There is a bit of truth to the joke that every musician in Dallas has been a member of The Polyphonic Spree at one time or another. A staple in the local music scene, this choral symphonic rock group headed by Tim DeLaughter has 17 members onstage at any given show. Many of the band members have robust side careers -some are solo musicians, actors, chefs, business owners or parents.
By Lauren Smart
After a whirlwind world tour, the band takes a brief respite during October (with the exception of a quick trip down under to the Melbourne Festival Oct. 20 to 22). During their "down time" band members perform all over town, which means you won't have to wait for the Rocky Horror Picture Show performance on November 2nd to get your Spree fix.
With the exception of band members who apparently don't want to be stalked (why not, guys?) -- Tim DeLaughter, Jenny Kirtland and Matt Bricker -- we tracked down where you can catch these ultra cool musicians for the next month (in public, when they want to be found. Please don't commit crimes). As for Tim, I'll be the one in the fishnets front row center at the Lakewood Theater come November 2.
Nick Earl: In the band: Guitar and a myriad of effects pedals. First show with the Spree: March 2013 For the next month: "I just got back from Treefort in Austin recording with Salim Nourallah. When we get back from Aussie, I'll play with Paul Slavens. I have a solo project called Nimik and I teach guitar lessons."
Elizabeth Evans: In the band: Vocalist First show with the Spree: A year ago For the next month: Elizabeth is a local stage favorite, playing numerous roles at the Ochre House Theater in Exposition Park. She also teaches after-school theater with Junior Players and Drama International.
Jason Garner In the band: Drum set/ Loops First show with the Spree: 2010 For the next month: "I've got shows in Oklahoma, Dallas and Austin. On the side I stage manage and tech for the Old 97s on the road. I play drums or bass live with Cantina, PTZ, the deathray davies, Treefort5. And I'm always making records... always."
Cory Helms In the band: "Guitar and what not" First show with the Spree: April 5, 2008 For the next month: "I give private guitar, bass, piano and drum lessons. Email: Spreeguitar@gmail.com if you're interested."
Buffi Jacobs: In the band: Cello and Vocals First Show with the Spree: Almost 7 years ago For the next month: "I work as a studio musician, freelance cellist and have several projects, including Anaphase (original cinematic music) and Rockestra (an instrumental electric rock orchestra cover band). I also perform electronic, ambient cello music and I teach private cello lessons."
Jessica Jordan: In the band: Vocalist First show with the Spree: 2002 For the next month: "I am the founder of Super Yoga Palace in Deep Ellum, which is a donation based Urban Ashram full of good vibes and great tunes. I teach Saturday mornings a yoga flow called Super HY (a pre brunch burn). We like to say, we get HY with a little help from our friends... endorphins, of course."
Jennie Kelly: In the band: Vocalist First show with the Spree: "I'm a founding member. I've missed about three shows in total over the last 13 years." For the next month: "I have two other careers outside of the band. I'm a chef and co-owner of an underground restaurant called Frank (frankunderground.com). In addition, I'm a food stylist who works in the photography industry (theperfectlastbite.com)." Bach Norwood: In the band: Piano/Keyboards First show with the Spree: 7 months ago For the next month: Wednesdays at Dream Café in Uptown, plays solo piano and sings jazz standards, good pop and a few originals. 7-9 p.m.
Thursdays at Dream Café in Addison, 7-9 p.m.
Chocolate Secrets Dallas with Melani Skybell jazz duo, Friday, October 11 and October 25
Singing and acting in Cirque du Horror at Dan's Silverleaf, Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27
Stephanie Dolph - Pirro: In the band: Choir First show with the Spree: 2006 For the next month: "For the past 11 years, I have been a Radio City Rockette. I'm actually taking my first holiday season off to spend with my husband (Spree bass player Mark Pirro) and family. I will be my first full holiday season with the Spree."
Mark Pirro: In the band: Bass guitar First show with the Spree: "From the beginning, 13 years." For the next month: "I am an audio engineer and I own a boutique microphone manufacturing company called Placid Audio (www.placidaudio.com)
Sean Redman: In the band: Violin First Show with the Spree: September 2012 For the next month: "I play acoustic guitar and sing at some of the nicer open mics around town for fun. I also just got a job teaching percussion in Frisco for Wakeland High School, helping out with the drumline and teaching at its feeder middle school."
Heather Schimp - Test: In the band: French Horn and Tambourine First show with the Spree: June 17, 2011 For the next month: Plano Symphony Orchestra: "Broadway Songs and Stories with Sandi Patty" on October 19 and for the Spooky Symphony Concert on Ocobter 27, both at the Eisemann Center.
"I teach French Horn and brass techniques and direct the TCU Horn Ensemble. I also manage Trum Cor, a small Dallas-based company that makes mutes for brass instruments. On top of all that, I am a new mom to 6-month-old Benjamin (with husband Kelly Test)."
Kelly Test: In the band: Percussion (Vibraphone, Timpani, Tubular Chimes, Tambourines, Auxiliary Drums, Cymbals and anything that can be struck, shaken or make noise) First Show with the Spree: About two years ago For the next month: "When not with the Spree, I play in local bands Foxtrot Uniform, Rahim Quazi, Cooder Graw, Rockestra, among others." October 11, First Friday on the Green in Fort Worth October 19, Adair's Saloon Dallas October 20, Lola's Fort Worth Every Sunday in October with Rahmi Quazi.
Evan Weiss In the band: Trumpet First show with the Spree: SXSW this year For the next month: "You can catch me with playing with the Funky Knuckles at Free Man Cajun Bar every Monday night at 10pm. I'll be playing with the Phill Aeolony group at the Balcony Club October 11."
Natalie Young: In the band: Vocalist First Show with the Spree: A year ago For the next month: Natalie runs an Etsy shop Pepino Chic, where she sells handmade headbands - some of which the Spree choir has worn onstage. She is also a local Dallas actress, winning numerous awards for her roles in shows including Red Light Winter at Second Thought Theatre.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.