Fusing formality with funk | SteamboatToday.com

Fusing formality with funk

Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes use classical training to rock 'n' roll

Allison Plean

Johnny Sketch and The Dirty Notes

Marc Paradis – aka Johnny Sketch – admits to dropping his tuxedo pants during a performance and continuing to play in his boxers.

“There was no nudity. It was more of a gesture of our attitude because it was not a formal event, it was a rock ‘n’ roll show,” said Paradis, guitarist, cellist and lead vocalist of Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes. “It was an effort to bridge the gap between two worlds – rock ‘n’ roll and the world of formal music.”

All of the band’s members are classically trained musicians who studied music in college.

“I was going to get into an orchestra, but it didn’t seem like what I wanted to do by the time senior year rolled around,” Paradis said. “I was looking down the barrel of six hours a day of rehearsing just to get a job.”

Instead, the band members use their schooling to write funk/rock music with a heavy jazz element.

“I tend to start the songs and groove and initiate the idea, and the horns come in with something truly different than I thought,” Paradise said. “Song writing is a group effort, but I write the lyrics because no one else seems to have any interest in that angle of things.”

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Paradis said he has incorporated more of his beliefs into his song.

“If you get someone into a groove,” he said, “you have an open door to get a message to them.”

The immediate message: The band’s New Year’s Eve show also will be a costume party. Costumes are something Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes have incorporated into their act since the beginning.

“They have sort of evolved over the years because we didn’t want to wear the same thing every night,” Paradis said. “It’s not so much about wearing a costume per se, but creating a visual element to the show on a low budget to make yourself more visually appealing.”

Key points

¤ Johnny Sketch and The Dirty Notes, with a special appearance by Billy Franklin

¤ 10 p.m. tonight, Saturday and Sunday

¤ The Tugboat Grill and Pub in Ski Time Square

¤ $5

¤ 879-7070