The Flow Band: Still bringing Island harmonies to Pittsburgh

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The people of Pittsburgh have a love for Reggae music and The Flow Band has been happy to give it to them for more than 25 years.

“Back in the 1970s when we started, Reggae music was something new and different that’s why the band was formed, explained original band member, Joe Smith who has been with the band since its creation.

UzelFinneyJr
FOUNDER UZEL FINNEY JR., GUITAR

Founded by Uzel Finney Jr., The Flow Band was originally called Rastafari but was soon changed to The Flow Band to commemorate the flow of Caribbean music.

In addition to Calypso/Reggae music, The Flow Band also performs highly spiritual “roots” Reggae music that speaks of the Lord and the struggle for equal rights that people of color face daily.

“George and I come from the church. We like taking Reggae music and making it spiritual,” said lead singer Deborah Starling Pollard who has been with the band for 14 years. “When I find a song and its spiritual I like how the audience gets it.”

DeborahStarlingPollard
DEBORAH STARLING POLLARD

Current members of the band are Uzell Finney, Jr, founder and lead guitarist, Joe Smith, bass guitarist, George Baron, drummer and Deborah Starling Pollard, lead vocalist.

Although the band has changed members throughout the years, its mission to bring positive, feel-good music to the world has always remained intact.

“We are dedicated to providing a positive sound and positive lyrics in our music. We want to touch people. No matter what their day is like or what they are going through, our music makes them feel good” said Baron who has been with the band for four years.

The Flow Band released its third CD, “New Days New Times” in June of this year. The five-song EP was recorded at Sound Mind Studio in Sewickley.

“We’re at a point in time where it’s time for a new sound. We want to engage the people who follow us and the new generation of people as well,” Baron said.

The new disc features several genres of music including Reggae, Calypso, Jazz, SKA, Pop and Root Reggae.

That blend of sound is what sets The Flow Band apart from other Reggae bands.

The Flow Band has taken its unique formula on the road to entertain other audiences.

It has traveled as far as Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio to perform at various venues and at festivals. The Flow Band also traveled to Chicago to perform at the Black MBA convention.

The band plans on traveling to do more shows and adding more songs to the “New Days New Times” CD in 2013.

“The reason that bands break up is because of a lack of communication. We have good communication and we all book gigs. It’s a collaborative effort and we all get to choose what gigs we do,” Pollard said. “We are looking to travel to Florida and Toronto to network with people who love this kind of music.”

For more information on The Flow Band call 412-243-0515 or email Pollard at pollarddeb@yahoo.com.

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