News Column

The Shadowboxers

July 24, 2014

By Bethany Leggett, The Brunswick News, Ga.



July 24--11And in a few weeks, the venue at Rainbow Island will once again transform into a backyard music venue when the Atlanta-based band, The Shadowboxers, makes their way to the coast for the Aug. 7 concert.

Having performed before in Savannah and on Tybee Island, the group is looking forward to expanding their talents along the Georgia Coast.

"We've been hearing for so long, living in Atlanta, about the beauty down there, and I think we're just honored and excited to be able to do what we do for a new audience in such a beautiful place. We can't complain one bit," said Adam Hoffman, one of the singer-songwriters in the Shadowboxers.

The Shadowboxers started in 2008 when the trio of founders -- Hoffman, Scott Schwartz and Matt Lipkins -- came together to record a song for an arts competition held at Emory University in Atlanta, where all three were attending.

A week after graduating, the bandmates hit the road to open and play the backing band for the Indigo Girls.

"It was so surreal as a young band to go out there and not just open for 'The Indigio Girls' but also be their backing band. We spent two hours in sound checks and then four hours playing each night. What an invaluable learning experience it is to tour with pros. They taught us to treat music as a profession," he said.

The band, which also includes drummer Cole McSween and bassist Carlos Enamorado, released their first album, "Red Room," with Vanguard Records in January 2013. They use a blend of covers and original works for their performances.

"In college, we played a lot of covers because you really don't get a chance to play a bunch of original songs at a fraternity party, but we never wanted to be known as a cover band. The ones we do are intentionally chosen to go along with the sound that our own songs have," Hoffman said.

They blend soul and rock, guitar and pop, harmonies and eclectic styles. On some tracks, they sound like the Beatles or Hall and Oates. Other times they resemble Coldplay or John Mayer.

"Harmonies are a huge part of what we do. We often look to the great vocal harmony groups for inspiration -- Crosby, Stills and Nash especially since there are three of them. Also The BeeGees for that same reason and when we need some extra motivation to sing really really high," said Schwartz, adding Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Prince as other inspiring artists.

They've played in almost every state in the U.S., regularly post videos of their songs on Youtube and find the Internet as a wonderful chance to keep with fans all over, even famous ones.

Schwartz said one of the most surprising moments for the band happened last December. The group posted their cover version of Justin Timberlake's song "Pusher Love Girl" a few days before heading to Nashville for a performance.

When they finished their gig on stage, they returned to Schwartz' parents home, only to discover that their cover video from a few days before had reached none other than Timberlake himself.

The "Suit and Tie" singer, who is a prolific user of social media, had just sent a link to his 33 million followers of the band's cover.

"The three of us were jumping up and down in the bathroom as we watched messages pile into our email inbox, notifying us of the hundreds of new social media subscribers we'd gained in a matter of minutes. We couldn't believe what was happening. We still can't," Schwartz said.

In fact, the singer has tweeted the Shadowboxers videos a few more times since then, and the band is one of only 80 accounts the Hollywood performer follows personally on Twitter.

The group is already working on a second album.

"We are all on the same page about this next album, and it's really going to be a step a new direction for us. We can't wait to put this record together," said Hoffman.

Joining The Shadowboxers at the Aug. 7 concert at Rainbow Island is St. Augustine performer Brady Reich, who makes the journey north a couple times each month to play at venues around St. Simons and Sea islands including Brogens and Mullet Bay.

Reich, who has been performing for 12 years, likes to perform as a one-man band with a guitar, tambourine and harmonica. While he normally plays several hours at his normal gigs, the 45-minute opener planned is a unique opportunity for Reich.

"I will get a chance to go up there and play with a lot of energy. It can be a workout, but the best compliment I have ever gotten was when I was told I had soul. It's not just about the voice but about the energy I bring and the audience feels, too," said the Floridian performer.

-- Lifestyle Editor Bethany Leggett writes about lifestyle topics. Contact her at bleggett@thebrunswicknews.com, or at 265-8320, ext. 316.

Listen live

The Shadowboxers will perform at Rainbow Island, part of Sea Island, on Aug. 7. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.Brady Reich will take the stage as the opening act at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $30 for general admission, and a cash bar will be available. A VIP package that includes valet parking at The Cloister, seating access near the stage, complimentary concessions and access to a covered pavilion are $75.

For more information, go to Tick etbud.com, then to the Shadowboxers concert.

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(c)2014 The Brunswick News (Brunswick, Ga.)

Visit The Brunswick News (Brunswick, Ga.) at www.thebrunswicknews.com

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Source: Brunswick News (GA)


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