The Speedbumps By E.M. Serensky When people think of speed bumps they think of having to slow down. However, for the Kent band The Speedbumps, this couldn’t be further from the truth. On June 11th, they are hosting a CD release party at the Kent Stage. Who are they and what does this entail? Read on. Erik Urycki is the founder, guitarist, and lead singer of The Speedbumps. He founded the band in the summer of 2003. He headed east with a friend and ended up in Boston, sleeping on couches along the way. “It was my first taste of being poor and on the road. I loved it,” says Urycki. He grew up on music and it was always a big influence in his life: “My parents were big music fans and I would listen to their vinyl albums all the time. From the Beatles to Leon Redbone to Paul Simon – I loved listening to music from a very young age.” All of Erik’s different songwriter and performer influences are showcased in the band’s talent. There are no weak links. The band currently consists of Erik (acoustic guitar and vocals), Same Kristoff (cello),Patrick Hawkins (drums and percussion), Craig Adams (Keys & 5-string banjo) and Andrew Bonnis (upright bass, bass guitar and ukulele). Together, the band has recently had a lot of exposure in Australia and has toured in the Eastern United States. They’re doing a nationwide tour this summer, but “nothing huge”. Their ultimate goal is to travel everywhere, hoping to touch the lives of everyone they meet; Europe is definitely toward the top of their list. When asked what he’s learned from being a musician, especially one with the Speedbumps, Erik answers, “It has really shaped who I am. I think the most revealing thing I’ve learned is the importance music plays in our lives. It reflects so much of who we are as people, where we’re from and where we’re going.” Their new album, The Moon is Down is showcasing them with a bigger and better sound than they’ve ever had. They recorded it in Nashville and their label, Leta Records, couldn’t be happier with the results. “We simply love it. This album is better written, better recorded and some of the most powerful work that the guys have done to date. I think this album has a lot more to it then people would understand at first glance.” You’re definitely going to get an idea of what the band’s all about while listening to the new release. “I think it is the kind of album that has the ability to grow on you. It does have a new sound. The addition of Andrew and Craig to the band is evident but Sam, Pat and I are still there. We just have a bigger sound. The songs have a little aggression in them but I think that is natural when you are writing in the present and not imitating something from the past.” The album is The Moon is Down. The CD release party is at the Kent Stage (the band’s favorite venue) at 7:30 PM on Friday, June 11th. There’s an after party, too. Stop by and say “hi” to the guys. The band will also be playing at the Lighthouse Bar at the Olde Harbor Inn in Portage Lakes June 20th. If you’d like to get in touch with the band or find out more, look for them on any of the social networking sites or www.thespeedbumps.com.