By Jodi Rigberg
The unique “show band” called Bobby Taylor and the Real Deal featuring Karen Brooks is a group that makes it statement wherever they perform. The Motown Sound is their specialty and once you have seen this band in action you will understand why. The creative performance that accompanies their vocals explains their billing as a “show band.”
“Everyone has a music band. We want to be different and make a statement by living the song and adding some flavor,” described lead male vocalist Bobby Taylor. The group’s act consists of telling a story through a song. The uniqueness of their style is how they incorporate dance steps, facial expressions and reactions to the words of the song. The audience’s reaction is pure amazement.
This blues band was developed through the inspiration of Bobby Taylor, son of the Bluesman himself, Sam Taylor. Bobby claims that at the beginning of his career, his father had a tremendous influence. Bobby had been exposed to music as a small child.
For him as well as for his sister Sandra, music was simply a part of growing up. It was refreshing to listen to Bobby speak so highly of his sister. Sandra the first of the Taylor children to take, a step in the musical profession, sings with father Sam’s band.
Bobby, who has also sung with his dad’s group, wanted to make a name for himself on his own. Recalling that competition with his dad had never been a factor, he exclaimed, “I can’t compare Sam’s experience to my talent, besides he is “The King of the Whole Town,” said Bobby.
Six members of the Real Deal, who are friends on and off the stage, contribute “a hundred percent to the group’s success,” Bobby says.
Karen Brooks, awarded The Best Female Vocalist title by the Tucson Weekly in 1989, is Bobby Taylor’s right arm. Only four years old when she sang her first solo, Karen has a mesmerizing effect on her audiences with a voice that others may only dream of having. Karen, who Bobby affectionately calls “the babysitter of the bunch” is creative and adds the zest of craziness that the band needs.
Jacques Taylor, Bobby’s cousin, is “a wonderful back -up vocalist” who lends to be the comedian of the group. He has the ability to motivate the band by making them smile. The other band members appreciate Jacques’ charisma. Cousins Bobby and Jacques grew up together with the mutual dream to make names for themselves through their singing.
Dan Lynch, who Bobby describes as being one of the top drummers in town, contributes greatly to the band’s success. He is consistent and dependable, not to mention handsome, and “he has a wonderful attitude,” added Bobby and Karen. Guitarist Michael Flannery III also plays a major role in organizing the music for the band. Bobby said that’ he knew he wanted Michael to be a part of his band from the first time he heard him play. He is energetic, dependable and very steady. “He’s here to stay,” Bobby said confidently.
Rex Grant, Real Deal’s bass guitarist, really struts his stuff. He has made it her personal job to see that everyone gets involved with the music. Bobby replied, “It’s amazing how well Rex has excelled on his instrument, coming a very long way in the short amount of time has been playing with us.” Last, but certainly not least, is David Bynes, an accomplished keyboardist, who finalizes this extremely hard working unit. David has recently returned to the band after a short leave of absence. Bobby made it clear how happy he was to have him back.
A confident Bobby Taylor knows that his band has what it takes to succeed, and guarantees that Real Deal will sing Motown music the way it’s supposed to be sung. Real Deal performs Thursday nights at Monte V and Fridays and Saturdays at the Chicago Bar.
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