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The road runs through Sparks for Chicago band
by Cortney Maddock
Jul 03, 2008 | 1227 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy photo - The band 56 Hope Road will play at today’s Hometowne Farmer’s Market in Sparks.
Courtesy photo - The band 56 Hope Road will play at today’s Hometowne Farmer’s Market in Sparks.
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Traveling with a trail of good vibes following them, band members from the Chicago-rooted acoustic funk band 56 Hope Road will play at the Sparks Hometowne Farmer’s Market today outside the Great Basin Brewing Co.

56 Hope Road might have acquired its name from the address of Bob Marley’s compound in Kingston, Jamaica but the band has seen many a road. Deemed road warriors by Jambase.com, lead singer Dave Hamilton explained the band plays shows non-stop.

“We have played 220 shows a year for three years,” Hamilton said without skipping a beat. “We’ve played in every state except Oregon, Montana and Florida.”

While excessively hitting the road has comprised the last three years of the band’s existence, members Hamilton, drummer Greg Fundis and upright bass player Chad Sanders have been playing together since 1999. The trio added saxophone player Casey Fitzpatrick at the beginning of 2007.

Hamilton explained the band was formed when he met Fundis and Sanders in college.

“I just always wanted a band,” Hamilton said. “It just fit.”

Hamilton followed Fundis and Sanders to Chicago when they moved after college. Fundis and Sanders received degrees in music but Hamilton took a less formal route.

“I quit (school) to be a rock star,” Hamilton said.

Living up to his aspirations, 56 Hope Road released the band’s fourth studio album in February.

Hamilton said the latest album, “Law Of Attraction,” showcases the band’s growth since 2005’s “Once In Our Lives.”

“We grew up and write better songs,” Hamilton said. “Our music is about being positive and that’s what we’re about.”

56 Hope Road draws inspiration directly from Bob Marley with a reggae-esque sound mixed with a soulful, church-revival-like saxophone, which incorporates Midwest jazz beats with the up-beat lyrics.

“Our rhythm section is one of the best in the business,” Hamilton boasts. “We call it acoustic funk.”

To see 56 Hope Road perform, wander over to the pavilion outside Great Basin Brewing Co. at 6 p.m. For more information about the band, and to listen to a few tunes, visit www.56hoperd.com or www.myspace.com/56hoperoad.
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