For past few years, AGENT has been one of the more popular bands in the Lodi area and Central Valley performing at venues like the Lodi Grape Festival, Michael David Winery, Viaggio Winery, Macchia Winery, San Joaquin Asparagus Festival main stage, Black Oak Casino and many others. The band specialty has traditionally been Classic Rock with an emphasis on vocally complex 70's and 80's classic rock hits.
In 2018 the band was honored with a Modesto Area Music Awards (MAMA) nomination for best “Blue Collar Band”. And Shortly thereafter, the band added Clint McFadden on Guitar and quickly found itself with the possibility of a more expansive musical horizon.
AGENT founder Ralph Cesena Jr. is excited about the new lineup, and the expanded setlist for 2019.
“Clint brings a broad musical skill set to the guitar position, allowing us to explore new musical avenues”, said Cesena.
All of the previous AGENT favorites will remain in the setlist, including favorites like “Hotel California” (Eagles), “Don’t Stop Believin” (and other Journey tunes), and hits by Toto, Foreigner and Loverboy. But there will be a new twist for 2019.
McFadden, affectionately known as “McFunky” has a diverse background playing Funk and R&B music. With his musical roots firmly in Rock, his career led him into other genres including significant involvement with more “funk / R&B” artists. Most recently, Clint was the guitarist for the local group “Bump City Reunion Band” which specializes in R&B, Soul and Funk. So adding more “Funky” to the AGENT setlist seemed to be a natural progression.
“I have been privileged to work with some of the best funk and soul musicians who have performed with bands like Earth Wind & Fire, Bobby Brown, Christine Aguilera, Janet Jackson and others”, said McFadden. “I've also had the pleasure of opening for bands like BTO, Color Me Bad, and Kansas.”
With McFadden's Rock and Funk background, and Cesena’s R&B roots, it made choices for new music even more obvious.
“My very first bands were R&B Funk endeavors, but I eventually gravitated towards Rock”, said Cesena “So my musical roots were born with albums I purchased from artists such as Earth Wind & Fire, The Commodores, KC & The Sunshine Band, Parliament Funkadelic and the Ohio Players. So you can say, I’ve always had a funky side! Having a chance to dive back in to this genre will be a lot of fun.”
The band is excited about performing such hits as “Kiss” by Prince, “My Girl” by the Temptations and “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars.
Drummer Chris Comacho, who is one of the key elements of the band’s vocal prowess, also loves this new direction. “Together, the drums and bass always form the rythm foundation of music. A lot of Funk / R&B music is composed with very funky, old school grooves that are fun to play and make people want to get out of their chairs and dance. A dancing crowd is a fun crowd!”
Bassist Mike Gonzales, who came to AGENT from the band “Journey Revisited”, is well versed in playing funk / R&B music, having performed many of these same hits as a member of the MAMA award-winning band Tabu. “The bass guitar is one of the cornerstones of funk / R&B music”, said bassist Mike Gonzales. “I’m excited about the new tunes in our setlist, and how the bass guitar gets to drive the rhythm of our new material”.
AGENT will perform at the Lodi Farmer’s Market Beer Garden on Thursday, May 23rd from about 5pm until 8pm. There is no cover charge, and this is a family friendly event. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes!