Rip-roaring harmonica, four-part harmonies, and a rhythm section that gets hips shaking make it no surprise that Speakeasy is rapidly building a loyal fan-base and are in heavy demand for festivals all over the country.
Considering their undeniable musical skills, these guys could take themselves very seriously if they wanted to, but Speakeasy is not afraid to bring outrageous fun into their shows. After a feast of original tunes that combine tasteful songwriting with pull-no-punches rock n' roll, they've been known to top off their show with an unlikely cover or two ranging from The Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere" to Digital Underground's "The Humpty Hump." Whether dancing with reckless abandon or sitting back and enjoying the tunes, the audience is left breathless with ear-to-ear grins all around.
Speakeasy formed in 1998 with current members: guitarist Shawn Eckels and drummer Ryan Fannin. They laid down the foundation of what would become an expansive musical landscape. In 2002, Marcus Chatman joined the band adding a unique texture to Speakeasy's sound, bringing with an impressive and diverse list of instruments including organ, keyboard, cello, trumpet, harmonica, percussion, sousaphone, and powerful vocals. In 2005, bassist Reed Herron brought the bottom end necessary to round out the Speakeasy sound. The band credits their eclectic style to growing up in Springfield, Missouri, where musical tastes varied and weren't affected by passing trends. Shawn, Ryan, Reed and Marcus have known each other since high school, and have had time to grow together, musically, and dive into various genres.
Since then, Speakeasy has released three critically acclaimed studio records: "Frumunda" 1999, "Baking Secrets" 2001, and their most recent studio accomplishment 2003's "Cut of the Jib." "In a word, the album is fantastic. It's a showcase of well-crafted songs, excellent musicianship, and tight vocals," says Brooks Williams of Moheads.com. Currently, a new album is in the works to be recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN with producer Pete Matthews (B-52's,North Mississippi All Stars). In the meantime, fans can get a taste of Speakeasy's live show on their latest live release "En Fuego."
Speakeasy recently opened for Little Feat to a sold out audience and has wooed fans from Colorado to the Carolinas. They're a four-piece force that invites their audience in and leaves them drenched in sweat and ecstatic, like they just took the best roller coaster ride of their lives. Jess Minnen of Cpjs.org calls Speakeasy "arguably the best original rock band currently playing the Midwest!" It won't be long before this message spreads to the rest of the country.