Simplified at Metro PCS Great Atlantic Fest

by Rick Grant
Simplified’s songwriter and lead vocalist, Chris Sheridan is blessed with a gritty, Springsteen-like voice. His songs are hooky and memorable–ultimately making Simplified bookable in any situation, which in today’s world, is a distinct advantage. For the members of Simplified, their flexibility and willingness to play a few covers during their gigs endears them to eclectic audiences and endless playing possibilities.
The collective creative unit that is Simplified consists of seasoned professional musicians who include Chris Sheridan on lead vocals and amplified acoustic guitar, Chris Lynch on bass and Clee Laster on vocals and lead guitar. Hot drummer, Donnie Marple just joined the band. He beat out 6,000 other drummers in a national contest called the Great Drum Off.
“Our sound is described as layers of “rock, reggae, funk and roots … and some bits of Southern Rock.” said Chris Sheridan from his home base in Charlotte, North Carolina. He’s a laid-back dude, so we chatted for thirty minutes about today’s harsh reality of staying booked and making enough money to keep the band together.
The guys are currently on a two month road tour taking them to some of the hottest venues from New Orleans to Key West and then back home to the Carolinas to work on a new album.
“We are mostly an original band and we released our third studio album in 2011. We tour around the Southeast and occasionally travel to other parts of the country. We’ve been around for eight years. NASCAR uses one of our songs in their promotions. Everything we do opens doors to something else. Coming up, we are going on the Rock Cruise ship with other rock bands to entertain the passengers,” Chris said
“So how did your band evolve?” I asked Chris
“Well, I was playing solo and duo presenting my originals and gradually the other members joined in until we had a bookable band. Of course, Charlotte is our biggest market. But we play gigs in Florida. We do well in Key West. So, we’re willing to go anywhere to play live gigs. In fact, we’ll be in Jax Beach at the Metro PCS Great Altlantic Fest on March 24,” he said.
The members of Simplified are making the right moves to get ahead in a viciously competitive business that eats its own. Clearly, these dudes are it for the long term. It’s what they do.