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After only a few moments of speaking with Jared Loss, his passion for music is evident. Loss, of Media, founded local band The Real Feel with childhood friends Will Maher and Eddie Boate, both from Media, and college pal Joe Gruber from Radnor, over a year ago and the band is quickly gaining recognition.

“We have a great friend base,” said Loss. “And now we are starting to see people showing up (for concerts) who we don’t know, so the fan base is growing. The party gets bigger every time.”

For Loss, music has been with him since at least middle school. He said his parents, Larrye and Pamela Loss, encouraged him to try whatever instruments he wanted to play. Loss, Maher and Boate attended both Springton Lake Middle School and Penncrest together. In high school, Loss and Maher played together in all the school bands.

“Marching band, Jazz band, Drum Corps, we played in them all. At first, I thought band was just for geeks but it’s not geeky to be in marching band,” Loss said. “Now that I’m making a living with music, I realize it helped me out.”

Loss, a 2002 graduate of Penncrest High School, went on to Lockhaven University where he met Gruber. The two were both drummers, trying out for the same school jazz ensemble.

“Joe’s an amazing player. He auditioned before me and he was much better then me. I went in (to the audition) and said I’m okay with playing some other instrument because Joe’s probably going to be your drummer,” said Loss. “When I left Lockhaven, I told Joe if I ever start a band, you’re my drummer.”

After Loss left Lockhaven, he took a job with a PBS documentary in California called Roadtrip Nation. The premise of the show was to “discover your passion in life and do it.” According to Loss, the team he worked with traveled the United States and interviewed people who were passionate about what they did. Loss said the experience encouraged him to pursue his own passion for music.

“Some people were doing what they loved and succeeding, others were struggling. A lot of the people I interviewed would look at me and say, ‘You’re a musician, aren’t you?’” Loss stated. “It gave me the confidence to go for it.”

By day, Loss is now an instructor at Makin’ Music Rocking Rhythms and their Rockdale music school in Media. Loss said the band members all keep long hours -- Maher works with Pella Windows and Doors, Gruber works for the License and Inspection department of the city of Philadelphia and Boate attends Temple for sound engineering -- but it “never feels like work.”

“It’s easy to get up in the morning and go to work and it hasn’t always been that way in other jobs,” Loss states. “But now I love the people I work for and with.”

“One of the great things for us is we all are good friends and we would be spending this time playing together and hanging out. It’s very natural to be playing with these guys,” Loss continued.

Loss said the band’s music is influenced by a variety of well known bands, from the Allman Brothers and the Doobie Brothers to the Rolling Stones and Led Zeplin, rock with a blues and funk vibe.

“Growing up, we all listened to a lot of classic rock. We try to take all that great instrumentation and make it more contemporary, make it fit in with what’s going on today in music and in the world,” said Loss. “After a set, many of our fans say we sound like Steely Dan.”

Loss said three of the band members are experienced drummers and that has helped the music The Real Feel produces be “very rhythmic.”

“With three drummers in the band, we have a solid rhythmic foundation that helps drive and move along the songs.” Loss plays keyboard and guitar, plus vocals, Maher plays lead guitar, Boate is the band’s bassist and Gruber plays drums.

Loss said the band’s name came from how “we want the music to make you feel.” He said, “So much of music has become digitalized and (we’ve) lost the feel of musicians playing. We do what we can to keep it raw and organic.”

Loss credits many people with helping the band succeed, starting with his and his band mates’ parents. “My parents, all our parents, have come out to all our shows. They’ve always been so supportive of our musical growth. I wouldn’t be playing without them getting me started and always encouraging me,” Loss said.

Loss also credits Makin’ Music founder Kim Fink with helping his dream progress along with his experience working at World Café Live. “Kim has given me all the opportunities to make it work and I’m forever in debt to her for helping me get going with teaching and that side of playing,” said Loss. “Working at World Café helped because I saw bands go through, saw what worked, what didn’t. It gave me confidence.”

The Real Feel’s first album, Feel This… contains ten original songs. Half the songs were written by Loss during his time in California and then rearranged with help of the band members to “make the songs stronger.” The rest of the songs were put together through a collaborative effort of all band members. The album was recorded in Rose Valley by Kyle Wareham of the local band Three Legged Fox.

With performances in Philadelphia, Phoenixville, New York and Dewey Beach, to name a few, under their belts, Loss and the rest of The Real Feel hope to move the band beyond Philly but they still remain grateful to their Philadelphia fans and friends.

“It’s a labor of love,” Loss said. “We need to build a good local fan base before we can go anywhere.”

The Real Feel’s debut album releases tonight, Feb. 4, at the World Café Live, 3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m., with opening acts Parkwright from Philadelphia and The Canon Logic from New York. The Real Feel will take the stage at 9 p.m. Advanced tickets are $13, day of the show tickets are $15. For tickets, visit WorldCafeLive.com.

Junior's Cave

If you are ready for some fresh new music, then The Real Feel is the perfect choice. The band has mastered several styles in their music which makes them even more enjoyable to hear. What will instantly grab you is their southern rock, blues, and indie rock fusion to create a melodic sound. In this recent spotlight with the band, The Real Feel gives us a taste of who they are and what fans can expect from the talented band.

Isaac: What was the best part of 2008 for you musically?

The Real Feel: Well, since we debuted as The Real Feel January 2009 the best part of 2008 was getting this group off the ground. Now, we've landed back down and hit the ground running. We're having a great time playing all over the area and we're looking forward to our studio and live albums coming out at the end of the summer.

Isaac: What do you feel was your biggest accomplishment for 2008?

The Real Feel: Just getting out there to start playing our stuff and getting good reception from it. Everything is happening really quickly, so we're just taking it as it comes and learning from every show and every practice. We've accomplished a lot being a band in its infancy, so we plan to stay on the same track we're on for now.

Isaac: Describe the music scene in area.

The Real Feel: Philly has a great music scene and we've been lucky to play a lot of the great small venues in Philly like World Cafe Live, The Tin Angel, The Khyber, The Northstar Bar, and even into Bam Margera's new club in West Chester "The Note". There's a ton of places to go see any kind of music you like. We've met a lot of great young bands and love being a part of the musical community in Philly.

Isaac: What has been the best venue to perform at and why? The Real Feel: Probably World Cafe Live or Joclyn's. I worked ticketing at World Cafe Live for a couple of years, so it was great to be on the stage instead of tearing ticket stubs. Joclyn's is our hometown bar so it is always great playing to our friends and families. We're recording our live album at Joclyn's.

Isaac: Elaborate a little about whom were your biggest influences in the music industry and why?

The Real Feel: We all have very different influences of course, but we grew up learning to play classic rock and listening to jam bands. We take our varied influences and meld them all together into songs that sound different from each other while staying with the same "feel". Some influences are Phish, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, The Allman Brothers, etc...

Isaac: Let's talk about what you feel you will bring to the music industry?

The Real Feel: We're bringing back good feelin' music. Bringing back the tasty guitar solo. Too much of what is out there now is stale and cliché. We bring a classic vibe with a new feel. There's purity and honesty in our music.

Isaac: If you had an opportunity to work with one artist or group, who would it be and why?

The Real Feel: That is a really tough question. Booker T. Jones from Booker T. and The MGs would be my first choice because of his work with Bill Withers (my favorite songwriter), but you would get a different answer from each of us I'm sure.

Isaac: How would you describe your music to others?

The Real Feel: We Make that Music you can feel!

Isaac: What type of feedback have you received from fans about your music?

The Real Feel: People seem to really like our sound. We've all been playing music for a good while, and we keep growing and developing more with each show. We keep it pretty light and don't take ourselves too seriously, and our fans enjoy when we play "Punchout" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" theme songs.

Isaac: Where can fans locate you at online?

The Real Feel: You can check out our three song demo and some live show video at www.therealfeelband.com

Isaac: What can fans expect from you in the next five years?

The Real Feel: Hopefully, they will see a band that doesn't fit into a box. We are recreating ourselves constantly on the fly, so I hope we can continue to stay fresh. You'll be seeing us all over the country in our TRF RV bringing our music to the masses!

Isaac: Time for some shout outs to your family, friends, and fans…

The Real Feel: Thanks a ton for all of our friends and family that come out to see us on a weekly basis. We have to stay fresh to keep them coming. Thanks to Kyle and Jimmy for making us sound good, and George for making us look cool...

Isaac: Final words…

The Real Feel: You Can't Be Real, Unless You Feel... - written on a Magic Hat No. 9 Bottle Cap.

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