Austin might be known as a rock ‘n’ roll town, but there are some hard-rocking musicians right here in Elgin.
The retro-rockers known as the Soulphonics have been practicing and playing in Elgin for years. They just produced their first album, The Dynamic Sounds of the Soulphonics, Austin, Texas. The album features 16 songs, including the single released in December, “All I Want for Christmas Is a Job.”
There will be two record release parties: at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2 at Carousel Lounge in Austin and again at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 at Utopia Restaurant in Elgin.
The band features Glen Worley on guitar and vocals, Reid Watson on guitar and Kevin Connolly on drums. No bass, but Watson takes care of the low end by the way he plays guitar.
They’ve been playing together for around 30 years in bands including the Rattlecats and the Rivals — with a 20-year hiatus. During that break, all the band members moved on with their lives. Connolly adopted three daughters.
“The kind of music we make wasn’t popular during that time. That was about the time the Seattle Grunge scene got big,” Worley said.
Their sound is basically “garage rock,” the kind of music featured on the “Nuggets” compilations of ’60s era music that influenced many numerous bands, including Nirvana. “We do several songs off Nuggets,” Worley said. “We’re doing mid-’60s rock and roll. We’re not trying to recreate a sound, we’re just doing what we do.”
The Soulphonics haven’t changed their sound, but for some reason it has become back in vogue — maybe Director Quentin Tarantino’s soundtracks helped. Their Dick Dale-esque song “Theme from the [fictitious] TV Show ‘The Rivals'” sounds something Tarantino might’ve used on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack.
They came together as the Soulphonics in 2007 when a friend of Watson’s was booking music for the Cherrywood Art Fair in Austin. “Now people like ‘vintage’ guitars — they used to just be old,” said Connolly. “We’re making 2-and-a-half to 4-minute songs with hooks and melodies.”
The band is a labor of love. All three members work at the University of Texas to pay bills. “I would like to have a hit record of course, but what we want to do is play the music we like and have a good time.” It took about three years worth of tips to save up money to put out their album. “We decided to put it to good use instead of spending it on debauchery,” Worley joked.
The group performs at the Carousel Lounge in Austin on the first Wednesday of each month. They have performed at Quoffer’s and at Elgin’s Hogeye and Western Days festivals.
For more information about the Soulphonics and to hear some of their music, visit their MySpace page.
Note: This article was just published today in the Elgin Courier. Also, there is another band called the Soulphonics in Atlanta, Georgia. If you want to check them out, the Austin Soulphonics have a link on their MySpace page.