Vinyl Gold is a 4-piece jazz-influenced funk band playing original music. In-the-pocket funk beats connect with soulful vocals, and the jazz-riffs and soloing reminiscent of gritty jazz quartets and funk bands of the 70’s.
Influences include Jamie Lidell, Jamiroquai, Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, The New Mastersounds, The Meters, and The Greyboy Allstars.
Vocals, songwriter: Sarah Tollefson got her start in theatre arts, where she shined as a singer and performer. She’s been in choirs of all shapes and sizes, jazz ensembles, and an 11-piece blues and funk band. You can often find her sitting in with other local musicians around town, most notably local Portland band Fez Fatale. She is a powerful vocalist ranging the styles of funk, soul, blues and jazz. Her range of styles and raw power are what have set her apart.
Keyboards, songwriter: Mark Bennett is a multi-instrumentalist, but he loves the keys. He has been playing jazz since he was a kid, and it shows in his writing and playing style. He has been in giant swing bands, and tiny jazz trios, and has even played solo for payment in delicious soup. In Vinyl Gold, you’ll see him on keyboard, Rhodes electric piano, and the Hammond organ.
John Pounds, Bass: A blend of soulful jazz, blues, R&B, hip hop, and a little cajun spice gives this 7 string bass & Upright player a unique flavor all his own. A Monroe, LA native, John Pounds came to Oregon in 1992. John’s one-of-a-kind finger-flying and bass-slapping style has made him a favorite in Northwest venues. Playing and coloring “outside the lines” is what makes this bassist stand above his contemporaries. His original flair and talent add a distinctive, full-bodied sound to any genre of music. Even though John jokingly speaks of himself as “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride!”, this “bridesmaid” has been called in to share the stage with such names as: Wynonna Judd, Bon Jovi, The Celine Dion Orchestra, Rod Price (Foghat), Starship, KMB, The Tony Coleman Band (Drummer for B.B. King), Tom Jones, Elton John and Billy Joel and most recently with Steve Ferrone (AWB, Tom Petty). His versatility is also featured as an A –List bass player for Legends in Concert (Las Vegas), and Jamie’s Rock & Roll Legends (Portland, Oregon), which has more than 80 different acts ranging from Elvis to Rod Stewart, and from Hank Williams to Garth Brooks.
Drums: Charles Neal has been performing, writing, producing, recording, and teaching music of the highest quality in the Pacific Northwest for almost 25 years. As a younger man, he attended the Lionel Hampton School of Music summer programs at the University of Idaho. It was here his jazz drum chops were worked and sculpted. He was fortunate to play in (by audition only) the All Northwest jazz band and be featured as a soloist in the group on vibraphone in addition to playing in the All State Concert Bands for two years. He attended Berklee College of Music on scholarship, where he was awarded the Elvin Jones Scholarship and graduated Cum Laude. Charles is a creative and collaborative studio engineer and producer for numerous artists in his work at Hip Stew Studios, as he continues to be an active and masterful performer.