OTiS's Profile

About me:Take one part rock, one part soul, and one part groove and you’ve got the Brooklyn based band OTiS. The brainchild of singer, guitarist, and songwriter Craig Schoenbaum has been a project in the making as far back as 2000, but the line up you see before you wasn't solidified until the summer of 2009. The band’s influences range from legends such as Ray Charles, Otis Redding and The Meters, to The Police, The Black Crowes and Sublime. Hip Hop has even played a role in shaping OTiS’ sound in groups like A Tribe Called Quest and The Pharcyde. This diverse makeup is obvious the second you try to pin down their sound to tell a friend.

Originally backed by a rotating cast of paid mercenaries, OTiS is now composed of a rhythm machine made up of musicians from NYC's music scene. In 2007, Theo Moore of funk band Urban Sun approached Craig about joining him, marking the first step to creating a band of committed passionate musicians. Soon to follow was precision drummer Dominick Magnotta from the same circle of musicians and versatile keyboardist Justin Etheredge who also came highly recommended by a friend. Top it off with funk-minded bassist Dave Lowenthal courtesy of Craig’s List and you’ve got something unique, but familiar.

In a short year, the current OTiS has become a staple of New York's music scene, frequenting such venues as The Mercury Lounge and Sullivan Hall, as well as performing at showcases for Universal Motown Records at Fontana's. You may have been lucky enough to catch one of their extended, late night sets at The Sidewalk Café in the Lower East Side. Bloggers will tell you that OTiS gets, “Every single audience member up off their feet, moving and grooving,” (Melissa Lynn- BeImaged.com) and might just be “The next ‘big thing’” (Rock NYC).

Recording their self-titled debut album over the course of 2009, OTiS finally had the right musicians at the right time. This diverse album touches on bluesy rock in “All Over Again” and “American Dream,” but also delivers rhythm driven reggae in “Trying to Believe,” “Tin Can” and “Reconstruction.” Funk and Jam fans will immediately fall into“Andelusia,” “Situation Song” and “The Way It Goes.” The band breaks out of boxes even more on the Americana tinged “Die Easy” featuring Joe Trombino, singer of Urban Sun. As their live performance is never complete without their signature jam “Under The Gun,” the album finishes with a live version, giving fans the full experience. TheRound Table Online says “It’s a rarity for energy of a band to translate so strongly on a recording, yet OTiS manages to pull it off with ease.”

Satisfying everyone from hipster to hippie, OTiS is Rock.Soul.Groove- and everything in between.
Member Since:June 8, 2009
Last Login:July 8, 2010
Location:Whitestone, NY
Birthday:May 22
Music means to me:Everything
Schools:School of Rock
General Interests:Melting faces, rocking out, blowing minds
Other Distractions:Drumsticks, chicken thighs, eggs


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