MP3 FORTE - Soul Farmer
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ROCK: Classic Rock, BLUES: Rockin' Blues
Blues, funk and rock collide to create the unique sound of Chicago-based group Forte. High-energy rhythm, boundless guitar experimentation and charismatic stage presence define this powerful genre-busting band.
Forteâs tight grooves feature Chris Forte on guitar and vocals, Rob Davis on drums, Nate Bellon on bass and vocals and Michael Whalen on percussion and vocals. The band is supported by the sweet harmony of Heather Horton and Desiree Irwin on background vocals.
Though Forte has been performing for more than three years, their collective experience runs much deeper. As longtime members of Sam Cockrell & the Groove, Chris and Rob toured the U.S. playing high-profile gigs at the Chicago Blues Fest, Roanoke Blues and Jazz Fest, W.C. Handy Awards, Indiana State Fair, House of Blues and WGN TV, and opening for wide-ranging acts like Digital Underground, Lonnie Brooks, Duke Robillard, Roomful of Blues and Trippin Billies. During his stint with the band, Chris even won the coveted Albert King Award in 2000 for his virtuoso guitar moves, prompting Alligator recording artist Lâil Ed to proclaim him a âguitar-playing mother....!â Whalen was a longtime member of the group Entrinzic, and has added his percussive stylings to other Chicago acts Melaku & the African Elements, Frank Bangâs Secret Stash and Strain Busy Sky. Nate Bellon has also performed extensively throughout the midwest, co-leading the band, Deuce, he sings regularly with the Manhattan Project and is currently getting ready to play the role of Joe Mauldin in The Buddy Holly Story opening at the Mercury Theater in Chicago.
Fans rave about Forteâs cool mix of high-octane bluesy funk, eclectic original tunes and wild, ripping guitar riffs. Following a successful release of their debut CD Soul Farmer at the Cubby Bear and a string of rockinâ shows, including openers for Frank Black at the Double Door, The Radiators at the Black Orchid and the Cherry Poppinâ Daddies at Taste of Lincoln Ave, Forte is geared up to deliver their infectious new sound to audiences everywhere.
After a couple years playing various blues festivals around the midwest, Chicago trio Forte finally released their debut disc, Soul Farmer. Their forte certainly is guitar-playing, as they gallivant through various riffs and bass lines that fuel the funk behind each song. The average vocals are significantly enhanced when the band lets their two female guests provide the sweet background harmonies, as heard on highlight âThe Tomahawk.â Given the obvious talent of all three members at their instruments and the promise shown in the song writing, Forte could forge quite a path.
--Carter Moss, Around Hear, Illinois Entertainer
Forte is a multidimensional, multicultural rock band. Spearheaded by guitarist, vocalist, composer Chris Forte and accompanied by Rob Davis on drums and Roberto Agosto on bass, this group features the most diverse lineup possible for a trio. That is way cool. These guys converse well. The group is based in Chicago. Chris and Rob played with Sam Cockrell for years touring blues festivals, playing the House of Blues and supporting acts like Duke Robillard and Roomful of Blues. Chris won the Albert King Award in 2000 for his guitar virtuosity. Roberto toured all over the world with Anthony Gomes for the last decade. They played the same bills as B.B. King, Buddy Guy and many more. So the musicians in Forte have âBlues credibilityâ but this new band is something else. Of course thereâs the solid blues foundation but Forte has forged their own new hybrid sound that incorporates rock and funk, probably best shown in their song The Tomahawk. This is a hot live act familiar with touring and playing well-known venues. Check âem out when they come your way.
--Jess Marich, CD Reviews, Shake Magazine, Nashville, TN
The Buzz about Chris Forte:
âSimply outstanding guitar playing of young Forte...a real talent.â
--Peter North, Live Music Reviews, Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, AB, Canada
âBlazing guitar playerâ
--Linda Seubold, Blues Scribe, Blues Foundation, Memphis, TN
âScorching lead guitar...best new blues guitaristâ
--Gerst, Ingram & Andries, contributing writers, Pioneer Press, North Shore, IL
âFiery guitar licks...full throttle performanceâ
--Eric Schelkopf, Live Music Reviews, Kane County Chronicle, Kane County, IL
âForte plays with an easy-going grace that makes his high-wired leads and piercing runs look effortless...more impressive is the way this guitarist easily changes musical gears.â
--Dave Witter, Music Reviews, Buddy Guyâs Bluesletter, Chicago, IL
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