Adam Marsland's Chaos Band has been justly acclaimed for its versatility and stamina, churning out as many as 60 songs in one night (with covers ranging from the Dead Kennedys to Marty Robbins) and effortlessly juggling complex harmonies and arrangements on the LONG PROMISED ROAD: SONGS OF DENNIS AND CARL WILSON LIVE album. A-list musicians such as Toby Myers from John Mellencamp's band and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys have sung the band's praises.
The diverse and multigenerational membership, unique musicianship, versatility and workaholic dedication of the Chaos Band is the kind of band that simply doesn't exist outside of fiction -- Adam once compared Chaos to Paul McCartney's mythical group in the "Take It Away" video, with George Martin happily banging away on the piano in a bar -- and yet it does.
Evie Sands - guitar, vocals, keyboards
Evie then and now: with Johnny and June Carter Cash; more recently at the Bottom Line in New York.
It's a plot twist that can only happen on "The Partridge Family" -- she's an international recording star and songwriter with half a dozen hits to her credit, a legendary singer in the Northern Soul tradition -- but Evie Sands also shows up in a stuffy garage three times a week to play lead guitar in a band backing some random guy. It's no wonder people assume Evie is a special guest, but she's been present at nearly every show of Adam's since they started jamming together in 2003, including two of his three national tours, and is a full-time member of the Chaos Band, acting as Adam's musical lieutenant and quality control person.
Behind the soul diva exterior lies an adventurous spirit, perfectionism and keen musiciainship that make her a perfect foil for Adam's musical wanderings...both share a love of the unexpected and are used to being underrated and having to struggle just to keep playing.
Evie is a multi-faceted artist /musician /performer and, in record collector circles, a bona-fide legend. A favorite singer of Dusty Springfield, Evie recorded the original versions of "Angel Of The Morning," northern soul faves, "I Can't Let Go," "Take Me For A Little While," "Picture Me Gone" and "Billy Sunshine," and also charted with "Any Way That You Want Me," "I Love Makin' Love To You" and "You Brought The Woman Out Of Me," among others. Her most recent, critically-acclaimed CD, WOMEN IN PRISON, spawned six Top 10 tracks on the UK/Euro indie charts, with three number 1's (including a duet with Lucinda Williams). As a writer, Evie's songs have been recorded and performed by many: from Barbra Streisand and Cher to Beck and Beth Orton. Whether performing, recording, writing, producing or collaborating with other artists - the results are eclectic -- indie rock, soul, powerpop, blues, alternative, roots music -- and never predictable.
As a guitar player with an unorthodox playing style (lefty, upside-down), Evie often surprises audiences. As Johnny Cash once said, "...You'd think she's got electricity in her fingers..." Recent CD reissues (on Rev-Ola) have made some earlier recordings accessible again, with more reissues (and hopefully a new album) to follow.
Tasty Evie moments: The soulful guitar playing on "At the Bookstore 2007," and her vamping on the fadeouts of "Other Than Me" and "Love x 10." Any of her lead vocals on LONG PROMISED ROAD: SONGS OF DENNIS AND CARL WILSON LIVE.
Kurt Medlin - drums, percussion, vocals
When jazz drummer Kurt Medlin walked into a Reseda garage in 1994 to "fill in" on drums for a gig Adam Marsland had booked for a new project he had dubbed Cockeyed Ghost, he had no idea he was starting a 15 year odyssey that would take him into grungy punk clubs, on the road and eventually backing major artists. Already dubbed "the old man" for the young would-be punk group, he was already well into his thirties, happily married with three kids, and had no idea who the Buzzcocks were. Like Evie, however, age and lifestyle were no barriers to Kurt's imagination and openness to try new things, and soon he'd acquired a knack for bashing the skins, soldiering through 18 months of blistering rock 'n' roll in small clubs with Cockeyed Ghost.
Family obligations forced Kurt out of the band just prior to Cockeyed Ghost's signing, but the heavier and hipper lineup that signed to Big Deal was torn apart by its fractious personalities in less than two years. With Adam still holding onto the deal, he called his even-tempered bandmate -- who had done most of the original drum arrangements on the songs on Cockeyed Ghost's albums -- back into his band. He's been there ever since, a stable and calm presence, able to bash when needed or lay down a delicate groove when required. He's also been in some ways a big brother figure to Adam, sticking by him when Cockeyed Ghost's and Adam's stock plunged in the early '00s, and applying gentle pressure and feedback when needed.
Kurt's other passion in life, besides drumming and family, is fireworks. The band knows not to book shows around July 4th...Kurt will be off in Wyoming with his pyrotechnic pals, blowing things up.
Tasty Kurt moments: laying down a solid foundation and then building tension and release on "How Can You Stand It"; going for broke at the end of "Ginna Ling"; soul-filled percussion and drums on "The Foghorn," breathless punk on "Married Yet."
Teresa Cowles - bass, vocals
The youngest member of the band, you could argue that Teresa is the most natural musician, not having picked up the bass until her early 20s, yet possessing the innate ability to memorize complicated vocal and bass lines almost instantly. "T" first blew into Los Angeles as one-third of the female pop trio Dragster Barbie, who gained some notoriety in the late '90s and recorded with Ed Stasium. This seeming break actually spelled the end of the band as Stasium married the lead singer and moved to Colorado.
Teresa bided her time playing with various bands, songwriting and even fronting her own group until she was asked, like Evie and Kurt before her, to "sit in" with Chaos in 2004. She's been there ever since, rooting the band on bass and, since the departure of John Perry, a crucial vocal presence as well. The "den mother" of the band, Teresa administers the group's myspace page and does a lot of the promotional work. As a person, she's unfailingly sweet, enigmatic and intensely private, a perfect contrast to Adam's brash, sometimes awkward personality. Her relationship with Adam is as ambiguous as it is close; they've done several duo shows together and share a fondness for desert road trips.
After gaining exposure with the Chaos Band, Teresa has gotten more and more outside work as a session player. She's joined Adam on his Wrecking Crew gigs and on her own has cut extensive vocals for Jeff Merchant's upcoming second album, as well as sessions (with Evie) for Anny Celsi. She's also a certified massage therapist.
Tasty Teresa moments: her spine-chilling vocal turn on "Where I Belong"; her over-the-top primitive guitar solo on "Neverest"; the rock steady bass playing on "At The Bookstore" (2007).
and past members (bios coming soon):
John Perry - vocals, keyboards
Severo - bass, guitar, vocals
and our special guests:
Alan Boyd - vocals, keyboards
Will Canzoneri - keyboards, guitar, vocals
Charlie Zayleskie - keyboards, vocals
Jon Braun - drums, vocals