Blue Amberol consists of Craig Wingate on drums, Nate White on guitar, Casey Conway on bass, Kyle Bellinger on vocals and David Augler playing both piano and trombone.
In the past six weeks, they’ve become a close-knit group bound by the music they create and a mutual adoration of Coffee Zone.
You would think the members of Blue Amberol have been friends for years. However, the band was originally put together as a group of complete strangers.
“I think that made it better — coming in without any sort of preconceived notion of what someone could do,” Augler says.
Although the bands were each assigned a Beatles cover (theirs is “Don’t Let Me Down”), Blue Amberol wrote its first original song at its first Tuesday night rehearsal.
White says the creative process goes quite smoothly.
“Kyle opens up his notebook and starts singing his lyrics,” White says. “So we see what key he’s in, and the next thing we know, (Casey) has a riff for that.”
Despite the short deadline given by the Patchwork Project, getting organized and getting in groove hasn't been difficult for Blue Amberol.
“There’s really no time that can be wasted because everything is moving forward,” Augler says. “That hasn’t been hard in this band. I think all of us have been dialed in since day one.”
So far, the band hasn’t experienced many problems at all (although apparently Bellinger’s back massages are less than stellar, White says). In fact, White says the biggest issue the band members have faced is working outside their comfort zones.
The contributions from each member are obvious in Blue Amberol's style, which White describes as "Steely Dan meets Guns N' Roses."
Besides the unique style of music, the band has another feature setting it apart from the other groups: “The fact that we get along pretty well,” Wingate says with a laugh.
Even though Wingate says he believes their new friendship sets he and his band mates apart from other Patchwork bands, Blue Amberol members have not discussed whether they will stay together after the finale tonight.
“After we’re done, we said we would sit down and talk,” Bellinger says.
Let’s all hope they do stay together. There aren’t enough friendly, back-massaging, Coffee Zone-loving bands around anymore.