Cypress Plans to Rep SoFla at SunFest On Saturday, May 5

Categories: Music Festivals
Tracy Block
Cypress at Bear Creek 2011
This weekend, among a sea of approximately 275,000 eager West Palm Beachers, a roster of nostalgic, budding and local talent will hit SunFest. Marking the festival's first full day of tunes since opening the gates on Wednesday, May 2, Saturday's lineup contains one South Florida collective worth your early afternoon attention. Bookmark the 1 p.m. slot on Saturday for local songsters, Cypress.

Band leader/vocalist/guitarist Jack Schueler knows the call might be early, but he's psyched for Cypress' involvement with SunFest 2012. "On a regular Saturday, it's a little early for me, but at a music festival like SunFest, time is of no importance," Schueler says. "We're just happy to be a part of it, and we look forward to playing a great set."

Cypress was formed in 2006, and has sustained its current lineup for the past three years. The evolution of the band's signature sound - a mix of Southern rock with a heavy dose of blues and funked out bass - is a sporadic taste for locals, since the band does not play year-round. Schueler shed some light on the band's schedule, which has been a "source of confusion" for Cypress fans for some time. "We take a break every year from January through March to focus on various other projects individually," Schueler says. Lucky for SunFest, 'tis the season for Cypress, as the band heads into the summer months with plenty of local and regional gigs slated.

For Florida fest-goers, the last time many might've seen Cypress was back in November at the beloved funk/jazz gathering known as Bear Creek up at Spirit of the Suwannee. And, while Cypressites are used to grooving to familiar tracks like "Flow" and "Timbuktu," Schueler is looking forward to revealing new material this weekend and beyond, attributing recent songwriting inspirations to underground funk outfit Lettuce and renowned folk rockers Donna the Buffalo.

But, how does a band like Cypress, who's keen on clean jams and story-heavy lyrics stay true to its organic style in an age of tech-heavy instrumental innovation in the music world? Schueler's vision is to stay consistent and original. "I think what sets us apart from other bands on the scene is the fact that jams are secondary and the song is the focus." Which, if you've ever seen a Cypress show before, is a refreshing affirmation.

This weekend, seasoned followers and new curious ears can look forward to Cypress' proud representation of the local scene, sandwiched by some pretty large national acts. "I think Cypress brings a taste of South Florida to a festival that [might be] in our own backyard, [but is] in need of some South Florida representation," Schueler says. He adds that it is important to let the people know that there is a thriving local music scene in South Florida, and that it hasn't always been this way. "They need to know that they don't have to wait until SunFest, and they don't have to venture far on any given night to see some quality original music," Schueler shares. "I'm not talking about a guy with a guitar singing Top 40 songs with fake background music behind him," he continues, "I'm talking really talented musicians playing great music all over South Florida." Amen to that.

Following Cypress' set on Saturday, you can catch Schueler and the rest of Cypress checking out Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Marshall Tucker Band and The Outlaws. "It should be a great day of music," he concludes.

Catch Cypress at SunFest on Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m. on the FPL stage.
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