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New CD Benefits FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties
Kindred Souls
[We] would love to be able to set an example for other bands to continue to put time and effort back into their communities. - Lon Bachrach
by Matt Mrowicki
Kindred Souls
Kindred Souls

The New Jersey-based six-piece Kindred Souls is adding a special twist to the CD release party for their new EP, "Social Ninja," being held at The Saint (601 Main Street, Asbury Park, NJ) on Saturday, July 18th. The band has dedicated the release of the EP to the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. The FoodBank's 1,000 volunteers serve over 270 pantries, soup kitchens, and other feeding programs every year.

Since the FoodBank has a special need for peanut butter and jelly for their summer children's programs, anyone who donates a plastic bottle of peanut butter or jelly, or money for the purchase of pb&j, at the Saint on July 18th, will receive a free copy of the EP.

The band will also donate half of the proceeds of sales of the hand-illustrated CDs on their website to the FoodBank. In addition, Kindred Souls is auctioning a living room concert on eBay, with a portion of those proceeds being given to the charity as well.

Kindred Souls consists of singer Jeff Rafferty, keyboardist Lon Bachrach, bassist Stan Quincy Adams, guitarists Ted Heman and Jeff Samet, and drummer Paul Lavenhar. The band's sound combines classic rock with elements of jazz, blues, R&B and soul.

Chorus and Verse spoke with Bachrach about the upcoming show and how the band fits into the Jersey Shore music scenes' long tradition of supporting charitable causes.

Start off by talking about the show at the Saint on July 18th. What made you want to release your new CD as part of a benefit for the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties? Did you specifically record the EP for the purpose of raising money, or was the release being planned and you decided to use it for this worthy cause?

We have always lent ourselves to playing for benefits and fundraisers for worthy causes. When we were planning the CD release party, it just made sense for us to seek out a cause to put ourselves behind. Since we were doing the show in Monmouth County, we looked for a local tie-in, and the FoodBank does so much for so many, especially children, so for us it was a no-brainer.

You're also auctioning a living room concert as part of the fundraising effort for the FoodBank. Can you provide details about what the show will be like for the winner and how fans can bid in the auction?

In organizing the show at The Saint we became impressed with the work that the FoodBank does and wanted to be able to extend our contribution. We had spoken for a while about auctioning a private concert off on eBay, and figured we could donate even more to a good cause in the process. The show will be auctioned off just like any other item that would be for sale/hire. The buyer will have a lot to do with the where and how of the performance. If you goto our website, there is a link to eBay.

The Jersey Shore music scene has a long history of being involved in charitable causes. Do feel a connection to that legacy and have there been inspirations that have led you to use your music in such a way?

Absolutely we feel a connection. The Springsteens, Bon Jovis and Bandieras of the last wave of New Jersey music have laid the gauntlet at our feet, and we would love to be able to set an example for other bands to continue to put time and effort back into their communities.

For fans who may not be familiar with the band, talk a bit about how Kindred Souls began. Where were some of your early shows and places the band toured?

Kindred Souls has resided in New Jersey for about six years. Prior to that, singer-songwriter Jeff Rafferty and keyboardist Lon Bachrach spent a lot of time on the road doing shows from coast to coast, spending periods of time in San Francisco and Nashville, and all points in between. Since being local to the Garden State, Kindred Souls has performed steadily in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, building fan support and gathering contacts on the business side of the music.

Talk about the new EP, "Social Ninja," that you'll be releasing at the Saint. What are the four songs on the EP and when and where were they recorded?

We opted to release "Social Ninja" as an EP to satisfy the demand we had from fans for new material. We are in the studio again next month with plans to release a full album next year. The first track, "Whatchagonnado," to which we have produced the first video for the EP, was recorded at Frankensound Studios in North Brunswick, NJ, mixed by zengineer Vince Carducci. You can download it for free at our website, www.kindred-souls.com. The other three tracks, "Losing You," "Awhile," and "Highwire" were done at Broadway Sound in New York.

We were very fortunate to have Loren Toolajian of Sandblast Productions co-produce, and to have Grammy-winning engineer Bill Lacey mix for us. We feel the songs are very moving, powerful, well- written pieces. The biggest complaint that we have gotten from fans that have already heard the EP is that they just want to hear more. We plan to keep bringing it, so as not to disappoint them. We are very proud of the work we have done here.

What are your plans for the band now that the EP has been released? Do you plan to promote the songs on the EP for radio airplay, or do you anticipate more recording sessions in the near future?

As mentioned, we do have plans to re-enter the studio in August. Aside from performances, we are seeking radio airplay, and will also be featured on some Internet radio, and several podcasts. We have just embarked on a four-month-long cyber campaign with Ariel Publicity in New York. They have had great success with other clients and we have no reason not to achieve similar good fortune. We have already had in the past weeks some Internet radio airplay in Europe, Australia, and Canada, as well as in the United States. Interestingly enough, we've developed a following in Brazil, so we are discussing expanding our touring base in the spring. Our music is currently available for downloads internationally, either individual tracks or the full EP. We also have ringtones available at myxer.com.

Give our readers your best pitch for them to come by the Saint on July 18th. What should fans do if they want to support the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties and what do you hope that fans will take away from their experience that evening.

The 18th of July at the Saint, people should expect a fantastic performance for a fantastic cause. The band always brings its "A" game, and most people who see us once want to see us again. We bring a high-energy show with great musicianship and powerhouse vocals. Fans who bring a jar of peanut butter or jelly to donate to the food bank (no glass please) will get a free copy of the EP, and (here's the best reason to come) a FREE BEER. We will guarantee a good time to be had by all. You can also buy our hand-illustrated CDs at the gig or by visiting our website at www.kindred-souls.com. Plus, you can bid on your own concert in your living room on eBay. We are donating half the proceeds to the FoodBank. If people wish to further support The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, they can contact them online at www.foodbankmoc.org.

[ Website: www.kindred-souls.com ]

Matt Mrowicki
Matt Mrowicki [[email protected]], is an Internet entrepreneur and owner of Chorus and Verse. In 2002, he founded Impression Technologies LLC (www.imprtech.com) a digital design company offering website development, graphic design, online marketing, social media and technology consulting. He has been interviewed on topics ranging from how bands can best use their websites for promoting their music to current trends in social media. He has successfully launched over 100 websites and branding projects for clients and continues to develop new online opportunities and promote effective uses of technology and online media.
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