Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

CBDB rocks Druid City in hometown performance


The CBDB members – Cy Simonton on guitar, Kris Gottlieb on guitar/vocals, Glenn Dillard on saxophone/keys/vocals, Paul Oliver on drums and Mike Sinopole on bass/vocals – are the creators of joyfunk, a self-titled genre that combines rock, funk and jam elements into one progressive category of music. The band performed at Druid City Music Hall, with opener Soul Mechanic, on Friday evening. The show was a homecoming of sorts for the group, as they have been playing the Tuscaloosa scene since the very beginning of their story. A few of the members played in other bands before forming CBDB.

“We just kind of met around the Tuscaloosa area and once those bands stopped their thing we just came together and started CBDB,” said Simonton in an interview before the show.

Their sound came about in its own way, combining creative lyrics, instrumentation and compositions in every song and performance.

“It’s been kind of organic I guess, as far as our sound, just kind of we take from all of our influences and write music and see what happens,” Oliver said. ”[We] try not to be constricted to any one type of music or 
specific sound.”

The band has garnered influence from every reach of music, including groups like Umphrey’s Mcgee, Led Zeppelin, Phish, Kendrick Lamar and Widespread Panic, among others. Simonton said they are inspired by all the different musical tastes that make up the band.

“We all have pretty wide taste in music,” Simonton said. “We try to write stuff we would want to listen to. I’m not sure there was ever really a discussion about what the sound would be.”

From their first full-length album, “Phone.Keys.Wallet,” to 2015’s “The Fame EP” and “Joyfunk is Dead,” CBDB is making music fit for easy listening, sold-out live shows and jam sessions alike. They also released two singles, “Old Dog” and “She’s Mobile” last year, and hope to record more music by summer of this year.

Songwriting is a group project for 
the artists.

“Our writing process is someone will come up with a riff a lot and we’ll just start jamming on it and see what happens,” Oliver said. “Or somebody might have two ideas, like an A and a B, and we’ll try to throw it together. Some songs that have come to the table a little more complete. It varies.”

The band is also known for its 
unuaual track names and quirky lyrics. One song, “Stuffed Avocados” is a stand-out from the “Joyfunk is 
Dead” album.

“The song name came before we had words or anything,” Simonton said. “Kris had a recipe for stuffed avocados and so that was a working title that just stuck once we had words.”

They’ve pleased crowds all over in all types of venues, and will also play festival season this year. You can catch them at Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival in March. For CBDB, a setlist is set to fit the uniqueness of a venue or crowd.

“We judge the vibe of the room,” Sinopole said of their performance set lists. “We might have a list made, but if the crowd is acting a certain way or not, we’ll throw in some unexpected stuff.”

The band often gets questions about the meaning behind their name, and this time they had a new answer.

“We were just playing scrabble one day and we just kind of threw some letters out like dice and that’s what it was,” Simonton said.

Druid City was full of fans of all ages on Friday night, and CBDB did not disappoint in giving them two hours of croons and jams. You can find CBDB’s music on Spotify, but for the real experience, it’s best to catch them live.

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