lovesaurce & souldbones

By Mark Clark - Contributing Writer

Sam Anderson calls lovesauce and soulbones "the culmination of a dream."

Other members of the group say they feel their entire careers have been preparing them to join the band. Who these guys are and how they came to play together is a story in itself.

Sam Anderson A complete resume from Anderson would be a thicker document than the Louisville Yellow Pages. Here's a quick synopsis of the prolithic performer's credits:

Anderson currently serves as musical director for Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Impressions. He wrote and produced four songs on the band's upcoming album. He's a former resident musician at the trend-setting China (??) Club in Los Angeles.

He is an accomplished studio musician and can be heard on movie soundtracks to "Sister Act 2"and "The Commitments,"as well as Joe Coker's "One Night of Sin"and the as-yet untitled and unreleased new Paula Adbul album.

In 1986, he toured as a backup singer for Earth, Wind and Fire. He worked for about three years, from 1987 to 1990, as an artist and producer at Meltone Records. He has been under contract as a songwriter for Warner/Chappell Records since 1990. (Last summer, Whitney Houston sang back-up on a demo Anderson cut.)

For all his accomplishments, however, Anderson is probably best known locally as the bassist for the late, lamented Domani, a funk-rock outfit that split up shortly after recording a never-released album for MCA Records, under the tutelage of fabled producer Glyn Johns (Led Zeppelin, The Who, Rolling Stones).

After Domani split up, Anderson began to think about forming another band. At first, he envisioned what he calls "a ~Sam Anderson and' thing."That's the kind of group Warner/Chappell wanted him working in. But Anderson soon soured on the idea.

"It was going to be a different lineup, probably not as versatile,"he said. "I couldn't write for something like that. I'd get bored after a while."

Besides, he said, "every time I talked to somebody it was about being the next Michael Bolton or James Ingram. I sing hard, but that's only part of it."

He abandoned that idea, and began thinking of piecing together a more collaborative ensemble. lovesauce and soulbones, at least in spirit, was born.

Paul Culligan From the outset, Anderson wanted drummer Paul Culligan in on the project.

Culligan first gained attention as a junior at Bellarmine College. Then playing as a member of the Bellarmine Jazz Trio, Culligan was profiled in Down Beat magazine. Fluent in both rock and jazz styles, Culligan has played in several local bands, most notably Goodnight Maxine.

"I've never come across anything he couldn't play,"Anderson said.

Mauriece Hamilton Another guy Anderson had in mind all along was saxophonist Mauriece Hamilton, best known for his work with The World.

Hamilton is the only member of lovesauce and soulbones with a key to the city. (He earned the honor by his participation as prep band performer when he was in middle school.) Hamilton is well known for his dancing and singing ability, as well as his skill with the sax. He has a day job in research and development at General Electric at least until lovesauce and soulbones takes off.

Dan Kiely Anderson began sitting in on gigs by the World, ostensively to court Hamilton, but also to check out the band's bass player, Dan Kiely.

Kiely began playing bass in his teens. He also paints and sculpts. He first garnered attention for his musical abilities as a member of the Bellarmine Jazz Trio, where he played alongside Culligan. Hamilton often sat in with the trio at off-campus gigs.

After graduating from Bellarmine, he moved to Bloomington, Ind., to attend graduate school and joined a band called Jif and the Choosy Mothers, which eventually evolved into The World. Despite his wealth of experience, Kiely wasn't Anderson's first choice. But he was offered a spot in lovesauce and soulbones because WHO?? Danny Ingram wasn't available.

Ray Rizzo Anderson said the idea of having vocalist/percussionist Ray Rizzo join the group came to him in a dream. (Anderson later wrote a song about the experience, "Be On Your Way,"sitting up late one evening at the Steak and Shake on Bardstown Road.)

Rizzo learned how to play the drums in a fife and drum corps in Washington, D.C., where he was raised. He drummed for the Bellarmine Jazz Trio the year after Culligan and Kiely left the group. He was a founding member of Bloo Zoo, a local band that also featured keyboardist Scott Thomas. In 1991, he put away his drum sticks and joined Goodnight Maxine as lead vocalist.

Scott Thomas Keyboardist Scott Thomas was the last member to join the group, but he eventually could be the most influential, other than Anderson.

Thomas, the youngest member of the group at age 22, graduated summa cum laude from the acclaimed Berklee College of Music in Boston. While there, he participated in Master's Classes with the likes of Billy Joel and won a scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting.

After college, he moved back to Louisville and worked in the orchestra pit at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Thomas owns his own eight-track recording studio and has a full album's worth of material in the can. He hasn't tried to market any of the songs yet because, like Anderson, he's a relentless perfectionist.

Anderson met Thomas while attending a play both musicians were involved with at Bellarmine. Anderson said he was impressed with Thomas' professionalism as well as his vocal and instrumental skills.

Thomas said he plans to eventually bring some of his songs in for the group to work up. Even if he doesn't, Anderson said he values Thomas' opinion highly.

"Scott looks at everything a little differently,"Anderson said. "He wasn't around to know who's who. His eyes are fresh. I see myself learning from him."

Every member of the band sings and sings well, something that was important to Anderson. But the group's primary strength is that all the members are able to relate to each other.

"The first thing I tried to do was surround myself with people who were capable of love,"Anderson said.

Incredibly, Anderson had no idea as he built the band that many of the members were lifelong friends, who had played together for years Culligan, Kiely, Hamilton and Rizzo all have connections as far back as high school. Thomas and Rizzo go back at least that far.

Perhaps because of those connections, Rizzo (like most members of the group, a veteran of many bands) said lovesauce and soulbones is unlike any other group with which he's played.

"This group doesn't really compare because at this point the whole working philosophy of the group, the music and everything about it is the kind of group I always dreamed of working on,"Rizzo said. "It basically combines all the best aspects of the (good) situations I've been in."