You can’t say rock and roll doesn’t cover a lot of different areas. One of the lesser known categories of rock are the corporate bands. This category covers bands like the Band from the Boardroom, a local group making a splash in a big way. Playing at the Arcadia Blues Club Saturday, March 14th, they will be following on the heels of a successful set of gigs at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Their next stop will be on March 28 for “The Playoff”, a competition to be held at the Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood, sponsored by the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and Museum along with Inc. magazine. There, they will compete against other corporate bands for the finals which will be held in Cleveland at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame this coming September.
So what is a corporate band and who is the Band from the Boardroom? Simply put, it is a group of musicians who have a “day job”, usually involving the wearing of suits, ties and other accoutrements. At night and on weekends, however, they shred their corporate trappings to play the music that they love. A true corporate band includes mainly members from one company. Sometimes the company even sponsors the band. One such band formed at Swann Security, a specialist and leader in the electronic surveillance and home security sales and installation business. Three years ago, the President of Swann Security, Keith Oldridge was at a wedding in Melbourne, Australia and ran into an old buddy who was a musician. Keith is a drummer who had played for 10 years in Vegas prior to joining Swann. Keith told his friend that they have a few people at Swann Security that are musicians including their sales manager Sandy Scott who is a blues singer that had shared the stage with Bob Seger, Joe Walsh and The Beach Boys. They decided to set up a jam session while everyone was in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show.
Sandy Scott reminisced about the beginnings of the band, saying “We really just fell backwards into this becoming a real band. We all just play music for fun and because we have been livelong musicians, it is in our blood. The band works hard together during the day at the office and we blow off some steam playing music for fun! This is amazing that we would be given the opportunity to play our music for so many people-we are so thankful!”. Judging from the reaction of the crowds at the CES and and the famous CES late night jam at the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas, where some famous musicians joined them on stage, the Band from the Boardroom is a group to be reckoned with. In the meantime, Keith Oldridge is sure enjoying the ride. He said, “What a bloody trip! Band from the Boardroom is taking on a life of its own. To have our little jam band beat out 200 corporate bands that practice and did studio recordings for the submission is nuts!”.
With Keith’s solid drumming and Sandy Scott’s high energy vocals, the band rocks with Eli Martinez on keys, plus Jenni Oldridge and Geoff Schorz on percussion. Also in Band from the Boardroom are guitarist Richard Fortune, bassist David DeLeon, and keyboardist, Mike Licari. As Sandy said, it all came together from within the company as well as friends and musicians that they new. “Keith came back to the Swann offices and had a casting call for all Swann musicians, musician friends that are customers and suppliers” Sandy said. Their buyer from Amazon.com joined as a singer, their buyer from Microcenter blows a mean blues harp and several other people from the consumer electronics industry joined in the jam. Their repertoire runs the gamut from songs like Bobby McGee, with Sandy’s bluesy vocals reminding everyone what a heritage Janis Joplin left for other singers, on through funky rockers like Shaky Ground, a song that defies you to tap your food and stomp around to its driving beat. Even songs like The Letter benefit from Sandy’s Joe Cockeresque treatment of the Box Tops classic.
The Band from the Boardroom performs Saturday, March 14th at 8:00pm at the Arcadia Blues Club, 16 E. Huntington Drive, Arcadia. For info and tickets visit www.arcadiabluesclub.com or call (626) 447-9349.
The Playoff will be held Saturday at noon on March 28th at the Whisky A Go Go, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. For info visit www.whiskyagogo.com or call (310) 652-4202. Band from the Boardroom will be one of six bands competing for the national finals of The Playoff.