Soul, Inc. What's in a name? In this case, the
name says it ALL! The soul is the elusive quality that is the very
essence or the vital core of, in this case music. The word incorporated
literally means united into one body or combined and organized.
This is a group of individuals who each bring a unique understanding
of music and experience combined with the wisdom to understand the
commitment it takes to be a true professional. They are Soul, Inc.
This band is far more than the individual members, although each
stands alone in their experience and talent. Together their history
tells the story in each voice and instrument making a bluesy mix
of rock, soul and fun.
Soul, Inc. features Gary Hicks (trumpet), Ernie
Sanders (baritone sax) and Ken Bechtloff (sax) on real brass
not synthesizers. Ray Barrickman plays bass laying
down the low notes that provide the foundation on which their sound
is built. Wayne Young's hot guitar
licks smolder adding a sensual sound to every song. Don E. Williamson's
animated performance on the keyboards turns a sequence of single
notes into a meaningful musical phrase. Marvin
Maxwell plays the drums like someone who not only understands
the importance of rhythm, but skillfully adds the constant reverberating
beat keeping the group together, tight and tuff! With as much history
and talent found in Soul, Inc., ordinary vocals will not do. Tommy
"Cosmo" Cosdon knows his way around a song. His growl, gravel
and grit squeeze out every note with a passion felt throughout the
room. Sherry Edwards ability to set fire to
a stage, all the while making love to the audience, is found in
every note whether she is belting out good ol' rock 'n' roll or
a tearful ballad.
And if that is still not enough, Wayne Young and Ray Barrickman
take turns singing lead and adding rich harmonies. If you added
up the number of years of professional experience on stage, everyone
in Soul, Inc. should have a PhD in Musical Performance.
Brenda Woods -
Young's diverse career began in 1958 with a local garage band, Chuck
Harrod and the Anteaters. In 1959 he joined the Carnations and Trendells.
The list of Young's career bands include Cosmo and the Counts, Soul,
Inc., Commonground, Wayne Young and Company, The Heavyweights, Midnight
Special, The Shufflin' Grand Dads up to his current band, Wayne
Young and the New Legends, and of course, the revival of Soul, Inc.
Recognized as a superb guitarist throughout the music community,
he is often compared to Eric Clapton. Young's diverse career has
become a Louisville legend. His music tenure has included national
tours with the likes of Bo Diddley, The Rolling Stones and Leon
Russell to name a few.
Maxwell is not only one of the most admired and respected drummers
to come from the Louisville area, but he has undoubtedly left his
mark on the music community in a thousand ways. Marvin's musical
career began with Jimmy Orton and the Emeralds and has included
the original Soul, Inc. In the late '60s Soul, Inc. was asked to
tour with the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars. They received an invitation
to do a second tour, this time not only backing other artists, but
with a spot all their own.
They performed with artists such as Lou Christy, We Five, The Byrds and Paul Revere and the Raiders. Following Soul, Inc., Marvin's career included Elysian Field who's first recording
"Kind of a Man," released nationally in 1968, went to #1 on the
local charts. MOM's General Store for Musicians, founded by Marvin
and today run by his three children, has not only served as an outlet
for musical instruments and a recording studio, but started Rock
School to nurture our future rock 'n' roll stars.
early as 1959, Tommy Cosdon made a name for himself when he began
singing lead with The Sultans. Their choice of songs including "It'll
Be Easy," along with Cosdon's bluesy style, quickly put them on
the local radio charts and into Louisville's musical history. Cosdon,
known as "Cosmo," and his group The Counts continued to record and
perform throughout the '60s. During Cosmo's stint in the service,
his musical career was managed by Audrey Williams (mother of Hank,
as a member of Soul, Inc., Cosmo continues to bring audiences that
same soulful sound that put him in the spotlight. Whether he is
front and center as a soloist or blending his voice with other Soul,
Inc. members, his distinct smoky voice steals the show.
In the late '60s, a teenaged Sherry Chenault began her musical career
by performing at U.S.O. shows. When she joined the Chateaus, a local
Rock 'n' Roll band, it opened the door to a long and well-deserved
professional career. From the very beginning, Sherry possessed the
ability to captivate the audience not only with her incredible stage
performance but with a powerful, soulful voice. And, like a good
wine, Sherry has only improved. Her musical career has included
The Chateaus, Gary and Sherry Edwards (S. A. G. E.), Jerry Kirk
and the Heavyweights, Sheer Magic and The Wulfe Pack. Her sultry
voice and stage energy are an intricate part of today's Soul, Inc.
Ray's musical career began like many of the time with a local band
called The Waters. But this is where his story takes a different
path. Ray eventually moved to Memphis, TN where he performed in
a variety of touring groups. Just when he was beginning to question
his choice of professions, he landed the unbelievable job of bass
player with Hank Williams, Jr. for 24 years. Ray's career also included
Puddinfoot with Louisville's Denny Lile and Leslie's Motel before
moving to Memphis. Today as the bass player for Soul, Inc., Ray
not only adds incredible energy on the bass, but his vocals both
as a soloist and in harmonies are not to be missed.
As a young rock 'n' roller with The Kinetics, could Ernie have imaged
a career as diverse as the one he has had: Five Easy Pieces, Payne
and Pleasure, a long stint at Bill's Supper Club, 12 years playing
for the Sunday Brunch at the Executive West Hotel, not to mention
35 years with the Jefferson County School system! Ernie has been
in jazz bands, big bands and combos. He has played sax for the Louisville
Orchestra for 12 years and created the Kosair Brass Band where he
continues to play today. Do you need to ask why when Soul, Inc.
was looking for a sax player to round out today's group, Ernie's
name was at the top of the list!
Don E. Williamson
Music has always played an important role in Don E. Williamson's life. Playing in the New Albany High School Band served as a springboard to a variety of rock and pop bands. He left Indiana for a 6 year stint in Liberation, the house band at a Bowling Green, KY hotel. He spent time in Nashville, TN and Atlanta, GA playing with regional groups and appearing on the bill with a number of national groups including Edgar Winter, Leon Russell, Chubby Checker and Del Shannon.
Don never lost his love for Louisville music and has been a member of an array of bands early in his career including C.C. Biggs and Gary "Monkey" Meeks. In the '80s he played with Cosmo and the Counts and Wayne Young. His career during the '90s included Rhino Ivory and Stages. As a current member of Soul, Inc. he is reunited with Cosmo, Young and Ernie Sanders. Besides his love of playing music, Don is Creative Director of Pro Media Group.
To say that Gary has played trumpet "all his life" is no small statement. Coming from a musical family (he has three younger brothers all of whom are professional musicians), his grade school days included the school band through a string of notable bands today, his trumpet has been heard by many. In the early '60s, he was a founding member of the U of K Jazz Ensemble and the Men of Note, a Lexington, KY group that continues today. Throughout the '80s, his career has included several bands including the Pendulum Orchestra and the Gambit Band which evolved into the Heat Band.
Gary's professional music career includes many Broadway Shows at Kentucky's Center for the Arts including the grand opening featuring Kentucky's own, Rosemary Clooney. He has been an integral part of the orchestras and bands that have played for the circus, rodeos, ice shows and the Crusade for Children Band for many years. He has also played with many national rock 'n' roll groups including The Temptations, The Tops and The Drifters.