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The Heritage builds on funky following

By Derek Halsey (reporter@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Jan. 2, 2014 | Modified: Jan. 3, 2014
The Heritage builds on funky following

The Heritage features Andrew Lazare on acoustic guitar and vocals, Cass Copsey on electric
guitar, Marshall Bjorling on drums and percussion, Court Wynter on bass, Steve Sutton on
trumpet and Michael Kinchen on saxophone.

Photo submitted



The Heritage is a new band from Winston-Salem that is building up a good following in the High Country.

The group’s funky groove is its calling card, and all who stumble upon The Heritage’s live shows quickly become fans of the music.

The Heritage will play at Murphy’s Restaurant and Pub on Friday evening, Jan. 3.

The Heritage is a six-piece band that mixes funk and rock music with a horn section that keeps the flow tight.

The group is comprised of Andrew Lazare on acoustic guitar and vocals, Cass Copsey on electric guitar, Marshall Bjorling on drums and percussion, Court Wynter on bass, Steve Sutton on trumpet and Michael Kinchen on saxophone.

“Murphy’s Pub has a little bit of a raging vibe to it, which is definitely fun for a band like The Heritage,” Copsey said. “One of the advantages of being in a bigger band with a big lineup is that you get to draw from a lot of influences. Myself, I play guitar in the band, but I started on trumpet, so I come from a Tower of Power/The J.B.s kind of background. Our front man, Andrew, is hugely influenced by Sly Stone and The Meters. We all love The Meters. We also like a lot of the funk bands that are coming out now, like Lettuce and Ivan Neville’s Dumpstafunk, whom we just got to play with, which was great. We just like to make people dance.”

The Heritage came together as a band almost by accident, as some impromptu jams led to bigger and better things.

“The band kind of accidently started,” Copsey said. “It wasn’t a case of, ‘Hey, let’s sit down and join a band.’ There was a local venue here in Winston-Salem that did this jam night that our front man Andrew was hosting. I had met Andrew a couple of years before that, so he called me up and asked if I would come and sit in with him for a night. Then, one by one, the band was formed. We were actually playing three-hour shows before we were a band. That is where the funk came from, as well, as in, ‘Let’s play some Meters’ tunes or Stevie Wonder or something like that.’

“We got to the point where we had this Wednesday night residency, and, before we knew it, we were packing it out. We started seeing 150 to 200 people coming out on a Wednesday night. Our original songs started creeping out of these jam sessions, and it kind of just happened, man. We realized, ‘Hey, we could do something with this.’ It’s been a very grassroots approach. We’re definitely dedicated and know this is what we want to be doing, but it’s got a life of its own almost.”

Another aspect of The Heritage that adds to the sonic mix is that the members of the group come from various cultural origins.

“I grew up in Cambridge, England, and I moved here when I was 13 years old,” Copsey said. “That is one of my favorite things about The Heritage, is that we have an ethnic stewpot going on. Our bass player, Court, is from Antigua, from the islands. Our front man, Andrew, is a Lebanese-West Virginian. As for our drummer Marshall, his heritage is Swedish. They might have been born near here, but if you look at their heritage, we have a very diverse group of fellows.”

The show starts at 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, at Murphy’s, located at 747 W. King St. in downtown Boone. Cover costs $5, and only those 21 and older will be admitted.

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