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The Outer Vibe
by Frolicious

It’s been a crazy rough 2019 for me.  But, there have been my people around me, helping me to get through this section of my life while sharing love, being loved, dancing, cooking, and laughing.  Albeit, maybe not as much dancing as I should. I’ve also shared tears with our Tribe and fra-mily who are equally having their own difficult journeys and we’ve somehow found ways to share smiles.  One thing that has helped with quite a bit of what I’ve been experiencing and feeling has been, and will always be music. Some music is harder to hear. But, I truly believe music cleanses my soul and there are messages to be heard and felt.  My Mom speaks to me through songs. I’mma be alright. I hope you are, too.  

Regularly, I have theme songs that play in my mind as a soundtrack to my days and nights; snippets of my life.  One of my favorites is an Outer Vibe ditty called “Hoka Hey”. The first time I heard that song about 3 years ago (remember, time is relative in my world), I danced and soaked up the lyrics and music.  It has been adopted as my life’s battle cry - whether it’s personal, professional or fun; apprehensive about something, finding the courage or in a party-like atmosphere. To me, Hoka Hey means, “Let’s DO this!!!”   This song plays on regular rotation in my orbit.

Outer Vibe, you say?  Let me reintroduce you to them!  Outer Vibe formed in 2001, and is an accomplished trio with a large, uplifting sound to make you dance.  Hailing from MI, they recently relocated to Nashville. Their goal is for their music and sound to be fun and feel good; for it to have energy musically and visually.  They’re making music for people to be able to come together to escape and enjoy the world for a while. They interpret a variety of genres, making “rock ‘n’ roll fun again”,  blending “swagger rock, reggae, feel-good anthems and hip-hop”. They’ve evolved from the high-school-band-version to the college-band-version to the working-band-version to the touring-band-version and now the recording-artist-band-version.  

One of the first members, Nick Hosford, has been playing guitar for 22 years and plays keys, banjo or anything with strings and frets.  He also mentioned he plays a dash of Native American flute, too. Bandmate Lisa added that he also “sits in the engineer chair, which is an instrument, itself”. His personal influences range from classical guitarists like Nikita Koshkin, Agustin Barrios, David Russell.  However, he remembers wanting to get a guitar because of Jimi Hendrix. As time passed, he added the likes of Tom Morello from RATM, Randy Rhoades of Ozzy Osbourne fame and Eddie Van Halen to his admiration.

Sean Zuidgeest was a closet singer for years but as fate had it, around 16/17 he wanted to start playing guitar and be in a band.  He had to start showing people he was attempting to sing. His family was pretty shocked to find he could sing considering he hardly spoke and was very quiet.  He has since taken vocal training and studied voice in school. Guitar was important, but his vocals were necessary for the band. The man can sound like an angel when he sings in that falsetto!  Sean is also the in-house artist who does all the visual art for the band.

For 24 years, Lisa Kacos has been blowing trumpet and she’s incredible!  She picked up keyboard around college while studying music and mentioned ukulele has been an important songwriting tool for her.  She’s played around on drums for a while but about 1 ½ years ago, she started taking it seriously. Her current percussion influence for drums is Daru Jones, the go-to hip-hop drummer from Detroit.  She appreciates not just his playing but his freedom and sense of style while playing. She also likes Muse’s drummer, Dominic Howard. The Beatles, the artist Lizzo, and a lot of classical trumpet have impacted her musically.

Nick and Sean went to high school together and met Lisa at Grand Rapid Community College while all 3 were studying music.  Both Lisa and Nick continued their music education and went on to get Master’s Degrees in music theory and guitar performance, respectively.

Outer Vibe wanted a band name that was something different for the time, and a name that people could experience.  (The word “vibe” wasn’t trendy at the time they came up with the name, Nick notes.) These days, they’re focusing on streamlining their distinct sound with Nick and Sean writing most of the lyrics together.  They draw, not only from their personal influences, but also the band’s influences ranging from Vampire Weekend, Sublime, Chili Peppers to the Strokes.

They’re excited to be working on and releasing singles (recently released 5 of them) working with David Kahne out of New York who produced some of Sublime, Lana Del Rey and the Strokes.  (My own snooping found that he’s also worked with k.d. lang, Matisyahu and Regina Spektor, amongst others.) The members of Outer Vibe are always writing and recording, splitting time between being on the road to bring more music to their fans.  

They’d like the Western Slope to know that they think we’re dope and they’re looking forward to partying and doing their music thing at Baron’s (539 Colorado Avenue) on August 17, 2019 at 9:00pm.  Sean even hinted about a future surprise for the Grand Valley come September.

Of course, you can keep up with them and all their activities/events/releases through www.outervibe.com and listen to their music on all the streaming platforms you already use.  Go see Outer Vibe! I’ll see you on the dancefloor.