By Alyssa Schnugg
While the members of Oxford’s new seven-piece band Madrik have only been playing together since July, they will bring decades of musical experience to the stage at their first live show Friday at Proud Larry’s in Oxford.
Water Valley resident Preston Boutot, who plays the synthesizers and piano joined the newly formed group in July after receiving a call from fellow musician Bradley Gordon.
“He put the group together and called me,” Boutot said. “I hadn’t played in a group for about seven years and I was interested. We got together and started playing and everyone just had a good time and we all clicked.”
Madrik has 11 original songs that they will perform Friday during the show at Proud Larry’s. Boutot says that Madrik writes as a group, drawing influences from house, hip-hop, drum and bass, pop, funk and soul.
The name Madrik came from Gordon’s 3-year-old daughter.
“She liked doing little magic tricks and shows but she would say ‘madrik,’ Boutot said. “So the name is really a misspelling of ‘magic’ but comes from a cute father and daughter experience.”
Boutot said the band’s goals are to eventually record their originals and play local gigs.
“We’re having fun and we’ve all done the touring thing before,” he said. “Our focus is to play locally and enjoy making music.”
Boutot, a preacher’s kid raised in Circleville, Ohio grew up listening to classical music and traditional hymns before falling in love with 90’s alt-rock in the early 2000s and The Blues a few years later. From 2007-2012, Preston played hundreds of shows with the nationally-touring, electronic dance group Zoogma, of which he was a founding member.
Gordon, aka “DJ Gordo,” on percussion, grew up in Clarksdale and has toured the U.S., Taiwan and Japan both as a drummer and deejay and has been the warm-up act for such bands as The Neville Brothers, Blues Traveler, Galactic, Wolfgang Gartner, Pierce Fulton and others.
Lead vocalist Austin Smith, who also plays guitar, has been “littered in R&B, funk and soul since an early age, demonstrating a new vocal take on House-driven music,” according to the band’s website.
Guitarist Chris Steiner grew up in Memphis on a diet of soul and funk music and has been playing live shows for 25 years. He’s a former member of The Mayhem String Band, Second Guess and The Minor Adjustments.
On organ and piano, Eric Carlton hails from Jackson has shared the stage with Jimbo Mathis, Leo “Bud” Welch, Ironing Board Sam, John Paul Keith and more.
Jonny Lott on drums is from Carrollton and began playing drums at 18. He shares the stage with Thunder Leg, FunkAtomic and Hawgwash.
Nathan “Natey Nate” Robbins, from Pontotoc, on bass has been active in the Oxford music scene for two decades. He’s a member of two Oxford staples, Rocket 88 and The Eric Deaton Trio, and has collaborated with acts such as Shannon McNally, Davis Coen, Jimbo Mathis and Garry Burnside. He runs RNN Studios in Oxford.
On Friday at Proud Larry’s, Gordon will warm up the crowd with his deejay skills before taking the stage with Madrik. Tickets are $10. The band is giving away two guest list spots on their Facebook page. The winner will be announced Wednesday.