Soul Track Mind Debuts at Keller Williams Concert

Keller Williams Realty Northeast General Manager Michael Clapp may have had the best compliment for the band Soul Track Mind, which performed at the Keller Williams concert last Friday night at Kings Harbor. When asked what month he would like the band back, Clapp responded: “Every month.” Agreeing with his statement were the hundreds of concert-goers who stayed well past quitting time, clamoring for more of the highly entertaining show by the young musicians from Austin.

Amazingly, the lead vocalist Donovan Keith had the energy reserve to honor  encore requests after nearly three hours of fast-pace singing and dancing on a hot, humid Texas night. With an equally talented and energetic band backing him up, everyone could see why Soul Track Mind was a 2011 Austin Music Awards finalist for “Best New Band.”

The band kicked off the free concert with a mixture of popular ‘60s-era soul hits and the group’s original music. The song “My Lady” off the band’s debut album “Ghost of Soul” had Keith moving and grooving around the microphone, exclaiming “I’m the lucky one.” He stepped back to listen to an excellent trumpet solo by Zach Buie, which easily could have taken place on the streets of New Orleans.

Keith really showed off his vocal abilities with “Ain’t No Sunshine” popularized by Bill Withers. He sang the “I know, I know…” over and over without taking a breath, until Jonathon Zemek finally took over the reins with his guitar solo. Keith had fun with the Blues Brothers’ hit “Looking for a Fox” by changing the words of the song to match his own “brand new black and white clothes and red tie.”

A soon-to-be-recorded original song called “Stars Have Aligned” highlighted the vocal talents of trumpeter Buie, saxophonist Benjamin George and barefooted keyboardist Sam Powell. The three gathered around one microphone, singing in harmony to Keith’s lead vocals.

By the end of the first set, Keith was preaching to the crowd his advice about love, then transitioning into soulful ballads such as “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day” and “Loving You is Wrong.”  He got the audience to sing along to the soul standard “Stand by Me” by flattering them with the statement: “I get my groove from you.”

At the band’s break, Keller Williams’ Master of Ceremonies Roland Duhon thanked the agents at Keller Williams Northeast for presenting the concert and Alspaugh’s Ace Hardware for its band sponsorship.

He then introduced the concert’s featured charity: the Humble ISD Education Foundation. Eileen Bell, the current foundation chair, said that the organization raised $1 million last year to provide grants for teachers’ innovative programs that fall outside the scope of the district’s normal operating budget. She asked the teachers in the audience to stand and be recognized.

The foundation’s Past Chair Carrie Brinsden encouraged the audience to make a donation to the organization: “Our goal is to raise as much money as possible to put back in the hands of our teachers. If you want to put your money where you can be sure it stays within our community, the Humble ISD Education Foundation is the place.”

Soul Track Mind started the second set with a string of their original songs. “Ghost of Soul,” the title track of their first album, eerily echoed throughout the Harbor with the band’s brass section laying the beat. They debuted two of the band’s new songs, “Comes and Goes Around” and “Look at her Mama,” in which Keith implores: “If you don’t want to have nightmares, you gotta do your homework.”

Keith continued his rolling conversation with the audience acknowledging: “A lot of people are looking at me saying: ‘He’s crazy.’ It’s true. That’s the way I groove.” He poked fun at the crowd by responding with the song: “Don’t Gimme That Look,” which featured an extraordinary saxophone solo by George.

The band rewarded the audience for listening to their new stuff by playing Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On” for a slow dance then picking up the beat with “Shout.” As the hands went up in the air for “Shout,” the guys in the brass section put down their instruments and got down with the audience on the dance floor.  Tongue in cheek, Keith told the audience afterwards: “You’ve got more energy than I do!”

Recently-elected Humble ISD School Board member and education foundation officer Robert Sitton came on stage while the band took a brief break to re-charge its batteries. He encouraged the crowd to help the schools by purchasing tickets for the charity raffle that night.

By the third set, Keith appeared to get some of his energy from the Keller Williams’ fan that he was waving in his face as he danced to the music. Drenched from the heat of the night, he had long since removed his tie and rolled his shirt sleeves out of the way in an effort to stay cool. The band obviously was cool on the “King of Soul” Sam Cooke as they finished out their performance singing covers of his songs: “Only Sixteen,” “Bring it on Home to Me” and “That’s Where it’s At.”

Keith pleaded with the crowd to go home saying: “We are Soul Track Mind, baby. Don’t you forget it. We can’t stay forever, no matter how much we want to. So I’m gonna just fade away into the lake…” His ranting ended up being a lead in to the band’s encore song: “On my Own.” After the concert, the audience had no intention of leaving the band on their own, swarming them for copies of their CD and autographs.


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