Band: Group Therapy
Members: Terrance Webb, piano and vocals; Louis Woodyard, vocals and percussion; Queen Barns, lead vocals
Who we talked to: Webb
When did you guys get into music? Between us, we've got at least 70 years (of experience). I've been playing (piano) since I was, like, 17 and the same with (Woodyard). We played with a lot of the local bands and did a lot of traveling and tours up to the Poconos. Group Therapy's been together for about two years.
Where did the name come from? We were talking about music and how it's kind of a therapeutic thing for everyone. Everyone, when they get to music, kind of finds a common place. It just came up through a conversation.
What are some of your influences? We have very strong roots in the R&B and jazz fields. I played jazz piano for jazz groups in the area. (Barns), who is an excellent vocalist, has (sung) for several bands in the area doing R&B, . . . like Anita Baker, Chaka Khan and that kind of stuff. We all kind of came together and it's a jazz fusion of R&B, jazz and hip-hop.
Where do you guys like to play? I get a lot of inspiration from the old school artists like Stevie Wonder and Nat (King) Cole. I grew up in the church and . . . my gospel roots and my jazz education and my experience playing R&B kind of . . . blend.
Are there any younger artists who you enjoy? I have real problem with younger music and sampled stuff. It's very different then actually playing. When you look at John Legend, Kem Kemisty, D'Angelo and even Jamie Foxx, these guys are carrying the torch for real musicianship and actually can play their instruments. (I want to see artists) taking the craft more seriously, actually taking the time to learn to play the instrument and to understand the dynamic of what music really is, as opposed to sampling music from the past. I think that's creative, too, but I think it's limited creative ability.
Is there any place in the area that you like to play? We like playing smaller rooms. We like playing intimate setting where you can be closer to the audience. We had a great time at Granfalloons. It's a great atmosphere for live music. The best place we like to play is a place called Stock's (on 2nd) in Harrisburg on Second Street. We do do larger concerts, and we then bring in other musicians to accompany us.
Who are some of the other local musicians you perform with? We collaborate with several other artists in the area like John Harris out of York. He plays sax. He's fantastic. I'd say he's one of the better sax players in central Pennsylvania. We also collaborate with Don Johnson of the Don Johnson Project. They do blues. Another group we just did a concert with last week . . . was called New Experience.
What are your thoughts on the music scene in central Pennsylvania? I really think that they could be serious improvement, particularly on the front of being receptive to original material. This area is a smaller market. The culture isn't as thick with understanding (about) what the importance of live music is to society. I definitely think that if we could find some more venues that would really appreciate and respect live music and original material in particular, (people would) find that there is a host of really great writers in our area.
What are your group's goals for the future? We're in the process of working on a CD. I'm writing some material now and we've recorded a few tunes. But we still have the rest of it to do.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF