Fort Lauderdale rock, rhythm, and blues act Community Property will tap the Beerfest 2010 festivities this Saturday. The quartet earned the honor to open the event by beating out four other local acts in a Battle of the Bands in late March, hosted by New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Revolution Live.
By the end of the night, only one band had Beerfest written all over it. With a combination of stage command, focused original songs, and infectious energy, Community Property bested muscular metal combo Kinlin (Fort Lauderdale), ska-punk the Hard Richards (Boynton Beach), pop-punk champions Point of View (Port Saint Lucie), and aggro barnstormers Here's to Nathan (Deerfield Beach).
One of the judges, Revolution's Marketing Manager/Talent Buyer Craig Hammon, put it simply: "They make me want to drink beer."
The ringing endorsement comes not only from these corners, however. The battle victory was actually the second of the day for Community Property, according to the group's charismatic singer, Lucian Sawyer, who goes by just his first name as an artist. At the Classic Spring Block Party's Battle of the Bands, hosted by the Seminole Casino, the band bested the field to win a Friday residency there in May. In the process of winning one battle, they nearly missed the next.
"It was a pretty intense day," Lucian says. "We had to be [at the Seminole] at 10 a.m. We performed at almost 4 p.m. and then another set after we were chosen as the winner. We hopped in the car and hauled ass [to Revolution] when it was over."
Community Property's current lineup solidified less than two years ago. Before developing the band's style, which Lucian attributes to listening to plenty of Jimi Hendrix, the singer was closest to the area's R&B and hip-hop scene, singing hooks for the Fresh Air Fund and doing production work. Similarly, drummer Andre "Dutch" Husbands also handles production for local hip-hop acts. Guitarist Leo Lester has a jazz background and also is associated with South Florida groups Ketchy Shuby and Lights Down Low. Finally, bassist Clarence J. Spencer should be familiar to any fan of local funky punks Hashbrown.
"Everybody brings a piece of what they have," Lucian says of the band's name. "So it's a communal thing where we combine as Voltron."
In addition to the Hendrix comparisons, Community Property brings together a wealth of dirty blues and soul that will run you as ragged as any Black Keys guitar romp, hot-buttered vocals as versatile as Cody Chesnutt's, and winning showmanship that keeps each song moving forward. "Jimi can do a lot of things without saying too much," Lucian says, regarding the band's style. "We just keep it simple and beat it into their heads."
A self-released EP featuring Community Property originals "Slow Grind," "Hotpeppadilla," the Ray Charles tribute "Cool Breeze," "Sheila," and "Make You Say Yeah" is in the final stages of production and ideally will be available for purchase at Beerfest.
During their studio sessions at Lucian's own Project Audio Inc. in Coral Springs, Community Property also decided to write a song just for the Beerfest crowd, which name-checks all of their favorite brews. Its title: "Heineken's My Friend, How About You?"