Backstage: Chris Alvy Band's Covers Project

Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman offers his insights, opinions, and observations about the local scene. This week: The Chris Alvy Band covers the competition.

It's rare that a local band will extend a shoutout to other local bands... at least when it comes to covering their songs. Yet that's the idea behind the Chris Alvy Band's latest initiative, one that finds him and his band posting a series of five cover tunes from some of their favorite South Florida artists over the next couple of months. It's a novel idea and a nice bit of affirmation for the ever-burgeoning local scene and the talented musicians who reside here. "This is done out of respect for the artist and song," Alvy noted in a posting on Facebook. "There are some great bands here that we love, and it's just our way of saying WE DIG YOUR MUSIC."

We were so taken with Alvy's acknowledgment, and today he put up a cover of Dreaming in Stereo's "Lazy," so we

opted to get to the heart of the matter and ask him about what prompted

his generosity.

So what inspired this project, Chris?
What inspired me was the fact that for the first time in a while since I've been on this scene, there are actually some really cool and talented writers and bands here in South Florida that I actually really like, and they're creating some really cool original sounds. OK, maybe not that many, but enough so that some of them are sticking out, at least in my mind. 

How are you planning to release these covers, and how long do you plan to pursue this project? 

As of now, our plan is to cover and promote a local artist every month. We just did Kim Drake's "Modest Man," which is her first single off her new record.

Todd Taulbee, my drummer, and I love her sound (bassist Darrell Killingsworth completes the trio), and we thought we should do her first. So she's our first victim. She loved the way we covered it, and it's a great way for her to share the songs with her friends and for us to promote her music through our fans and followers. Basically, it's just another way for us to all help each other out and introduce our band and our music to the other's fans. And of course, it also allows us to pay tribute to songs that we as a band truly love and admire. 

As far as release dates, I don't know yet. We may do a compilation through our label, Forward Motion Records, and possibly release it as a charity album. Or maybe it could be used as a promotion tool for all the bands involved. I don't know yet, but once we have enough tunes, I'm sure we'll release it as something. 

What other artists do you specifically have in mind for this?
I eventually want to cover Dreaming in Stereo [and they did], Jim Camacho, Jacob Jeffries, Radioboxer, Space Between Worlds, and Deadly Blank just for starters. There are plenty of acts here that we as a band really like, so we'll go little by little. There are also some singer/songwriter types we may cover as well. We're compiling a list of songs to try and record even as we speak. 

What message are you trying to send by putting this focus on the local scene? 

Ideally, we'd like to get some of the more notable bands in this area to unite and help each other out and do it for the overall goal of furthering South Florida's music scene. This is our small way of trying to narrow that gap. My main objective is to show that we as a band also enjoy and want to support the local scene. I've noticed through the years that it always seems there's a competition between the various bands. They don't like to promote or support their competition. So we're taking the opposite angle. We say we want to support bands and artists that we like, and we want to expose them to our own fans also. There's no ego crap here -- there's no room for that. If I like something, I will tell everyone about it, and if I have the ability, I will cover their songs as a way of expressing our love for what they do. It's as simple as that; this is our way of hopefully covering some of our favorite music in a cool way where even the original artist can enjoy it. Ultimately, it's simply a tribute to our favorite bands in our hood. 

By the way, it ought to be noted that the Alvy Band is pretty damned good too. Its new EP, Anything Goes, provides all the proof needed. So let's just hope one of his fellow South Florida musicians returns the gesture.

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Lee Zimmerman