Musical democracy

Dave Storie and Bishop Mayfield front a new local band
Guitarist Dave Storie and vocalist Bishop Mayfield will play original funk, soul and R&B with their new band.Photo courtesy of Mark Arinsberg

The Bishop Mayfield-Dave Storie Band will move you to dance or move you to tears, but either way, it'll move you, promises Central Point soul singer Bishop Mayfield.

The new band, as its name suggests, is the collaborative project of Mayfield and Ashland guitarist Dave Storie.

If you go

Who: The Bishop Mayfield-Dave Storie Band

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14

Where: Jackson WellSprings, 2253 Highway 99 North, Ashland

Tickets: $10

Call: 541-482-3776

"Even though the band has our names on it, everyone has a say as to what goes on," Mayfield says. "It's not a total dictatorship.

"If it sounds good, we are willing to do it."

The band — featuring Jack Latvala and Cameron Stewart on keyboards, GT Albright on drums and Richard Cole on bass — plays original funk, soul and R&B and then fills out its sets with songs by Z.Z. Hill, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, The Temptations and others. (One keyboardist plays organ while the other plays piano, horn and string lines, Mayfield says.)

The band's original catalog comprises about a dozen songs written by members and friends of the band. There are "Do I Know You" and "Brick by Brick" by Storie and his friend, Earl Thomas. "Cadillac Billie Jean" is a blues shuffle by Albright, and "Droppin' Bomb," a slow blues song by Mayfield's longtime friend, Charles Lamont, about "the kinda girl your momma warned you about."

The band had its first gig in August at the 4&20 Blackbird Music Festival in Weed, Calif., and will perform again at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, at Jackson WellSprings, 2253 Highway 99 North, Ashland. Tickets cost $10.

About 40 years ago, long before they lived in Southern Oregon, both Storie and Mayfield lived in Eureka, Calif., and fronted their own bands. Bishop played with various funk and blues bands, including WildChild, Two Weeks Notice, Flex, Sol Purpose, 911, To The Bone and The Bishop Mayfield Band, while Storie performed exclusively with the rock band Commotion.

"As far as popularity, we were always one or two depending on who you talked to," Mayfield says.

Mayfield moved to the area about four years ago and, unbeknownst to him, Storie also had — 11 years earlier. It wasn't until they attended a 30-year reunion in Eureka two years ago that they realized the other's whereabouts.

Back home in the Rogue Valley, Storie invited Mayfield to sit in with his band, the Truth Machine. Later, he disbanded the group to start The Bishop Mayfield-Dave Storie Band.

Mayfield's vision for the band is fivefold: "to make a splash at home," do some recording, write more original material, incorporate a horn section (saxophonist Gordon Greenley and trumpeter Randy Scherer) into the configuration and have a good time.

For more information, look for the band on Facebook.

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