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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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‘Home-grown’ band performs at school fundraiser

The local band South City Lights will perform at a fundraiser from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, May 27, at Rominger West Winery to raise funds for the Davis school lunch and gardening programs. Courtesy photo

By
May 20, 2011 |

South City Lights, a Davis pop/rock band, is partnering with the Davis Farm to School Connection and Rominger West Winery to raise funds for Davis’ school lunch and gardening programs. The winery is at 4602 Second St.

In addition to a free concert from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, May 27, Rominger West will sell wine by the glass or bottle and Caffé Italia will fire up its mobile pizza oven and offer gourmet pizzas made with locally grown ingredients. All profits from the pizza sales will benefit the Davis Farm to School program.

Representatives of the Davis-based Yummy Dummy chocolate company will sell chocolate bars; a portion of their sales also will go to the school program.

This is a child-friendly event and there is no cover charge.

South City Lights features Chris Lee on vocals and guitar; Helen Spangler on vocals and bass; Jenny Amaral on vocals, guitar and percussion; Tim Spangler on vocals and guitar; and Chris Reilly on drums. The band has been compared to Fleetwood Mac, Indigo Girls and Ryan Adams.

The band has been playing clubs in Sacramento while writing, developing and recording new songs to go on their debut album, set for release in June. Their seven-song EP, “What We Do,” has sold out and a second printing is in process. The band emphasizes solid song composition and arrangement, using acoustic and electric instruments. Lead singers share the mike on tunes ranging from soulful and contemplative to upbeat and rocking.

“This is truly a home-grown band,” according to a news release, “with two Davis High graduates, three UC Davis graduates, two Davis High teachers and one UC Davis pathologist.”

The story of the band began with a birthday party. The Spanglers’ and the Lees’ children, Bryant and Megan, have been friends since first grade. When Ninette Lee asked her husband Chris to pick up Bryant from Megan’s birthday party, a new band was born.

Lee and Tim and Helen Spangler dove into the studio with original songs written and co-written by the three of them. Lee’s expertise in the studio proved invaluable as he shaped and developed songs that had never been played on anything but an acoustic guitar. Tim Spangler’s song catalogue and lead vocals came to life and Helen Spangler’s talent for harmonies and melodies was utilized with three- and four-part vocals.

All of this added up to some uplifting pop music, but the band was not complete. Another voice was needed and found in Jenny Amaral. Her warm and pure voice added just the right blend to make their sound truly unique, a news release said.

The band played some shows in Davis and Sacramento but soon realized they needed a drummer.  Reilly, drummer from Yellow Jacket Motel, among other bands, sat in on a few practices. He was able to get the music right away and took it to a whole new level, the news release said.

“To add to the appeal, the band reaches across generations and creates music that connects with everyone,” the release said. “It’s a pop sound, but there are elements and influences from every genre and every decade.”

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