By: Katie Olson, Editor-in-Chief
Something groovy this way comes in Denton. If you enjoy a funky sound that makes you want to get up and dance, then you should check out local band West and the Grooves. First formed in 2012, the band’s origins stemmed from a social media post written by Grooves vocalist Ally Barnes.
Grooves bass guitarist Julia Mason described the group’s formation: “She posted on Facebook ‘all the ladies come over and jam,’ and then I went over there and jammed with her and a couple other girls.”
She added: “Our friend Bonnie, who was working at Abbey at the time, randomly got us a show and said, ‘Oh you have a month to prepare,’ so we committed to the idea of forming a band.”
The band is currently comprised of eight members: vocalist Barnes, bass guitarist Mason, lead guitarist Tessa Kisielewski, guitarist and vocalist Reid Kisielewski, drummer Aaron Poret, keyboardist Micah Perkins and vocalist Madison Norris. The group performs a variety of funk and grunge covers as well as original songs that reflect their funky style that is as inventive as the band’s name.
Barnes explained: “We kind of tossed around a lot of ideas. We liked the name ‘Groove’ because we wanted to make groovy music, and I’m from West Texas so we just decided ‘West and the Grooves.’”
West and the Grooves play at various Denton venues along with previous shows in Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin. While they have not gone on tour yet, the members of Grooves continue to play at gigs while keeping their dreams huge and expectations high.
Barnes shared: “We definitely have fun jamming, but we definitely keep the focus on making money and getting more of a fan base outside of Denton.”
However, West and the Grooves always keep in mind the enjoyment of their fans. The musicians encourage the audience to come up and join them on stage, providing them shakers to use during the performance. The crowd participation adds to the atmosphere that Grooves wants to create.
Poret shared: “The reaction from the crowd, actually playing on stage and seeing a whole crowd of people having a blast is the best.”
Though its goal is to become more widely known as a band, West and the Grooves ultimately feeds off the excitement and devotion of their fans.
Poret said: “Personally the most rewarding thing for me is seeing people having a good time with the music we’re making. Sheer fame and fortune could be there, but frankly if I could just make enough money to go on tour with these guys and see a bunch of crazy places and see all these different people get down and dance and have the time of their lives that night that we’re playing then that’s good for me.”
For those looking to bring out their funky side on a Friday night, West and the Grooves wants to bring the party to their fans.
Barnes concluded: “Our goal is to make you dance and bring you to have a blast.”
West and the Grooves will play at Abbey Underground on September 18th.