Pittsburgh’s “Jimbo and the Soubones” is a happy band that make people smile… It’s as simple as that!
Musical genres are crossed without apology, resulting in a fresh, yet familiar blend of funk, rock, soul and blues that excludes no one. Since landing on the live music scene in 2008 with their debut CD, “Self-Titled” (yes, that’s actually the title), they’ve twice been crowned “Best band in Pittsburgh”. The buzz heightened when they opened up for Bon Jovi at Consol Energy Center in 2012 and they’ve been a staple at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals since. As they work on their next CD (they seem to be no rush), they continue to make people believe in “Live” music. They entertain… brilliantly.
Their versatility is evidenced by the wide array of musicians and bands that they’ve shared billing or stages with… Bon Jovi, Derek Trucks Band, Amos Lee, Average White Band, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, War and most bands indigenous to the Pittsburgh area (that’s where the heart is).
At the core of this Soupbone collective is singer/songwriter/guitarist James “JIMBO” Jackson. Everything about this man is big. His body, his voice, and most importantly, his stage presence. With charisma to spare, he is the quintessential front man. Having been raised on a diverse blend of music ranging from seventies soul artists like; Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye to folk artists such as James Taylor and Jim Croce, The result is a curiously unique voice that is powerful yet remains pleasant and familiar. As the bands songwriter, he lets no lyrical rules govern. Tragic and often humorous stories and songs are written with specific intentions.
Guitarist Jason Caliguri began displaying his guitar skills at 11 years old. Mentored by local blues/jazz legend Larry Belli, Jason was heavily influenced by guitar greats like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Hendrix and George Benson. He has since grown into one of Pittsburgh’s most capable and versatile lead guitarists. His timing and taste keep the music tight, though his real talents are showcased through his soulful and astounding solos. He acts as the perfect bookend that keeps The Soupbones spirited show balanced.
Nicholas Tolkacevic speaks softly and carries big drumsticks. He comfortably layers intricate rock, funk and hip hop beats to create a style of his own. He effortlessly handles the daunting task of keeping time in a band with extreme dynamics and frequent tempo changes.
Percussionist Nate Vegais is the multi-instrumentalist with all the toys. His wide array of music makers coupled with his ability to manipulate them compliment the Soupbone sound and keep everything grounded. He is a musician that becomes one with the tools of his craft. His tribal vibes are thoughtful, intricate and contagious.
The funky grooves that this band delivers could not be attained without bassist Phil Wilkerson. A bass scholar with no formal training, he commands the bottom end. His love of jazz and funk manifests itself through precise basslines that are fun, funky, and easy to listen to. He is the rock in the rhythm section that every good band needs. He is a musician that becomes one with the tools of his craft.