May 18, 2012 in Features

Flowmotion re-emerges as The True Spokes

By The Spokesman-Review

The True Spokes, formerly known as Flowmotion, will perform tonight at Spokane Falls Community College.
(Full-size photo)

If you go

The True Spokes with Shane Evans

When, where: 7:30 p.m. today in Music Building 15 at Spokane Falls Community College, 3410 W. Fort George Wright Drive

Cost: $5 general; $2 for students with ID ($1 off admission per donated can of food with no limit on discount).

The True Spokes are coming back to town for the first time.

The band formerly known as Flowmotion has changed its name and augmented its sophisticated jazz-rock that has been a sensational presence in the region for years.

True Spokes unveils its reincarnation for its Spokane audience tonight at a special food-drive benefit concert and workshop series presented by the Spokane Falls Community College Jazz Club.

In many ways, the True Spokes is the same band but different, consisting of songwriter/bandleader/ vocalist/guitarist Josh Clauson, who shares vocal duties for the first time with guitarist RL Heyer, supported by the rhythm section of bassist Eric Bryson and former Spokane players percussionist/keyboardist Bob Rees and drummer/backup vocalist Scott Goodwin.

But as explorative as the unit has always been, the new iteration is freer, tapping into unexpected hallmarks such as Steely Dan, the Beach Boys and Supertramp, without sacrificing the originality and intricacy in the songwriting.

After more than a decade of flowing in motion, the True Spokes name change coincides with the release of their new, eponymous album.

While Flowmotion’s presumably final album, 2010’s “Ghost Pepper,” contained elements of funk and Latin and African rhythmic influences, the True Spokes is a more refined, leaner presentation with a focus on the melody.

The essential difference in the new band is that everyone is more democratically involved in the writing process. It’s not all on Clauson’s shoulders.

In tonight’s concert, the True Spokes will showcase much of their recorded works, plus the world premiere of a mini rock-opera featuring special horn arrangements from local musician Don Goodwin.

Based out of Seattle, the True Spokes has deep roots in town, with former Spokane residents Rees and Scott Goodwin. Rees made headlines in high school for winning national drum competitions. The two connected while they attended Eastern Washington University for music, and then formed local jam-jazz favorite, The BeeCraft, with Goodwin’s older brother, pianist/composer/arranger Don, known locally for his Instant Superpower big band.

The True Spokes members will also be participating in master class workshops beginning at 3:30 p.m. today in the Auditorium and Band Room at SFCC. The master classes are free and open to the public.

Food donations go to the SFCC food bank.

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