Area band, LocaL, plays Pizzaz this weekend
Like many new bands cutting their teeth, the sound of South Hills band LocaL is evolving. What started out as acoustic covers of Top 40 songs has given way to country, mashups and even original tunes. Comprised of guitarist Leigh-Anne Yost, guitarist Kyle Ingram and percussionist and guitarist Zack DeFelice – all three share singer and song writing duties – the trio is certainly making a name for themselves in the area.
You can find them playing locally – no pun intended – nearly every weekend, and they have built up a following. While their families and friends are indeed serious supporters, others have caught on as well. “There’s something for everybody,” Yost said. “We play everything from Tom Petty to Sublime to Miranda Lambert to Shania Twain.”
Don’t expect their cover songs to sound like the originals, though. “We don’t cover the song, we play the song,” Ingram said. “We make it our own.”
Take, for example, their version of the oldie but goodie “Blue Moon:” LocaL plays a much quicker rendition, and will mix in Nicki Minaj’s “Super Base.” “That’s our big fun mashup,” Yost said. “It just fits.”
They also put their own spin on Sublime’s “What I’ve Got,” one of DeFelice’s favorite songs to play live – it segues into Salt-N-Pepa’s “Shoop” or sometimes Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice.” “That was inspired by friends of ours in a band called Coming Up Millhouse, who play at Bee’z a lot, too,” Yost said.
Yost, Ingram and DeFelice are all serious musicians who have been passionate about their craft since childhood. Yost equates singing with breathing, and starred in many a musical at Canon-McMillan High School, her alma mater. She’s also performed solo, and opened up for national acts at the South Side’s Club Cafe. Ingram, at a mere 20 years old, has been playing at venues that include Blawnox’s blues bar Moondogs, for a number of years now with various bands. A Peters Township High School grad, he also teaches guitar and ukulele at U Rock Music Center in McMurray. DeFelice, who also graduated from Peters, inherited his musical gene from his father, who is an accomplished bass player. “I was really lucky, he got me into it, let me use his equipment, and he loves giving us advice,” he said.
Currently, the band is working on an eight-song yet-to-be-titled CD of original material, which they hope will garner some local radio air play and help broaden their audience. Yost describes the original music, which they all collaborate on, as “hippabilly blues.” “Zack has a hippy, jammy feel, Kyle is blues-y, and I am country. When you put it all together, you get this upbeat, fun, sassy sound.”
As fun as the sound is, Yost admits that playing original songs live presents a challenge. “People aren’t necessarily responsive to original music,” she said. “That’s why a lot of times when we play an original song live, I won’t even say that it’s an original song. And a lot of times, you look out into the audience, and see people really getting into it – they think they know what song it is, but they don’t. It’s the coolest thing.”
LocaL is big on getting the audience involved, too. “We have given tambourines or maracas to people so that they can play along, too,” DeFelice said. “That’s really fun.”
LocaL performs at Pizzaz Italian Restaurant in McMurray on Jan. 26. For more information on the band, including additional upcoming shows, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LocaLband.