Contractions and negatives in song titles — “Don’t Know,” “Can’t Give,” “What I’m Trying” — convey the anguish
Andrew Hamlin 1 p.m., July 29
Roland Gabriel: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Vocals | Brenda Berry: Vocals | Bill DiBiase: Keyboards | Mike Cardwell: Guitar (electric) | Serge McCoy: Drums, Vocals | Rain Samuelson: Bass guitar | José Maldonaldo: Percussion
Sound description: Funky jam band.
RIYL: The Meters, Widespread Panic, Karl Denson, Galactic, the Rolling Stones
Inception: San Diego, 2005
Influences: Widespread Panic, Phish, Ben Harper, the Meters, Mr. Blotto, the Grateful Dead, Peter Green, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Damien Marley, Mother Hips, Sublime, Bob Marley, Karl Denson, Galactic, Wilco, Spearhead, Peter Tosh
Since forming in 2005, the CHI Club has been playing shows around San Diego wherever they can. Whether you run across the band rocking on the beach, at a house party, a farmers' market, or a bar, you'll notice one thing for certain -- these guys love playing.
CHI (pronounced "chee") Club singer/rhythm guitarist Roland Gabriel cites among the band's influences the Rolling Stones, Widespread Panic, Tom Petty, Beck, and the Mother Hips. Songs such as their reggae-influenced "No Bad Day" and "Pacific Breezes" have cemented the band's Southern California charm. If the Laurel Canyon scene in L.A. had played out 30 years later in Ocean Beach, the CHI Club would be the house band.
Most of the lyrics are written by Gabriel and long-time friend Rain Samuelson, but the musical development of the songs is a collective process. Gabriel describes it as "No song is complete until all members have seasoned the song with their own flavor."
Since its inception, the CHI Club has had a revolving door of members, with a couple of different drummers and guitarists, a horn player, a harmonica player, and an extra percussionist traveling in and out of the fold. With the release of their first full-length disc Welcome to the Club in October 2007, Gabriel feels that the band has finally settled into somewhat of a stable lineup.
"We now feel like we have a core or a family-team sort of feeling -- which is real comforting, knowing we can now go the distance," says Gabriel. This current team is Brenda Berry on vocals, Bill DiBiase on keyboards, Mike Cardwell on lead guitar, Serge McCoy on drums/vocals, Rain Samuelson on bass, José Maldonaldo on percussion, and Gabriel on rhythm guitar and vocals.
What does the band's name imply? What is this "CHI"? "It came from a slang term we made for a person who Can't Handle It!" Gabriel explains. "Someone who passes, or 'chi's out,' on doing anything."
-- MySpace profile