The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 25, 2013

Woody Brown Project brings colorful sounds to Turkey Hill

By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz
For The Daily Item

BLOOMSBURG — Ask Fares Houssein to describe The Woody Brown Project’s sound, the keyboardist lets out a wicked laugh and says it would be comparable to spicy barbeque chicken, cornbread and a mess of catfish nuggets.

Of course, one would need a brew or two to wash all that down so it’s a good thing the band will be making its debut appearance at the Turkey Hill Brewing Company this Saturday.

And don’t worry about the frigid weather since this band cranks up the heat and the volume for a smoking hot time.

“We’re like a band that gets people dancing and moving around and having a fun time,” Houssein said. “We’re a lot of fun and we bring that high energy feel to whereever we play.”

That high energy vibe started in the summer of 2006 when longtime friends Houssein, along with drummer Jay Stefanski, guitarist Jesse Rupert and percussionist Bob Scorey, decided to take their interest in music to the next level. With saxophonist Carl Krupa and trumpeter Tim Jackson added to the musical mix, a band with a lot of energy and character was formed.

“We’re like a big dysfunctional family. We all get along and each one of us brings something different to the table,” he said. “Things can get a little crazy trying to get everything organized and make sure we get together and rehearse, but we always make sure we have a goodtime and the crowd has a chance to kick back, have fun and forget their worries.”

Based in Wilkes-Barre, this blues, rock, jazz and funk-infused band regularly performs across the northeast and in New York City where they can get their groove on with crowds from a handful to 400.

With influences as varied as James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and Lettuce (the musical act, not the food), this tightknit band  has evolved into one that gets the crowd bumpin’ and swayin’ on the dance floor with a funky and soulful beat.

“I guess if I can’t remember any shows that were memorable for the wrong reasons, that means we’re doing something right,” said Houssein, whose day job is working in security.

“We all really put our heart and soul into the music we make and that comes out in our sound.”

It’s no wonder there’s a lot of soul in the band’s style since the band adopted the moniker from a beloved soul food joint in Wilkes-Barre.

“I think the fact we’re based in Wilkes-Barre has influenced our music. There’s a lot of energy and character into our sound.”

For their debut gig at the Turkey Hill Brewing Company, the band will be performing a mix of covers and original material that will get the party started and the crowd pumped up.

“Our show in Bloomsburg will definitely be a lot of fun and a lot of good music.”