News

The Dagobah System & Festival Expressions Set For SlossFest Pre-Party July 05, 2017 11:56

If you're heading to Birmingham for SlossFest next weekend, our friends at C4 Productions have your Friday night plans covered. The local event production group will host a SlossFest 'Panic Pre-Party' at WorkPlay Theatre, which will feature music from local favorites The Dagobah System and Festival Expressions. There will also be a special Birmingham Allstars set, featuring members of Little Raine BandTragic City, and Jova, making for a total of five sets of music from 9:00 PM - 3:00 AM. 

With much excitement surrounding Widespread Panic's Saturday night show at Sloss, this pre-party will be the perfect spot to kick off the weekend.  Tickets are available for purchase and moving fast, so make sure to click here and get yours in advance.

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The Road to CukoRakko: A Conversation with Mike Sinopole of Festival Expressions October 02, 2015 08:29

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Photo by Roger Patteson: Type II Photography
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Our latest segment, "The Road to CukoRakko," consists of a series of interviews leading up to the CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival, held this weekend at Horse Pens 40 in Steele, AL.  We recently caught up with Mike Sinopole (guitar/vocals) of Festival Expressions to hear their thoughts on the festival. 
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Festival Expressions is an original band from Birmingham Alabama that formed in the summer of 2011.  Their music integrates multiple genres including Rock, Jazz, Funk, Organic Electronica, and Jam. The mixture allows for a completely original sound.  Festival Expressions is best known for their unique songwriting & energetic live performances. 

Over the years, the band has made an effort to perform at as many charity events as possible.  Giving back to the community is an important part of the Fest-Ex agenda.  Throughout 2012 the band wrote, recorded, and produced their first studio album titled Festival Expressions.  The album was officially released in January of 2013.  In the Summer of 2014, the group has released their second studio album titled Conversations

Festival Expressions has opened for Tim Reynolds TR3, JJ Grey & Mofro, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk.  The band has also shared the stage with The Emmit-Nershi Band, Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth, John Popper of Blue Traveler, and Col. Bruce Hampton at the 2012 Red Clay Revival Arts and Music Festival.  In 2012 Festival Expressions was honored with the opportunity to record one track with Ken Scott of Abbey Road Studio at UAB’s Audiostate 55.  The group also headlined The Birmingham Arts and Music Festival(2012),  The Sloperfest Climbing and Music Festival(2013), Tunes Against Typhoons(2014), The Alabama Mountain Games(2014). and played Wakarusa Music Fesitval(2015).

Interview by Jordan Kirkland - Live & Listen 

Festival Expressions emerged on the Birmingham music scene back in 2011.  What memories stand out the most when looking back over those first couple of years?
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Mike: Just all of the people who have stuck with us since the beginning. It’s been amazing to see friends still supporting us through each step of our journey.  When we first started we were just pumped to play a gig.   Now the feeling is the same but the gigs have gotten a lot cooler. 
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There has been an abundance of great, original live music coming from North Alabama in recent years.  CBDB, Little Raine Band, Mother Funk, and you guys, just to name a few.  How big of an impact has the culture in Tuscaloosa had on this band?
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Mike: There is something really cool going on in the Alabama music/arts world.   A lot of great bands have emerged from the woodworks and at the same time a scene has developed with it.  I think we are lucky to have some contemporaries to kind of do this thing with.   We have all played together many times and share a similar fan base because of it.  It’s exciting to see great musicians that are dedicated to the craft. 
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Earlier this year, the band released it's second full-length album, Conversations.  How was song selection and recording process different than that of the previous self-titled album?
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Mike: On our first album, Festival Expressions, we were just looking to put something out for the folks to listen to.  With Conversations we knew exactly what we wanted from it. We wanted to make a cleaner, well-rounded, album that told a story.
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We're coming up on CukoRakko, one of Alabama's young, growing music festivals.  Horse Pens 40 is without a doubt one of the most amazing locations in the state.  What does it mean to you guys to be a part of such a special weekend?
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MikeFirst of all we’d like to thank the Schultz family for making the whole thing possible. It is really great what they are doing for the Alabama music world. Cuko Rakko has made it possible for local artists to come together and support each other in one of the most beautiful places in the state.  It means a lot for Festival Expressions to be involved with this festival every year.  Horse Pens 40 has always been our favorite place to play.  Each time we come back it’s better than the last.  I mean what more could you ask for as a musician and a music lover? A natural amphitheater with a big stage cozied up against a couple giant rocks.  It’s awesome
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CukoRakko will give you guys an opportunity to play in front of many fans who know your music forward and backward, as well as many who will be seeing you for the first time.  How would you best describe what the crowd can expect from Festival Expressions?
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Mike: CukoRakko is very special to us so we like to put a little extra work into our set.  I’d say the fans should expect something different than we’ve ever done. We’ve been working on a lot of great music for this show but at the same time we’ve made sure to leave plenty of space for exploration.
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We're entering the fourth quarter of 2015.  I'm sure the Fall and Winter both hold many exciting things for the band.  What has you guys the most excited, and what type of goals are being set for 2016?
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Mike: We are looking forward to starting work on a new studio project. I don’t have a lot of details but it’s going to be exciting.  And big things in 2016!
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Festival Expressions is...
Ransom Pewitt - guitar/vocals
Mike Sinopole - guitar/vocals
Marcus O'Neill - bass
Kevin McClure - keyboard/synth
Josh Wiseman - drums/vocals
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