Three high school freshmen, an extremely talented eighth grade vocalist, and an 11-year-old, are about to fulfill a dream.
Their band, dubbed Northbrook Garage, recently won a contest in which a legendary recording studio called for bands to post video submissions on YouTube. The prize: 20 hours of recording time over a two-day period at the famed Ardent Studio C, in Memphis, TN.
Group thrilled when they found out
"I was ecstatic when I found out we won," Northbrook Garage band member Sam Harkey said. "I know Ardent Studio C has a lot of history, and we are really looking forward to it. We wanted to be a part of that history too."
That history is indeed impressive.
Among those who have recorded at Ardent Studios are B.B. King, Led Zeppelin, Issac Hayes, ZZ Top, Cheap Trick and countless others.
"These kids put in hours and hours of practice," said Brooke Wilson, who is one of the band's managers and Harkey's mother.
Harkey, whose nickname is ""Levi," performs guitars, harmonica, trombone and some vocals. The other band members are Eric "Big E" Doar (drums, guitar, vocals), Eric "Delmur" von Holst (bass, guitar, vocals) and 11-year-old Ben "Gypsy Davy" Harkey, who occasionally does percussion and vocals.
Female lead singer a standout talent
In addition to the four male group members, Northbrook Garage wouldn't be quite the same if it wasn't for a bit of good luck. After being together since a fifth grade talent show, the boys later stumbled across their lead singer at a separate junior high talent show.
That eighth grade singer is Elenna "LNA" Sindler, whose 13-year-old voice is already skilled beyond her years.
"When people first heard her, she pretty much blew everyone away," Wilson said. "She has a very mature voice for her age, and she has a deep thick tone in her voice that fits the type of music these guys play extremely well."
The band has performed at events such as Lollapalooza at Grant Park in downtown Chicago, and for WGN and WCIU.
"A lot has gone on lately," Wilson said. "It's been a whirlwind, but it's been a lot of fun for me and these kids, and everyone else involved. Disney was even looking at them at one point."
A unique playing style
Northbrook Garage's Facebook page describes its music as "Minor age, major Rock n' Soul." It also says: "Chunky, melodic licks. Smoky, soulful vocals. Solid, barnstorming rhythm. If you heard Northbrook Garage without seeing them, you’d never guess the members are still young teens.
"Their talent, arrangement style, and synergy are way beyond their years. From deep cut covers to infectious originals, the sound of Northbrook Garage is unexpectedly unique."
The group has over 900 followers on their Facebook page, and a myriad of inspirational influences.
"Stevie Ray Vaughan, Led Zeppelin, Keith Moon, Muddy Waters, Sharon Jones ... those are just some of our influences," Harkey said. "We like to dig deep into catalogues and play a blues/soul/groove type of music.
"Our playing style isn't the kind of thing you usually hear from 14-year-old kids," Harkey added. "It catches people off guard sometimes, but the best part is we are all really close friends."
Links to the group performing live
Below are some links to the group performing live:
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