Winter Park / Live Music: A big sound for a three-piece band
March 21, 2008
A unique blend of world music will fill the air at Buckets Saloon Saturday with The REL-I (pronounced rell-eye) band.The band is brought together by world-beat artist and frontman Matthew REL-I Relis who mostly sings lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar and keyboards for the band. He also plays the drums, harmonica and dabbles in music production.Prince Berenger Ouedraogo (of Burkina Faso, West Africa) joins him for the show (to play bass guitar and lend vocals), as does drummer David Petry. We pride ourselves as a ‘power trio’, Relis said. We’re a big sound for just a three-piece.Relis is said to blend world music with the sounds of folk, blues and reggae like no other, creating his own original new style of music. His sound also consists of a mixture of African sounds, Caribbean, R&B, jazz and Ska.As a singer and songwriter, Relis has been called the true package deal. The musician, who originally hailed from California and now lives on the Front Range, has been performing most of his life. His mom and older sisters played piano and sang and his dad had an old guitar and Relis absorbed it at a young age.He began performing professionally during his teen years and says that is when he decided that he wasn’t going to have a day job because I had found my calling. Since that time, he’s had the opportunity to open for several famous international recording artists, including Burning Spear, Culture, Buju Banton, Sister Carol, Erykah Badu, Eek-A-Mouse and Fishbone.Other influences he attributes his passion to include Jimmy Cliff, Sting, Ziggy and Bob Marley, Paul Simon, Otis Redding and John Mayer, as well as the Great Creator, whom Relis said inspires everything he does musically and in life. I am committed to making music that means something and opens people’s eyes to what is going on around them, he said, while at the same time uplifting their spirits by providing an original, melodic, and driving new world beat sound.REL-I, who regularly plays the Steamboat area, has played at the Winter Park Pub and at the Derailer at Winter Park Ski Area. Now it’s time to rock the house at Buckets Saloon. The band plays nearly all originals from its various albums. Right now, songs Natural and What I Try are Relis’ favorites to play, from his recently finished third CD.We always look forward to giving people a great show like no other out there, so don’t miss this one, Relis said, adding that he hopes audiences come away from the show with more consciousness, and a better feeling inside when they leave.