Arts & Entertainment

Sugarbush turns out high-energy covers

From blues to classic rock to ballads, Sugarbush has a little bit of everything.

"We kind of decided from the beginning that we wanted to have a different sound than most of the bands around town," said Paul Carter, lead singer and bass guitarist.

"We want to have hard-driving, high energy shows where people can dance to and enjoy songs that they normally don't get to hear. We want to be versatile and want to have different styles. That's what's going to set up apart from other rock bands."

Originally from the Tri-Cities, Carter moved to Spokane and performed in several bands. After moving back six years ago, Carter and lead guitarist Mark Zilar toyed with the idea of starting a local group.

"We've known each other for years and always wanted to start a band together, and it just never happened," Carter said. "So the rest of the gang, just by luck, found them. We slowly brought piece by piece in."

The group will perform at the July 4th Annual Summer Bash at 9 p.m. at Ray's Golden Lion in Richland.

"The main thing is we want to have fun every time we hit the stage," Carter said. "We want our fans to have fun with us. As long as that happens, everything's good."

Keeping it in the family, Mark's sister Jenny Zilar joined the band on keyboard and backup vocals.

"Before coming into this band, I did a lot more jazz, so I have a lot more of a jazz-oriented background," Jenny said. "(I like) Bonnie Raitt, Ella Fitzgerald. But I'm into heavier rock now, so it's interesting."

Similarly, drummer Joel Cabrales started out playing jazz, then transitioned to a harder style. Rhythm guitarist Jesse Loveland was always a fan of hard-hitting metal, such as Deep Purple to Megadeth.

"It was a weird combination meeting Paul and Mark with jazz and blues," Loveland said. "A lot of different ideas of style, but I think it's all coming together pretty good."

Currently band members are focusing on their debut and getting the word out about themselves. The band sings various cover songs, but assures listeners that originals are in the mix.

The band's covers include Audioslave's I Am The Highway, Foo Fighters' Times Like These, Velvet Revolver's Slither, Train's Free and more.

"We want to play different kinds of covers, songs they'll recognize but what other band's aren't playing," Carter said. "With a female vocalist, we're able to do a lot more stuff than other bands obviously can."

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