News

The Road To CukoRakko: Beck Hall & Taylor Goodwin of The Pearl September 11, 2018 23:04

Photos by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

If you're a music lover in Alabama, you've more than likely heard about an amazing grassroots festival known as CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival. Founded in 2014, the festival has been held twice a year at Horse Pens 40 in Steele, AL. As we prepare for another unforgettable CukoRakko weekend on October 5th - 7th, we're sitting down and getting to know a few of the performers on the 2018 Fall Festival lineup. For our first installment, we caught up with Beck Hall (bass) and Taylor Goodwin (lead guitar) of The Pearl. See below for the full interview, and make sure to catch The Pearl supporting BIG Something at Zydeco on Friday, September 14th. Stay tuned for further exclusive CukoRakko preview coverage!

Click Here: Purchase Tickets to CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival 

While this band is newer project, you guys have been active members of the Birmingham music scene for years. How did The Pearl ultimately come together?
 
Taylor: We met each over the last couple years through our friends in the music scene at jam sessions and pick-up gigs. Beck has also been putting on these warehouse parties for the last few years, inviting local players to come collaborate with one another. At last years Annual Christmas Jam, we really started noticing a connection.
-
Beck: Taylor was starting his final semester in Nashville, while I had started booking gigs as The Pearl as well as Honey & Pop, just using them as excuses to play with different people (often with Devonte on drums.) I think that big "AHA" moment occurred the first time we played together as a trio in March. After that, every gig we booked as The Pearl was the trio were are now.
 
You can tell that there is a strong chemistry amongst the band already. What type of playing history is there amongst the three of you?
 
Taylor: We’ve all known and listened to each other for a while now, which makes it a lot easier to understand and meet somebody where they are, musically speaking It helps that we're all really tight friends, so honest communication comes easily. 
-
Beck: It also helps that we're all practice junkies.. so a lot of work normally done in rehearsal is ready at the start of practice. So, although we haven’t played together exclusively for an incredibly long time, the chemistry came pretty quickly.
- 
You guys have a notably upbeat, powerful presence. How is the song structure working for you thus far? What is your approach to improvisation?
 -
Beck: Glad our presence comes across this way! Seems like the key is never taking the music too seriously to laugh at a flub or take risks, while at the same time doing all we can to prepare. 
-
Taylor: Regarding song structure, it’s sort of case by case… our originals have lengthy through-composed forms and are probably the hardest songs we play, whereas some of the music we play is a simple vamp/groove that we sort of use as a departure point to improvise from. 
-
Beck: In terms of our approach to jamming, we really don’t talk about it very much at all or plan our jams. We try to just let things happen naturally, which has been feeling great so far. 
- 
Have you made any plans to hit the studio?
- 
Taylor: Sooner than later, hopefully. We’re currently focused on broadening our original repertoire and putting together the best live performances we can. We’re also doing our best to capture these live performances, which we might could use to put together our first release. 
-
Beck: We've been writing a good amount of material though. I think we wrote four full compositions in two weeks during July. So, yeah, the live shows have been a big focus, because everything's been happening pretty quickly. It's good to know that we can crank out (what we consider to be) quality music at such a consistent pace. 
-
-
Tell me about the general grind associated with starting a new band at this point in your lives. What all goes on behind the scenes?
 -
Beck: Well, frankly there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes when compared to starting a band from scratch, say, ten years ago. For one thing, just getting all the social media started takes quite a while, as you have to have original content (both audio and video or both covers and originals), create an in depth Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, and Twitter page. There are lots of things you have got to have these days that, in past, weren’t quite as important. Also, practicing twice or more a week is a pretty heavy investment, considering we all have side gigs on top of this one. It’s a labor of love to get a serious new project started, but definitely worth it.
 
There seems to be a nice buzz surrounding The Pearl already. You've played quite a few rooms around the city in a short time. How do you see the schedule progressing in the future?
 
Beck: The local scene has really showed us some serious support for being so new to the scene, and we can’t thank them enough. Hopefully we’ll continue to grow at the rate we have been. We have all been playing around for quite a while and we chatted at the beginning about how easy it is to get stuck in that bar circuit, which happens to so many groups.. so we opted to really work hard to have a product ready and worthy of the the bigger stages as to start there instead of in bars. It’s been working out great playing the club/theater size venues from the get go. Bands tend to gain momentum much quicker from those shows. In terms of the future, we have some incredible shows coming up, but really plan to hit the ground running, in terms of touring more, at the beginning of next year.
 -
I know you have quite a few things cooking for the later part of 2018. What can fans expect and what are you guys most excited about moving forward?
- 
Beck: I’d say the thing we’re most excited about at the moment is being welcomed so warmly into the amazing crew surrounding the CukoRakko Music and Arts Festival during the first weekend in October. It’s one of our favorite festivals, put on by some of our favorite people. We’re going to be opening the festival this year with a very special set and playing some shows to get people warmed up for the event. It’ll be amazing playing alongside such acts as The Charlie Hunter Trio, The New Orleans Suspects, and many many other amazing national and regional acts.
-
We’re also excited to be playing this Friday night (9/14/18) with Big Something at Zydeco. We also have some really awesome Halloween and Holiday plans that we can’t quite talk about yet, but please stay tuned, as more dates will be released in the coming weeks!
=
Listen to The Pearl's "Pudding and Pie" here:
-

- 
-

Little Raine Band, The Pearl, & Killakeys To Join Forces In Birmingham July 18, 2018 21:22

-
Photos by Thomas Diasio
-
It's no secret that the local music scene in Birmingham is booming with creative talent, and Saturday night will feature a prime display. Veteran jam group Little Raine Band is teaming up with two newly formed supergroups, The Pearl and Killakeys, for what is sure to be an evening full of powerful and funky collaborations at Saturn Birmingham. In preparation for the weekend's festivities, we're giving away a pair of tickets via Facebook. To enter the contest, simply head over to our Facebook page, share this post, and tag a friend in the comments section. We will select and announce the winner at 12:00 PM on Saturday. See below for further details on the show!
-
-
-
Little Raine Band: LRB has been fixture in the Southeastern music scene for many years, but one thing has been proven time and time again. These guys continue to evolve.. With their second studio album on the horizon, it goes without saying that this quartet is on their game. With a very clean exploratory sound, unique and catchy originals, and a cleverly chosen list of covers, the Little Raine Band doesn’t disappoint.
-
The Pearl: The newest group to rise to the ranks of Birmingham's thriving homegrown music scene, The Pearl is a high energy power trio that goes heavy on the improvisation and original compositions, both of which are deeply rooted in funk, drum and bass, gospel, progessive rock, and jazz. The trio features Beck Hall (Birmingham Allstars, The Dagobah System) on bass/synth/vocals, Taylor Goodwin (Matt Bennett Band, Raquel Lily, JOVA) as the lead and rhythm guitar wizard, and Mr. Devonte Hutchins (LRB, Soul Mechanic, Taylor Hunnicutt) on drums and samples. 
-
Killakeys: Marcus White, the mind-blowing keys and synth player from Soul Mechanic who most recently filled in with The Marcus King Band, has pulled together a band of familiar faces to start a fresh new Funk/Fusion keyboard trio, with a recognizable pocket. Featuring Parrish Gabriel on Bass, and DeVonte Hutchins on Kit (both also members of Soul Mechanic) this trio brings the funk, high energy improv, and a pocket that is undeniably danceable.  
-
-
-