Part jam band, part rock group with touches of psychedelia, blues and pop, the band is fronted by singer-songwriter Rhythm Turner, alongside her father, guitarist “Papa” Shawn Turner and brother, lead guitarist, Evan Turner. The Method is rounded out with drummer Lisa Viegas, bassist Laura Payne and harmonica player Nick Walsh. Though the band plays primarily originals written by Rhythm Turner and arranged by the band, they do occasionally include choice covers ranging from the Beatles’ “Get Back” to Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows.”
“I was raised around music my whole life,” Rhythm Turner said.
She credits her parents for the desire to be a musician.
“They played a lot of music for my brother and me, everything from The Beatles to Frank Zappa, and encouraged me to play in bands from age 12,” Rhythm Turner said. “I was in different marching bands and concert bands.”
Though she is now known as a guitarist and front person, Rhythm started out as a drummer.
“My dad taught me a few chords, but I ended up playing guitar by default,” she said.
It was that switch of instruments that led directly to the formation of Rhythm and the Method.
Turner was playing drums in a Southern rock band. But when that fell apart, she opted to keep a few of the already booked dates.
“I wanted to keep playing,” Rhythm said. “I was a poet, so I threw the few chords that I knew together and set them to some poems and started writing songs that way.”
The band quickly began to take shape, with her father joining the band next and her brother following soon after. The current version of the band came together in late 2006.
While Rhythm and the Method have made a few demo and live recordings, the band is currently working on its yet-untitled debut album for a spring 2010 release, with plans for a West Coast tour to follow. Although a title hasn’t been chosen yet, the album is set to include 11 original songs and their incendiary take on the Burt Bacharach classic “Little Red Book.”
According to Payne, the best thing about being a part of The Method is the family vibe.
“I’ve played music for a good 28 years,” she said. “The sense of family here is what makes for a very special situation. This band feels like a once in a lifetime moment or opportunity.”
Evan Turner said he savors the familial bond but is quick to point out the band’s other strengths.
“Even though we’re very close, we are very diverse as far as creatively speaking,” Evan said. “We have a real blank slate with our music and don’t have to stay in any kind of box, style or trend. There aren’t a lot of limitations as to what we can do.”
Rhythm Turner said she is thrilled with her life of making music and the progress the band has made in a relatively short time together.
“I know there is a lot of hard work ahead with an album release coming up and a lot of touring,” she said. “But it makes me feel good when I can touch someone — even if it’s just one person — with my music.”
Rhythm and the Method perform at Humphrey’s Backstage Lounge, 2241 Shelter Island Drive at 8 p.m. tonight, Nov. 12. The show is for those 21 and up.
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/rhythmandthemethod.