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Local band brings world flavor to Sparks
by Krystal Bick
Jul 30, 2008 | 1369 views | 1 1 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy photo - World music-inspired band Sol Jibe plays Thursday at the Sparks Hometowne Farmer's Market.
Courtesy photo - World music-inspired band Sol Jibe plays Thursday at the Sparks Hometowne Farmer's Market.
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As the members of Reno group Sol Jibe step into the band's studio/house, there’s little time to waste.

Having just returned from multiple summer music festivals, saxophone player Jonathan Phillips is still packing up instruments. Guitar cases are strewn about waiting to be loaded into the band's trailer in the driveway.

High-carb snacks for the road line the coffee table and piano player Jay Cowell insists on grabbing a beer.

Bass player Fernando Flores and drummer Justin Kruger head inside to enjoy the air conditioning they don’t have in their van. As soon as lead vocalist and violin player Tim Snider makes himself comfortable in a recliner, the band is assembled — only to be leaving again that afternoon for another gig.

It’s just another day for Sol Jibe.

The six-man band, which will be playing Thursday for the Sparks Hometowne Farmer’s Market at the Great Basin Brewing Co. at 6:30 p.m., was formed nearly five years ago by Snider and former guitar player Milton Merlos. Just starting out, Sol Jibe was one of those bands that was whispered about around coffee shops, performing frequently at local businesses like Walden’s Coffehouse and Esoteric Café. Today, playing at the likes of the High Sierra Music Festival, the Crystal Bay Club and multiple Artown events, the band still feels humble about where it came from.

“It still blows me away,” Kruger said. “It’s a crazy rush.”

This “rush” the band is experiencing has been a result of a fan base they’ve been building for years. Describing themselves as a world-inspired rock band, drawing influences from Latin and gypsy music, Sol Jibe has been accepted well in the Reno-Sparks community, named one of the area’s best bands for several years by the Reno Gazette-Journal and Reno News & Review. These days, the group often finds itself on tour four months out of the year.

“As an independent band, we rely entirely on word of mouth,” Snider said, emphasizing the need for a local following for any band. “It really takes years to establish. It tests your mettle.”

Now with multiple tours on both coasts under its belt, Sol Jibe has passed that test of fortitude.

Currently working on their fourth album, after receiving positive feedback from their most recent album release “New Day,” several members admit it’s hard to have a life. One member tried: drummer Caleb Dollister moved to Nashville, Tenn. for a job, but still travels back to tour whenever he can make it.

“It’s a full-time job,” Snider said, as his bandmates shrugged their shoulders in agreement.

But as several songs from Sol Jibe's previous albums are being played on regular rotation on the KTHX The X radio station, the band wants to spend extra time producing its next album.

It seems this full-time job may be paying off.

“We’re not rushing it right now though,” Phillips said. “We need to make sure we’re doing it right.”

That’s when talk turns to Brazil, the possible destination for a future band study trip. Snider explained that the band has raised money to take educational trips to various countries; they have already visited Cuba and Spain. Together, band members study and experience new world music with the goal of bringing something different to their sound.

“We usually spend about three weeks (in a certain country),” Snider said. “We visit places and meet a lot of people.”

But whether they’re playing in front of a crowded music festival or in the far corners of South America mastering the flamenco sound, the band is together for one reason — music.

“At the end of the day, I’m just playing music with my friends,” Snider said. “It’s a lot of fun."

For more information, visit the Sol Jibe Web site at www.soljibe.com. Tonight’s performance will be held at the outdoor stage at the Great Basin Brewing Co. Admission is free.
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Jumper Girl
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July 31, 2008
If you've never seen Sol Jibe before, you are in for a treat. Their music is refreshingly original. They love what they do and you will too!
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