Several Catawba College students and their band, Labeling Deloris, played a gig at Arlene’s Grocery in New York City in early January. And, while they relished that experience, it simply left them wanting more performance opportunities and a wider audience for their original music.
Band members include Seniors Jennifer Reiff of Wilmington, vocalist who plays the rhythm guitar, and Jason Rigney of Danville, Va., who plays guitar and keyboard, along with Sophomore Andrew Boudouris of Waynesboro Va., the band’s drummer. Jason’s older brother, Brad, who lives and works in Danville, plays bass for the group.
“Someone in the audience at Arlene’s told us we were lucky to be an out-of-town band playing anywhere in New York City,” Jennifer recalled, lamenting that their gig there was only 45 minutes long.
The band, formerly Polyphony, has been together for only a year, but during that short time they’ve managed to not only play in the Big Apple, but to win the 2004 Battle of the Bands contest, held annually in Jennifer’s hometown of Wilmington. The band recently learned that it “made it to the (2005) semi-final round of the Battle of the Bands in Wilmington, N.C.” and will play March 3 at The Soapbox in Wilmington.
The group changed its name in an effort to better define their music. “We thought about “For the Sake of Deloris,” but we liked the Deloris part best,” Andrew explained. “Then, we said, ‘We don’t even know how to label ourselves,’ and ended up with Labeling Deloris.”
The band’s music incorporates rock, pop, jazz and blues, and Jason noted that they’ve even added some rhythm and blues elements. “None of us have the same musical tastes,” he said, noting that the variety of their music can sometimes work against the band.
“We’re not really in a genre where you get noticed and get a record contract,” Jason said. “We don’t have producers behind us. We are our own creation and we’re what we are.”
“We’re fighting against the knowns,” Jennifer added, explaining that it is difficult to get club owners and managers to call back.
“It’s really connections,” Andrew asserted. “You get one booking and then you get another – it feeds on itself.”
Getting additional bookings and greater exposure for the band is an immediate goal, but their current lives as students limit their ability to travel and perform. “Short-term,” Jason joked, ”we’re trying to conquer the Charlotte area. We don’t expect our faces on the cover of “Rolling Stone” next week.”
Merging their disparate tastes into original music will keep them busy through the spring semester. As music majors, they record their songs in Catawba’s recording studio on campus and create demo CDs. “We do all of the business end – the bookings, the creation of the CDs and the labeling of them. And, we do have a lot of pride in the fact that we do it all ourselves,” Jason continued.
“We all believe we have a chance and that we’re all fairly talented,” Jennifer explained, adding that they don’t create their original songs “without the collaboration of all of us.”
For more info on Labeling Deloris, visit the band’s website at www.labelingdeloris.com
or hear an excerpt of the band’s music that will soon be available at www.catawba.edu/streaming/band