New soul-funk band set to play Vail’s Samana Lounge |

New soul-funk band set to play Vail’s Samana Lounge

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily

VAIL, Colorado – Stereo Assassins is the Vail Valley’s newest local funk band. It started as a one-time event and quickly morphed into a high-season, side project gig for five of the valley’s most prolific musicians. They perform at Samana Lounge in Vail Wednesday night.

“I have not heard the band yet but there has been considerable buzz,” said Scotty Stoughton of Samana Lounge. “I’m always stoked when local musicians take time away from their main project to get out and explore new musical roads.”

Donahue, the band’s very pumped up bass player, took the time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.

Vail Daily: I heard the band originally came together for a one-off performance at Finnegan’s Wake. Why did you all decide to make a go of it?

Dave Donahue: Well the first gig at Finnegans Wake, in Avon, was pure philanthropy. It was Vail Valley’s finest bartender and promoter, Jenna Strecker’s birthday. The gig was unoficially named The Jenna Jam (ison). We had such a profound reaction, especially for a Tuesday night, that we were compelled to reunite as a full act. As we rehearsed set lists, one thing was apparent – we were here to make people move like Elvis and we would all be in jail if it was 1955. The Stereo Assassins are here for your hip-swivelling pleasure, and we are here to stay.

VD: How did you get the name Stereo Assassins?

DD: The first gig as The Jenna Jam (ison), we recieved a series of compliments from a local patron. He pointed out that musically, “You frickin’ killed it … No really man, y’all are assassins – in stereo!” The band name wrote itself at that moment.

Vail Daily: It sounds like Stereo Assassins is a very different project from your full-time gig with Laughing Bones. Tell me about how the two projects differ.

Dave Donahue: Yes it is true, I love the freedom to branch out and delve into different forms of music. Laughing Bones is a fun mix of banjo-driven bluegrass and baritone whisky-town vocals. Whereas Stereo Assassins is soulful, funk-driven blast of bass-in-your-face dance music.

VD: Stereo Assassins is a very new side project for all five members of the band. Has there been any conflicts yet?

DD: We have been together collectively for a couple months now. We were just a four-piece band until recently when we added our keyboard player. There have been no real coflicts other that the fact that people have arrived in the band playing some different instuments that they would normally play. Ben Koelker plays bass in his other bands, but he was born a guitar player. He has a chance to get back to his guitar roots in the Stereo Assassins. Also, Trevor Jones, normally a guitar player, is on the keys as his new alter-ego – “Skippy McGroover.”

VD: What is your goal in this band? What do you want your audience take away?

DD: We strive to give our audience a serious workout. We like to see piles of clothing eveywhere as the body heat cranks up. We are bringing all types of people together through the power of Da Funk. There has even been rumors (and confirmation) of a “funk-dancing romance” in our audience. It has been simple matchmaking through the love (and lust) of our salty-sweet rhythm-pounding beats! Hook-ups or even future spouses may await you just across the dance floor.

VD: A few people have mentioned Stereo Assassins is a “high season band.” What does that mean?

DD: This essentially means that we will play through the winter and break until mid-May. Then the summertime version of the Stereo Assassins is right around the corner.

VD: The genre name game is out of control. You guys call your music Aerobic funk. What does that mean?

DD: I want our crowd to not just hear the music, but feel it. What better way to do that then hit your anaerobic threshhold at the peak of a Tupperwear-tight funk-jam? That’s right, you will burn calories as you sip on your favorite libation.

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