey.

“I think the earlier work has more of a pop influence, and then you have a song like the title track ["The Great Unknown"] which has more of a Steely Dan, rock-jazz influence; there are some more danceable tunes as well.”

Sentendrey admits the task was daunting, but was a worthwhile endeavor.

“It was a learning experience. We didn’t go into the recording knowing exactly what we were going to do. We weren’t just going in, cutting an album, and being done with it,” he said.

“We were discovering ourselves as a band while recording. It was an unorthodox way to go about it, but it worked for us and we’re happy with where we’re at now.”

The thing that sticks out the most about the Colby Dobbs Band is that there is no one really like them in Charlotte’s music scene; this has its ups and downs.

“I think the local music scene sometimes doesn’t know what to think. There really isn’t a band doing what we are doing right now,” Dobbs said.

“As it is in any city, breaking into the music scene can be challenging. But the people who dig us really appreciate what we do and I think as time goes on more people will do the same.”

With shows under their belt at respected Charlotte venues like the Neighborhood Theatre, the Visulite Theatre and the Evening Muse, there’s no doubt that the band is going to pick up steam.

The group’s future plans include playing more local shows, as well as writing more material.

“The Great Unknown” is available for purchase through iTunes, CD Baby and Amazon.

The Colby Dobbs Band will be playing at the Saloon at the NC Music Factory this Saturday, Oct. 20, with opener Elk Attack. Doors open at 9 p.m.

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Category:Arts and Entertainment, Niner Times

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