Interview by Scott Preston
56 Hope Road is a band bonded like a family, and as a result, their music has an unmistakable honesty and openness. Uncanny, intuitive communication creates an easy interplay on stage, making even the most layered tunes sound effortless. They allow the joy of spontaneous creativity to color their song-based arrangements – neither losing their musical center, nor restricting its growth. This Chicago-based “acoustic funk explosion” is known for clever songwriting, lush vocal harmonies and one of the tightest rhythm sections on the scene.
Their songs have been featured regularly on Sirius Radio Channel 17 Jam_ON, as well as WXRT Chicago, United Airlines Radio, various college and community radio stations across the country, National Public Radio, the soundtrack to “A Place in France,” in an upcoming film “Road to Woodstock,” and a Fox Sports Net Pilot/Warren Miller production “Destination Wild.”
Cincy Groove: How long has 56 Hope Road been together?
Dave Hamilton: We have been together since 1999, it started asm yself, the bass player and drummer. We have had many different people come and go in that time, in the last almost 10 years.
Cincy Groove: Whats the story behind the band’s name?
Dave Hamilton: Well you know its has to do with Bob Marley. Its all about the spirit of positivity and love through music.
Cincy Groove: Has the band made it down to Jamaica?
Dave Hamilton: We haven’t yet, but thats definitely a pilgrimage we will be making in the near future. We have a pretty busy schedule here in the states playing all the time, so its hard to find the time to go down there. But its something we will be doing in the next few years.
Cincy Groove: How many shows does 56 Hope Road play in a year?
Dave Hamilton: About 220. Its about the 4th year in a row of doing that. We are also coming up on our 1,200 show.
Cincy Groove: What was your last day job before touring full time took over?
Dave Hamilton: I was a music teacher. Our drummer was also a music teacher, our bass player helped people with disabilities find jobs.
Cincy Groove: What do you guys like to do to kill time in between gigs on the road?
Dave Hamilton: A couple of us play video games, write in our journals. I play guitar and try to write new material, but being on the road it can be difficult.
Cincy Groove: Bob Marley is obviously a big influence on the band, who is would you consider an influence?
Dave Hamilton: Paul Simon, Graceland, that album was a big influence for me personally. I really like the world beat stuff he does and lyrically I think Paul Simon is top notch. He creates incredible pictures in my mind when I listen to his music.
Cincy Groove: Do you remember the name of the first band you were ever in?
Dave Hamilton: The band was called Second Look. That was a hip hop group. I actually went on Star Search with that band. We ended up losing to he champions, Twin Force. We got 3 3/4 stars. Second Look also did a bunch of stuff with Disney.
Here is a listing of live shows by 56 Hope Road available for download on archive.org
56 Hope Road is:
Dave Hamilton – vocalist/guitarist
Greg Fundis – drummer
Chad Sanders – upright bassist
Casey Fitzpatrick – saxophonist
Anne Katzfey – vocalist
Matt Katzfey – percussionist
Upcoming 56 Hope Road tour dates:
for complete show details visit – http://www.56hoperd.com
05/02/08 Fri Crusen’s on War Memorial Drive Peoria, IL
05/03/08 Sat Cornerstone Tavern Decatur, IL
05/03/08 Sat Woofstock Decatur, IL
05/04/08 Sun Crusen’s on War Memorial Drive Peoria, IL
05/09/08 Fri The Kinetic Playground Chicago, IL
05/15/08 Thu Ribco Rock Island, IL
05/16/08 Fri Marly’s Pub Springfield, IL
05/17/08 Sat The Verve Terre Haute, IN
05/21/08 Wed The Store Chicago, IL
05/22/08 Thu Summer Camp: Three Sisters Park Chillicothe, IL
05/23/08 Fri Summer Camp: Three Sisters Park Chillicothe, IL
05/24/08 Sat Legend Valley Thornville, OH
05/30/08 Fri Cicero’s St. Louis, MO
05/31/08 Sat Eamon Patrick’s Peoria, IL
06/06/08 Fri SOHO Music Festival Springfield, IL
06/06/08 Fri Marly’s Pub Springfield, IL
06/15/08 Sun Black Diamond Vineyards Nashville, IL
06/21/08 Sat Alpine Valley Side Stage East Troy, WI
06/26/08 Thu Marly’s Pub Springfield, IL
06/28/08 Sat Lazy River Music & Arts Festival South Elgin, IL
07/01/08 Tue Dulcinea’s 100th Monkey Denver, CO
07/03/08 Thu Great Basin Brewing Company Sparks, NV
07/05/08 Sat Downtown Stage @ Castle Street Mt. Shasta, CA
07/06/08 Sun Snowbird Events Center Snowbird, UT
07/07/08 Mon Mystic Hot Springs Monroe, UT
07/08/08 Tue Bubble Lounge Telluride, CO
07/09/08 Wed Tugboat Steamboat Springs, CO
07/10/08 Thu Tugboat Steamboat Springs, CO
07/11/08 Fri Dulcinea’s 100th Monkey Denver, CO
07/12/08 Sat Byron’s Pomeroy, IA
07/18/08 Fri Cornerstone Tavern Decatur, IL
07/19/08 Sat The Colosseum Mokena, IL
08/02/08 Sat Lock, Stock, & Barrel Decatur, IL
08/10/08 Sun Alpine Valley Side Stage East Troy, WI
08/14/08 Thu Ribco Rock Island, IL
08/15/08 Fri The Venice Cafe St. Louis, MO
09/26/08 Fri The Verve Terre Haute, IN