Guitarist Dan Guzman and drummer Logan Tyler originally began jamming in 2011, two years before they formed LIGHT The Band. At the time, it was more of a side project for them, as both were playing full-time in legendary local funk act 7 Come 11. When creative differences led Tyler and Guzman to quit 7 Come 11, the guys put all of their effort into LIGHT the Band, and never looked back.
“Dan and I just have this comfortableness,” says Tyler. “When we’re on stage we always make it happen.”
Their funky four-piece delivers improvised jams sewn throughout structured songs that flow through rock, soul and more. And like many jam bands, LIGHT has gone through several lineup changes, with an array of different instruments and musicians coming in and out of the group. In addition to Tyler and Guzman, they currently boast James Tashnick on bass and Patrick Blizinski on the Hammond B3 organ, creating a full and funktastic sound that dares feet not to dance. And of course, their name would be misleading if they didn’t also provide a killer light show.
In 2015, they became the house band at Bocci’s Cellar playing weekly events, which they recently switched to every other week.
At the end of last year, the boys released their debut, self-titled album. From Phish-esque songs like “What Was Her Name?” to jams like “Maddy’s Jam”—dedicated to eight-year-old Madyson Middleton, who was murdered near their practice space in 2015—the 15-song endeavor moves between studio and live recordings to give the listener a tasty sample of all that LIGHT can do. In a move reminiscent of the Grateful Dead, they also record all of their live performances, often uploading sets to their Soundcloud and Facebook page. The prolific quartet is hoping to release its second album by the end of the year, with all of the songs currently waiting to be recorded.
“I think the music has evolved to become a lot more laid-back and funk,” Tyler ponders. “It’s become a lot more thoughtful.”
Besides the band’s bi-monthly spot at Bocci’s, fans can catch LIGHT the Band on Sept. 1 at Don Quixote’s, where they’ll team up with Afro-Latin Groove band Judo No, and Santa Cruz hip-hop jazz group Beat Tapes.
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25. Bocci’s Cellar, 140 Encinal St., Santa Cruz. $5. 427-1795.