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Evansville, IN | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Evansville, IN | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Pop Rock




"Osiella Album Release"

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - After a storied year of highway-driving, writing tunes and playing music across America, Evansville’s own Osiella is releasing “Year in Review,” its debut full-length album, Wednesday at Lamasco.

The product of top-tier musicians, “Year in Review” has a soul born from Theophilus Akai’s rhythmic and laid back guitar and bass, Brandon Summers’ sultry violin, Dekar Baker’s complex drumming, Dene Stephens equally-punchy percussion and Cynthia Murray’s soul-soaked voice and impactful lyrics.

On every track, the group’s high level of musicianship pours through — 25-year-old Akai’s Ghanaian roots and influence weave with rhythmist Baker and Stephens’ intricate drum patterns, while Murray’s voice stands on top, with Summers strings moving the emotion in the background.

The scale and musical breadth of “Year in Review” can’t be underscored enough. Much like the band itself, its debut LP cannot be compartmentalized into a simple genre.

Narrowing the album to its core it is equal parts rhythm and emotion.

The West African influence shines through on “Aphrodite,” with a repetitive chant and a guitar rhythm to get lost in.

“I’m so sorry, Aphrodite / I lost what I had / now I can taste it / I just want you,” Murray belts out during the hook of the song.

Some songs like “Our Way Home” are country and gospel-tinged, but the instrumentation and arrangement is still a unique product.

“This guitar works for me / she gets no sleep / listen while I make her weep,” Akai says before punching through with a fiery acoustic guitar solo.

Nonstop rhythms with Spanish-sounding fingerpicked guitar chords lay the groundwork for “Future,” but it’s Murray’s inspired and honest voice that steal the focus.

Not only are the songs beautifully written, they’re well-crafted, too. Full of light and shade, a wide dynamic range is present throughout the entire album. Credit is due to the album’s producer, Murray’s husband Kenneth Murray for a well-polished sound.

From the instrumentation to the lyrics and record production, “Year in Review” is likely the local album of the year.

The album will be for sale beginning Wednesday, but you can download a copy on iTunes, Amazon or Google Play now. The album is also streaming on Spotify and on the band’s website.

See the band and hear songs off “Year in Review” and more at 10 p.m. Wednesday — “Drunksgiving” — at Lamasco.

Other happenings this week:

Fat Box at 10 p.m. Friday at Lamasco (Rock / funk / blues / jazz)

Boscoe France Band at 9 p.m. Saturday at Mojo’s Boneyard (Blues)

Katie Watts at 9 p.m. Saturday at Bokeh Lounge (Singer-songwriter)

Zach Evans is a metro reporter who has lived in Evansville since he was 11 and has been playing guitar since he was 12. He has played in a couple of bands and believes the music scene in Evansville is on a precipice but needs community support to evolve.

You can reach Zach Evans by email at zach.evans@courierpress.com or on Twitter at @ECPzachevans.

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. - Zach Evans Courier and Press

"Meeting Osiella"

Meeting Osiella: The ONLY band that has blown my mind… in years

Okay so… For a week now… I’ve been thinking of the best possible way to talk to you all… my friends and fans of The Circle View about what I witnessed on Saturday June 7th at Silvie’s Lounge.

Because… just like the day that changed my life forever, when a 3 year old Lance first saw a young girl displaying “Jedi like” skill playing a classical piano piece while on television… which was a pivotal moment in my life that lead to my own passion in music… every long, long, looooong once in a while, an artist or a band comes along that moves me very deeply and for me, helps to re-validate my sincere connection with my OWN music and helps to re-clarify why I’ve devoted my life to it. I have indeed once again had the honor and privilege of sharing the stage with such a band:

Osiella. A group so original, so good and so inspiring… that it moved me to tears that same night when thinking of them and their own devotion to music… while performing my set with The Circle View. Their devotion to their own music and to each other would inspire ANYONE. They have a cool drum that they have people sign in every town they go to. I got to sign that drum. :D I had a brief opportunity to share the stage with these amazing musicians and commune with them and laugh with them and talk and hug… it was a very special moment for me. So special that I wanted to write about it and give them their very deserved respect.


Osiella is currently on tour minus their full band (Which in NO WAY takes away from their impact! Just another personally inspiring aspect of this band). Osiella’s tour is a fact that I am truly happy about because this is one band that NEEDS to be heard. Their live show is wonderful. The music is moving and captivating and brilliantly performed. Let’s break it down for a sec.

On lead vocals you have Cynthia Murray whose pipes I would put up against ANY of the top 5 modern contemporary vocalists on the planet. I sincerely mean that. You are not even remotely ready for this woman when she starts to sing! Live on stage or on record this musician’s voice represents the best qualities of what you love in a singer without the machismo and over-blow gimmicks. She has the charisma, the lung capacity, the vocal range, the vocal runs, the soothing yet spirited vocal lace, and most importantly the soul that our current music industry lacks. She has the voice of an angel… but like a BADASS angel though. LOL! Like if an angel became a freakin’ superhero. That would be Cynthia. I’m telling you man.

Then there’s Theophilus Akai. Oh my lord in heaven how do I describe this musician?!? You know what man? Honestly… I just can’t! You just have to see it for yourself! But for the sake of this blog post… let me see if I can explain this wonderful gentleman in comparative concepts that most people can relate to. Fair WARNING… if you find yourself unfamiliar with the names that I’m about to drop… THAT is why Google was created. LOL. Okay so my impression of Theophilus Akai… on guitar… is like an eclectic blend of a Prince (for style and stage presence and funkiness), with a Jimmy Nolen (for stupid crazy pocket), and a Al McKay (for creativity) and a Bob Marley (for soul & authenticity) … BUT WAIT… then he adds some old school Chuck Berry (for Pop sensibility and chordal flavor), and some unbelievable Django Reinhardt (but ON CRACK though… for technical virtuosity) and last but NEVER least… some Jimi freakin’ Hendrix (Also for technical virtuosity as well as “Bass/harmony/lead line” left hand ambidexterity). You will rarely see ANYONE like this musician on stage. ESPECIALLY in Chicago. DUDE… THEOPHILUS IS A BEAST ON GUITAR. Period. This guy plays acoustic guitar like most cats DREAM of playing ELECTRIC guitar! But if THAT weren’t enough… the guy can sing too! His voice is amazing. And when he sings with Cynthia and they begin harmonizing… OMG man… it’s so pro. So clean. I mean I’d kill for harmonies that tight in my live show.

Then you add to that their percussionist Dene Stephens who is hands down one of the tightest, funkiest and most professional percussionists I’ve seen live on the local tour scene in years… from there it’s a rap. Three people on the road. Outstanding musicianship. Unbelievable tunes. Mind blown.

I’ve listened to their EP over and over again. It’s so good. The above pic shows the ‘signed by the band’ copy that I purchased… but the bands manager Kenneth Murray (just a super nice and hard working, dedicated and focused gentleman that I’m proud to know) and I had a chance to hang for a little bit and he graciously hit me up with the extended EP (6 songs). I’ve absorbed it like a sponge and I LOVE IT! Absolutely great, well written, catchy and moving songs. I’d like for ALL T.C.V. fans to please go online and support this band! Those close to me know that I hardly EVER endorse a band… mostly because I’m rarely musically inspired and moved spiritually as affirmatively as I have been by Osiella. These song writers and musicians in this band are the real deal. Are you starved for more good music? Osiella has my T.C.V. seal of approval. A sincere, beloved and respectful endorsement. Go to their website. Buy and download their music. Check out their tour dates. BE SURE to go and see them when they come to your town. You’ll thank me for this one guys. CHECK THIS BAND OUT!

Much love and respect to you all. Always. – L - Lance Ayers

"The Edge Radio "Osiella""

Evansville acoustic duo, Osiella, debuts music video
January 30, 2014
Throughout the better part of the last five years, six-string extraordinaire Theophilus Akai has been rocking the local music scene in a variety of different outfits. His latest endeavor, Osiella, finds Akai pairing up with the equally talented and multi-faceted Cynthia Murray, creating an organic and unique sound that’s as eclectic as it is genre defying.

Osiella’s debut track and video, “Never Know” weaves in and out through chilled-out chord progressions and smooth guitar licks that never fail to enthrall and entertain. Singer/songwriter Cynthia Murray displays a fresh brand of vocal virtuosity that easily places her among the most promising and up-and-coming of lyricists and vocalists in Southern Indiana.

According to Akai, the duo has written around a dozen songs over the span of the last three weeks.

“We just want to write good music that isn’t easily pigeon-holed into certain genres. We’re writing with a back to basics approach with an emphasis on rhythm,” says Akai.

The future looks promising for Osiella. Over the upcoming weekend, the duo will take their talents to Las Vegas to play a variety of gigs, pass out their new EP, and network. If you aren’t in the minority of people in Las Vegas over the weekend, Osiella will be heading home and playing a plethora of gigs over the upcoming months. Don’t miss it! - The Edge Radio

"Have your heard OSIELLA"

Have You Heard of Osiella?
By CHRISK | Published: MARCH 11, 2014
What’s up everybody?

I’m on Spring Break, but I still like to write whenever I can, so I wanted to share some awesome new music with you.

The other night, I got word of a new video by the group Osiella, featuring some serious talent from my hometown in Evansville, Indiana. My dude Theo Akai can hold it down on some strings, and his playing matched with the vocals of Cynthia Murray creates a sound that is very pleasing to the ear. The group also features Dekar Baker on drums and Dene Stephens on percussion.

Check out their latest video, “Miss You More”…

If you enjoyed the new single, you can help the band out by sharing it through your own social media links, such as a Facebook post, but guess what, they have more you can check out.

Here’s another video that was recently shot in the Las Vegas area when the group was playing out there. This song is called “Demons”…

It’s pretty cool that this new group is doing what they’re doing, and I wish them the best on their journey to success. They definitely have the talent to take their music to high places. You can help support the band by following them on Facebook and Twitter as well as checking out their EP on iTunes and Spotify…speaking of, they need more followers!;) #SoEasy

Get It,

-Chris - Chris Koyle


November 27, 2014
Just in time for thanksgiving, a local favorite band releases their debut album.

Osiella, a hometown and Love It! favorite, released 17-tracks of solid gold on Nov. 26. The album, titled “Year in Review,” equipped with stories from their action-packed year of shows, touring and much more.

“It was a lot of work to say the least,” said lead guitarist, Theo Akai.

Key tracks on the album include, “Trailer Park Love,” ,”Island Love,” and others. This release gives the listener a feeling of home, love and harmony. “Year in Review,” is featured online for $8.

“I’ve worked on other people’s albums but when you’re doing your own music, it’s a whole ‘nother story because you’re putting your heart out there,” Akai said. “It took dedication, it was an experience like none other.”

It was cool, he said.

In the past year, the three piece band went on a tour across the country, showing the nation some southern Indiana goodness. With over 1100 likes on their Facebook page, this band is on the rise with the help of their Evansville roots.

Hear It! gives this album 5 stars. - Love It

"New music festival features entertainment ‘for everyone'"

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - An all-new, free Evansville music festival will feature 10 multigenre bands, piano painting, hula hoop lessons and perhaps a duet between Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and Amy Rivers-Word, owner of Lamasco Bar & Grill.

ParksFest Garvin 2014, the brain child of local web designer Alex Mourer, begins Saturday at 11 a.m. in Garvin Park and lasts until 11 p.m. and then will be followed by an after party at Lamascos Bar & Grill on Franklin Street.

The plan for ParksFest is to create more of an adult atmosphere for the late-afternoon/evening crowd while the daytime will feature family-friendly activities.

Mourer, 26, got the idea for ParksFest after speaking to his boss, who created a music festival called WARMFest 2014 in Broadripple, Indianapolis.

While contemplating how he could assist his employer, Mourer stumbled upon the infamous Gallup Poll that features Evansville as the eighth most miserable city in the U.S.

“I read that and I was like, that’s not how I feel about Evansville,” Mourer said. “So my attention quickly shifted. Instead of helping out this big city that already has a lot of things going on, I’m going to put my energy into this city that I live in and I love.”

Mourer then gathered some equally Evansville-centric minds from social media: Zac Parsons, a 34-year-old digital marketing architect, Nick Basham, a 29-year-old graphic designer, Jason Burton, a 41-year-old IT consultant and Shance Sizemore, a 29-year-old economic developer.

At a Green Spaces Evansville VOICE meeting, Mourer presented their idea and to his luck, Denise Johnson, director of Parks and Recreation, attended as well, and loved the idea, he said.

“From then on it’s just been a crazy roller-coaster,” Mourer said

Since last March, Mourer and crew have planned every detail of the event, which will now host more than 20 food and craft vendors.

During the daytime, children will get the chance to exercise their musical and artistic creativity.

“So what’s happening is, The Honeyvines, they had a piano donated to them and they are donating it to Parks Fest,” Mourer said. “So we will take this piano and put it in the kids area and, under the supervision The Arts Council, we are going to let these kids come up and paint it.”

The piano will still be playable following the children’s creative strokes, and will be given, along with other instruments donated by the performing bands, to the Boys & Girls Club of Evansville to assist their music program.

In addition, various kid’s workshops will be held through the day.

“We are having a harmonica workshop, where kids they can come for free and we’re going to teach them how to play harmonica,” Mourer said, “and at the end of it they get a free harmonica.”

There will also be a hula hoop workshop and guitar lessons taught by Logan Dyer, who also teaches weekly guitar lessons at the Franklin Street Bazaar on Saturdays, as well as at the upcoming event on Franklin Street called Every Chord Counts.

“We were thinking that many kids, especially in the area that ParksFest is in, maybe don’t have somebody that they know that plays guitar,” he said. “Maybe if they see these different things they would be inspired to learn to play.”

With the help of local connections, the new ParksFest committee brought together 10 well-known local and nation-touring bands who jumped at the chance to join.

“I have been contacted by so many bands. Like, everyday it seems I have a message on either email or Facebook saying, ‘hey how can I get my band involved in it’ and I’m like, ‘sorry we’re already full’,” he said.

Gentleman and Scholars, 23 String Band, Osiella, The Honeyvines, Troy Miller, Rigdon and the Hi-Rize Hillbillies, Honey Roy Band, Factor Primo, Flatheads and Art the Dude make up Saturday’s musical lineup, which will play on the Garvin bandstand.

The festival will also consist of a beer garden coordinated by Lamasco’s and Monarch Distributing

“There is definitely enough talent, just in Evansville alone, to do a multi-day festival and it would still be very, very good,” he said “We don’t really have to reach outside of Evansville to bring talent to a musical event.”

Osiella’s members, a new locally based “acoustic fusion” band that recently released it’s first EP, look forward to playing at ParksFest.

“I am really excited to be playing with a lot of different bands,” said Cynthia Murray, vocalist and lyricist for Osiella.

The band wrote its first song in December and has written 20 since then.

The other band members include Theophilous Akai, 25, a guitarist who has lived all of the U.S. and was born in Ghana, Dekar Baker, 19, a drummer and supporting vocalist and Brandon Summers, 27, a street performer from Las Vegas who specializes in playing popular hip-hop songs on the violin, which he is classically trained in.

“This is the most serious original band I’d say I’ve been in. The level of musicianship from everyone, the level of drive,” Akai said. “We are all very motivated. I’ve never been able to work with somebody like (Murray) where I can just spit out some chords and the next thing you know she’s got a song written. From the music end it all works like a greased wheel.”

The band will also play at the Lamasco’s after party.Mourer anticipates attendance to be around 2,500 to 3,000 people.

“Garvin Park, I think, is often overlooked. I didn’t even realize the beauty of it until I moved into the area,” Mourer said. “There are animals everywhere, there are geese forever. It’s the biggest park in Evansville, but big things don’t happen there. Big things that would bring people into the city (don’t) happen as much as they should.”

Mourer said he knows people get excited, every year, when Handy Fest in Henderson rolls around and hopes ParksFest earns the same recognition.

“It’s just something else that Evansville can put on its resume,” He said. “Really, what we are trying to do is just create a fun day in Evansville for people to just let loose, have a great time and not have to spend any money to do it.”

Wendy Bredhold said she thinks her daughter will enjoy the festival.

“I am really excited for the harmonica workshop, for my 3-year-old daughter Beatrice, because shes been playing a harmonica since she was like 2 years old,” Bredhold said. “She loves music and I know she’s going to have a blast.”

Bredhold is the former City Councilman for the area that includes Garvin Park and has lived in that neighborhood for 13 years. She is an avid music festival attendee and looks forward to what, she said, is part of a Renaissance of excitement and entertainment currently flooding throughout Evansville.

“I was really impressed at the caliber of bands that they’ve gotten for ParksFest, especially considering that it’s free,” she said.

She has lived in the Evansville community for more than 20 years and has always wondered why Henderson, Kentucky has these two big free music festivals and her city never has, she said.


If you go:

What: Parks Fest Garvin 2014

When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday Garvin Park

Cost: free

Lineup: Bands include Gentleman and Scholars, 23 String Band, Osiella, The Honeyvines, Troy Miller, Rigdon and the Hi-Rize Hillbillies, Honey Roy Band, Factor Primo, Flatheads and Art the Dude

What: Parks Fest after party

Where: Lamascos Bar & Grill on Franklin Street.

When: 11 p.m. to closing - Bobby Shipman

"Evansville Podcast"

Listen to the podcast to get to know us a little better! - Jason Burton

"OSIELLA One time only nightclub is "popping up" for Valentine's Day"

One time only nightclub is "popping up" for Valentine's Day in downtown Evansville
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The University of Evansville has teamed with the city and several local sponsors to create “Evansville Pop Up Events”, a series of one-night-only happenings that are here today and gone tomorrow. The first in this series is titled “In Love on Main” and encourages the public to move date night downtown, where all the elements for a romantic evening are in one area. As part of a larger date night experience, guests are encouraged to visit “In Love on Main”, located in the former Old National Bank lobby at 420 Main, for a unique pop-up nightclub experience.

Adults of all ages can walk in off the street and enter, free of charge, to enjoy live entertainment, desserts, and a full cash bar until midnight.

The musical backdrop will build the atmosphere throughout the evening, starting with classical piano by Sean Holleran for the early crowd and transitioning into blues and classic rock with acoustic guitarist, Casey Williams, until 8:00 p.m. Then, local band Osiella will take over with high energy alternative pop for an upbeat nightclub feel until midnight.

“This type of musical lineup will seamlessly tie the evening together for the multi-generational crowd we expect at the event,” says Amanda Campbell, Marketing and Communications Coordinator for UE. “It will be open to adults of all ages and guests are not required to be 21 to enter.”

A full cash bar will be available to those who show proof of ID, and non-alcoholic drink options will be provided for those who are under age. Additionally, a dessert bar will be open to everyone throughout the evening.

“There currently aren’t many opportunities for under-aged adults to socialize in an upscale, nightclub setting here,” said Madison Hendricks, a UE junior who has taken the role of project manager for the event. “We really wanted to provide fun events and experiences for all ages, including the large Evansville college crowd, many of which are not yet 21.”

Andrey Biryuchinskiy, a UE international student from Moscow, Russia, is eager to attend “In Love on Main” which reminds him of the rich night life available back home.

“I’m excited to share this experience with my friends, some who have never been to something like this before,” says Biryuchinskiy.

Don Jones, the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the University of Evansville, is thrilled that this opportunity provides yet another avenue for UE students to gain real-world, hands-on experience outside of the classroom.

“We look at this as a step in the right direction to attract and retain Evansville residents,” Jones said. “As we enrich the city with events and happenings like this, it provides a stronger platform for us as a university to recruit more students who look for these quality of life opportunities when choosing a school. Additionally, it opens the door to attract new businesses and business professionals to the area.”

Before attending the nightclub, guests are encouraged to enjoy dinner at one of the many local establishments offering romantic dining experiences unique to Evansville. Then they can hang around the downtown area to round out the evening with exciting entertainment options, including this one-time, pop up event.

“During the VOICE sessions, over 2000 people told us that they wanted more hip experiences in the city core,” says Lynn Miller-Pease of Leadership Evansville. “In Love on Main is an incredible example of how to make our city core more vibrant.”

Funding for this event was provided by the City of Evansville through the Department of Metropolitan Development’s Community Revitilization Loan Fund. Any profit from “In Love on Main” will be put back into the funds set aside for the next pop up event.

In addition to the nightclub portion of the evening, a seven course tasting, which is already sold out, is being prepared by local restaurateur, Jayson Munoz of Kanpai Asian Bistro and Commonwealth Kitchen and Bar.

“We’ve designed an assorted, foodie-friendly menu that offers yet another unique element to this event,” Munoz said. “I’m excited to use my passion for food and community to give back and get people invested in Evansville.”

Other sponsors and vendors include Acropolis, Coca Cola Distributors, Flesor’s Candy Kitchen, Just Rennie’s, Sollers Point and T.R.U. Event Rentals.

Find more information on Twitter @EvansvillePopUp or by searching Facebook for Evansville Pop Up Events. You may also contact ac283@evansville.edu for further questions. - University of Evansville


Osiella E.P. - Feb. 2014
Year In Review - Nov. 2014
E.P.#2 - July 2015



   Have you ever heard of Evansville, Indiana? No? Well, maybe it's time to revamp your places-to-visit list. Evansville boasts and supports some of the most accomplished artists and musicians/bands in Southern Indiana. One of those bands, Osiella, is ready to speak for the illusive River City with their debut album: Year In Review.

    The latest project invites you to the labyrinth called Osiella. Every listener will easily find the path to the center. Year in Reviewallows each artist in and associated with Osiella to express their character and musical savoir faire. For starters, the driving guitars are played by Theophilus Akai who just so happens to be a West African Native. His cultural background encompasses a worldly sensation of "...chilled-out chord progressions and smooth guitar licks that never fail to enthrall and entertain" (The Edge Radio). Cynthia Murray as vocalist and songwriter delivers the rich soul that connects Osiella. One of the songs, "Island Love", explores the notion of destroying all inhibitions in the name of love and allowing the other party to have their way with you. "Just do what you do!", the carefully placed hook, presents Cynthia's "...uncanny ability to write and perform an amazing vocal hook" (News4U).

    Dekar Baker as drummer, along with Dene Stephens as percussionist make a peerless team on Year In Review. Mr. "Beat-Maker" Baker utilizes his gospel background and makes his presence known throughout the album. Dene's experience and knowledge of world rhythms show him to be a very detailed percussionist. All sounds you hear from his hand drums are unmistakably set in place to add additional color and air to the project. Lastly, Las Vegas-born Brandon Summers takes the listener to the edges of the world with his sultry and distinct violin. Year In Review is the album Osiella has been waiting to present to the masses. The breadth of musicality and genre-bending within the album will make it and Osiella warm attractions for the upcoming winter season.

    If Osiella is the vehicle, then Kenneth Murray is the mechanic. Acting as both manager and in-house producer, Kenneth has the uncanny ability to realize events in Osiella’s favor. His ambition and faith in the group shine through the band’s feverishly quick, upward momentum. “Maybe I should actually learn how to play an instrument,” jokes Kenneth while putting the finishing touches onYear In Review. You can expect Kenneth and the crew to make appearances in the 2015 festival year in support of Year In Review. 

Band Members