Soul Track Mind Engages Crowd at Keller Williams August Concert

The band Soul Track Mind had a one-track mind at the Keller Williams Concert last Friday night: entertaining the crowd at Kings Harbor. From the very first song, the audience was toe tapping along while they sat in their lawn chairs. They were quickly hypnotized by lead singer Donovan Keith’s crooning falsetto voice, the band’s powerful horn section and its classic soul sound.

The crowd seemed content to watch from their seats while the seven guys from Austin performed a mix of funky original songs and ‘60s era soul music with a modern twist. But that reaction did not satisfy Keith, who is an object constantly in motion on stage. He told the audience: “You gotta help me out, I can’t do all the movin’.” He announced “I get my groove from you,” then launched into the band’s own song by the same name.

While all that imploring brought some couples out to the dance floor, Keith had his mind set on more audience participation: “You can’t fool me now, I know you can clap. If you ain’t clappin’, I don’t know where to move my feet.” The audience finally complied by clapping along to the beat and they were rewarded for their effort with Keith’s fancy footwork in his trademark white bucks, as well as solos by drummer Doug Leveton and saxophonist Ben George. Accompanying them were a shoeless Sammy Powell on keyboard, Zach Buie on trumpet, Jonathon Zemek on guitar and Michael “Lyle” Mancuso on bass.

The group continued by previewing some new songs which they are in the process of recording for a second album, including the lonesome “Long Shot Lady.” The band slid right from the new stuff into a ten minute medley of unique renditions of soulful hits such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “My Love is Waiting.” In the midst of the jam session, Keith exclaimed, “The music’s in my bones and I can’t sit down,” and the audience echoed the refrain.

Now that he knew the audience could sing too, he asked: “Is anyone here from New Orleans? We’ve been spending a lot of time there recording our next album.” Getting a positive response to the question, the band finished out the set with the crowd chanting along to the traditional French Quarter street song: “Hey, Pocky Way.”

Keller Williams Realty Northeast Master of Ceremonies K.C. Gifford took to the stage at the band’s break to introduce Scott Brady and Jerri Monbaron from the concert’s guest charity: the Humble ISD Education Foundation. Brady recommended that as the kids go back to school one of the best ways to help their teachers is to fulfill items on the teachers’ wish lists. He said that since 1999, the foundation has raised $5.4 million to fund teachers’ grants for innovative educational programs.

Gifford also introduced the band sponsor, Alspaugh’s Ace Hardware. Representing Alspaugh’s was Nolan, the Rent-A-Husband guy. He promoted a hourly-rate special to get things fixed around the house by the Rent-A-Husband crew this fall and distributed coupons to the ladies in the crowd.

Soul Track Mind led off the second set with their renditions of songs popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s: “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “My Girl.” They followed up those classics by presenting some of their own music: their first single “Rebound Man” and a new song “Always Want What You Can’t Have.”

The crowd apparently liked what they heard, packing the dance floor for the original material. Always perceptive, Keith wasn’t about to let anyone shy away from the dance floor after one or two songs: “You stay here, cause you’ve given me something I can work with.” The band proceeded to work the number “If Lovin’ You is Wrong,” while couples swayed along to the music.

A highlight of the night was the conversation that Keith had with the audience about the advice his mother gave him about women: “If you want to know how a girl is going to turn out later in life, look at her mama.” That story was the basis for a fun, upbeat performance of the band’s latest single, “Look at Her Mama.”

While the “Mama” song gave the audience something to think about, Soul Track Mind saved its biggest impression for last. “Soul Track Mind is about making special memories,” hinted Keith. “Let’s make this night last forever. We just don’t want to say goodnight.”

Anyone who was at the band’s Keller Williams concert debut last year, knew what was in the works. Keith tried to prolong the anticipation by doing some yoga stretches and acting like he was catching his breath, but everyone could tell the guy still had more energy than a kid on caffeine.

The band’s grand finale was the song “Shout” with everyone getting into the game. The brass section put down their horns, the drummer left his seat and Keith disappeared to the ground, rolling around the stage like he was on fire. By the time he arose, the entire stage was packed with people waving their hands in the air and jumping around. The amiable Keith had succeeded in getting the audience participation that Soul Track Mind so rightly deserved.