By ALAN K. STOUT : MUSIC ON THE MENU
Published on April 29, 2005, Page 24, The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
IF YOU PLAY in a fun band that has a vast repertoire and does everything from nightclubs to private parties, you're bound to have some good stories to tell. Dave Chaump, keyboardist and vocalist for Groove Train, is no exception. He has to go back only about two weeks to think of a time when the band had one of those memorable gigs that make for a good tale.
"This lady was having a good time, and she decided to come up on stage," Chaump recalls. "Of course, we're thinking `OK, let her have her fun. She's having a good time. Maybe she's going to sing one song.' Well, needless to say, she stayed there for every song until the end of the set."
Still, Chaump remembers, the wannabe singer hadn't had her fill.
"We thought we were rid of her because we took a break, but when we went to play the third set, she was still hanging around, and she got up again!"
Chaump chuckles when telling the story and says the band took it all in stride and was simply glad people were having fun.
Chaump, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, says the band's big mix of party favorites usually pulls most everyone to the dance floor.
"It's a variety of music, from the '60s to the '90s, and I'd say at least 50 percent of our repertoire is based in the '70s," he says. "We do a lot of '70s classic dance music, which features big female vocals, and we're able to tackle a lot of those songs because we have five legitimate lead vocalists."
Groove Train's harmony-laced sets include pop, soul, funk, R&B and even a little classic rock. Stop in at any show and you might catch the ladies crooning disco gems such as "To Be Real" and "Best of My Love" and the band tearing through numbers by ABBA, The Jackson Five, Janis Joplin, The Commodores, Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, Fleetwood Mac, Paul Simon and Prince.
"Every place that we've played, we've received a tremendous response to the music," Chaump says.
"Some of this music, especially the disco songs, never, ever dies. People of all age groups and all demographics love to dance to this music."
Though Chaump admits he'd like to see stage-crashers limit themselves to just one number, he has no problem with the band playing the role of partymasters.
In a club scene built mostly around modern rock, classic rock and blues, he says, Groove Train helps fill a void.
"We try to pick songs that we feel no other bands are doing right now," he says. "We're hoping that people come out and see us, have a great time, put in their fair share of dancing and say, `Boy, that band was energetic. They put on a show.' "
Groove Train will perform Saturday at the Victoria Inns & Suites in Pittston Township. Showtime is 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Call 655-1234 for more information. For more info on the band, visit www.groovetrain.us