Originally created 12/14/01

Balancing act



For members of the Augusta band Balance, the group moniker is more than a name.

It's a mission statement.

The group, which performs Saturday at the Soul Bar on Broad Street, began when guitarist/singer George "Paisley" Gordon Jr., an Augusta native, decided he wanted to branch out from his regular gig with funk legend Parliament. He wanted a new band based on the idea that the music and the performance are equally important. He wanted to offer great songs and a great show.

"That's the key," he said. "I won't ever call names, but there are a lot of groups out there that kind of forget. I'm from the old school, and I still remember when there were shows. I remember those groups, people like the Ohio Players, Pink Floyd and Earth, Wind and Fire, that really performed. That's basically what Balance is. Every song we do, we want people to see as well as hear. It's about theater."

It's also about music. Deftly weaving a complex tapestry of funk, classic soul and guitar-driven rock, Balance pays tribute to acts such as Parliament, Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding without becoming a retro act. Mr. Gordon said it's a musical style that grew organically.

"It just flows," he said. "All these flavors are given the same weight, and it becomes what we call junk. Not funk. Junk. It's all the stuff people kind of threw away, that old soul and rock and, of course, the James Brown thing. It's really about being from Augusta. Augusta is the dirt this grew from."

Friends long before Balance played its first note, the group makes it known that the admiration and affection for one another would have existed regardless of their shared love of music. It's an element that bass man Eddie "Bassline" Jefferson hopes translates to the stage.

"We're family," he said. "The music is a big part of us, but we were friends before that, and that's important. When I see a band, I don't just want to see some guys standing there. I want to feel the happiness they are feeling. I want to feel their spirit. That's the whole concept of Balance. We want to put things back in order. We want to put things back on track."

ON STAGE

WHAT: Balance

WHEN: 11 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: The Soul Bar, 984 Broad St.

ADMISSION: $3. Call 724-8880.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com