ReTurn2Soul Performs June BAPA Porch Concert 

By Brian Marchetti 

Take a trip back to the glory days of R & B, Funk, and Motown as ReTurn2Soul hits the stage, or porch, Fri., June 9, 6:30 p.m., with their smooth renditions of the biggest hits of the era for BAPA’s second show of this season’s Porch Concert Series.  

Performing together for the past 15 years, band members include Craig Harper on drums and Keith Bennett on bass holding down the groove. Leo Crowe cranks out wah-infused guitar along with Jimmy Martin’s melodic saxophone voicings. Mike Smith hits the keys and Taronia Rice tops it off with her soulful lead vocals.   

“We play music from the era we grew up in,” said Craig Harper, who has been playing the drums since 4th grade. “We play it all. Everything from R & B, Funk, Hard Rock, Soft Rock, country. Our biggest influence is probably Earth, Wind, and Fire.”  

Harper credits the British invasion and the work of The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr as the man who led him to sit behind the kit.   

The ReTurn2Soul set lists include hits from Motown artists, Parliament, The Doobie Brothers, and Funkadelic, to name a few. 

ReTurn2Soul has been a regular at the Beverly Arts Center for the past ten years and has traveled throughout the Midwest. The band’s other favorite haunts include The Baker House in Lake Geneva, Wisc., The Little Gem in Oak Park, and Smokey Joe’s in Crete. While performing, they aim to please everyone in the crowd.  

“If you want to be in this business, you have to be able to hit everybody in attendance,” Harper said.   

During their long career, ReTurn2Soul has played several events of the standard variety, including weddings and birthday parties, but recent trends have led them to perform for some more unique events.  

“We’ve done divorce parties,” Harper said. “Lately, we’ve done a number of memorials, which seems to be a growing trend.”  

The June 9 performance is ReTurn2Soul’s first appearance in BAPA’s Porch Concert Series. The band members, who hail from Morgan Park and Maple Park, look forward to coming back to their roots to play the music they love.  





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