A few years ago, keyboardist/vocalist Kevin Eichhorn was just finishing his seventh year playing minor league baseball. He began filling his offseason by playing in a band he started with his cousin Sean Eichhorn (guitars/vocals) called Soulwise.
“I’d leave at the end of February, ’til October. Then October to February, we’d play some music,” Kevin says.
In those early days, Kevin says, the group’s sound was all over the place.
“It started a little more funky, almost funk-rock-reggae,” he says. “We grew up on rock and the Expendables.”
These days, the sound is decidedly more reggae-oriented. The vibe is very laid-back, almost hypnotic. The rock influences are still strong, but it’s mostly in the guitar-work, which veer freely into shredding solos.
Kevin and Sean enlisted another minor league player to join the band, bass player Adrian DeMar. Neither plays baseball professionally anymore, so Soulwise has become a year-round band as of 2015. Around this time, they went from a four-piece to a six-piece band, playing with horns at some shows. This past December, they released their first full-length, Good Day, which has done well. They even hit No. 3 on the iTunes reggae charts for a day.
This year, the group plans to get out and tour, and show the rest of the world their Santa Cruz rock-reggae sound.
“We want to give it a shot,” Kevin says. “It’s been fun, and we appreciate the support. That’s the big one. We have a good group of guys, just having some fun playing some tunes.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23. Moe’s, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $7/adv, $10/door. 479-1854.