In 2009, Bruce Svela and Doug Stroberger named the band One Brick Shy. This band brings their experience, talent, and uniqueness from other groups of different genres of music including rock, jazz, blues, funk, and country. The band enjoys playing a wide variety of styles from the ‘40s to today’s popular music. There are some heavy jazz influences in their selected styles making the band great at what they do, putting their own signature stamp of energy and passion into every song! Svela (drummer, singer) and Lisa Tyack (lead singer) met in the 1980s in a band called The Perfect Ten. Stroberger and Svela were with Jimi and the Bluesmasters before forming One Brick Shy. They wanted to form a more versatile band to further their musical growth.
Lisa Tyack is the featured lead singer given her amazing range of 3 1/2 octaves. She possesses an uncanny ability to emulate many different styles. One Brick Shy covers hit songs like “Uptown Funk,” “The Power of Love,” “La Grange,” “Addicted to Love,” and “Whole Lotta Love.” They have a huge setlist with many fan favorites from the ‘70s and ‘80s. They can go from one song such as “25 or 6 to 4,” playing with great horn and some amazing keyboard arrangements, to Tyack belting out a great rendition of “Whole Lotta Love.” The audience goes wild! There is magical chemistry that she has with the audience. Tyack also plays flute, hand percussion and cowbell. Her strongest trait vocally is hitting the high notes.
Svela plays drums and sings. He says: “It’s not easy to sing and play drums at the same time.” He has a consistent and powerful drumming beat. It’s no wonder because he is heavily influenced by such legends as Buddy Rich, (In the jazz world, Buddy Rich is known as the world’s greatest drummer), David Garibaldi, (drums and percussion with Tower of Power) and Dean Castronovo, (drummer and singer with Journey).
Stroberger plays Hammond B3, piano, and synthesizer. He is known for his amazing sounds with the synthesizer.
Rounding out the band is Tim Woster, who plays guitar, bass and also sings. Gary Fiorante plays trumpet in the band. They’re all original members, except for Scott Gudger and Gary Fiorante, who joined two or three years ago. These artists are professionally schooled and trained in jazz and big band styles. If you like a horn section and synthesizer “wizardry” you’ll love this band.
Are you ready for a true road story? Well, every band has one or two never told stories. With a little persuasion, Bruce Svela shares a recollection of a crazy experience on the road. He says: “I was traveling full time in the early 1970s in an eight-piece horn band, playing mostly Chicago, Ten Wheel Drive, and Tower of Power type material. Our agent booked us at the Cinnamon Club in Great Falls, Montana. Well, the name of the club alone should’ve been an immediate clue. We set up our gear in the afternoon and returned that evening to begin our two-week gig. As we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed many four-wheel-drive pickup trucks with gun racks, thinking the whole time uh oh, now what? We made our way to the stage and begin with a Chicago tune, but before we could finish the song, a very large man came up to our guitar player and raised his voice saying: “if you play any more of that hippy music, I’m gonna have to take you outside!” You can only imagine our fear. So, we ended playing only country songs that night. This is practically straight out of the Blues Brothers movie!”
Jane Heintz-Svela (Bruce’s wife) does the marketing, promotion and she makes sure the band sounds good at the shows. You can just go up to her and say hello as she is usually either running the soundboard or up in front of the stage dancing to the beat.
Don’t miss One Brick Shy at the CI Bar & Grill in Tualatin, Oregon on
April 13, 2019. Arrive early, get a table and enjoy a delicious dinner! To learn more about One Brick Shy, visit their website at onebrickshyband.com.