“The Grid” Expassionates, at Holy Cow!, Kansas City, 2015
“Dizzy” Expassionates, MidCoast Takeover, Canvas Bar, Austin, TX, March 19, 2010
Verse, Chorus, Bridge-Live, Davey’s Uptown, Kansas City, Oct 17, 2015. Videos by Rick Groom.
Expassionates began as a recording project in 1998. Scott Easterday had a collection of songs to record. He hired Chad Meise as recording engineer and they set up shop in the historic El Torreon Ballroom for its unique acoustics.
The large ballroom is the only surviving jazz hall of its kind from Kansas City’s jazz era. El Torreon was a concert venue, the Cowtown Ballroom, and then a skating rink. After being a recording site for Expassioantes and other bands it became an antiques market and ultimately a church.
Chad Meise set up recording equipment and a control room in the historic ballroom. Easterday sang and played guitar and keyboards and hired Kansas City musicians from diverse backgrounds in rock, country and jazz. Bryan Hicks, bass; Ryan Bennett, drums; Marco Pascolini, guitar; Richard Alwyn, harmonica; Mark Southerland, saxophone; Nate Hofer, pedal steel and Jazzbo (Bill Hargrave), trumpet.
The resulting album is called Verse, Chorus, Bridge, released in December 1998. There was a live release show December 26th at Harlings Upstairs in Kansas City. (pictured: Pascolini, Easterday and Jeff Freling who joined the band for the live show)
For the next several years Scott Easterday played solo shows and duo shows with Marco Pascolini, who had played guitar on Verse, Chorus, Bridge, until they decided to find a permanent rhythm section to complete a four-piece band.
In 2006 Bass player Richard Burgess joined Easterday and Pascolini, followed shortly by Sam Platt on drums, who is also a recording engineer. Their first gig as a four-piece was Halloween 2006.
The group (pictured: Pascolini, Easterday, Burgess, Platt) played hundreds of show dates in and around Kansas City plus Austin, TX for Midcoast Takeover. In addition to the live shows the band teamed up again with recording engineer Chad Meise and drummer/engineer Sam Platt for a new CD album called Landscapes, released in 2008.
Rather than growing stale, the four-piece live version of Expassionates decided to call it mostly quits in September 2011, although they continue to play selected shows since then.
In 2015 it was time to reintroduce the first album Verse, Chorus, Bridge after 17 years. Scott Easterday brought together a new band of Kansas City musicians from rock, country and jazz styles to rival the one that recorded the record. Bryan Hicks, bass, and Nate Hofer, pedal steel, return from the original group but this time they are joined by Matt Richey, drums, Troy van Horn, guitar, and Patrick Alonzo Conway on sax and percussion. (pictured above: Van Horn, Hicks, Richey, Conway, Easterday, Hofer)
Ten years after the release of Landscapes, the original musicians that recorded it, will performed it live. Scott Easterday rejoined Marco Pascolini, guitar, Richard Burgess, bass and Sam Platt, drums.