The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 22, 2013

Option 22 shares passion for reggae rock during Sunday@Two

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

— Option 22 wowed the crowd at Tamarack during this week’s Sunday@Two with its eclectic blend of folk and psychedelic rock.  

Based in Princeton, the band is comprised of Lori McKinney, Robert Blankenship, Brandon Dunn and Jordan Furrow.

All four band members played a variety of instruments, from traditional guitar and bass, to exotic instruments like a didgeridoo and a shamisen.

A didgeridoo is a wind instrument typically made from eucalyptus hollowed out by termites and a shamisen is a Japanese instrument, similar to a banjo, but fretless and slimmer in body style.

McKinney’s smooth but powerful vocals complemented the band’s unique musical sound, as she opened the show with a microphone in one hand and a tambourine in the other.

She welcomed the crowd to Tamarack Sunday, asking where everyone was from. A few responses answered with Arizona, California and Texas.

“Well, welcome to West Virginia. We were all born and raised here in West Virginia and we might not be what you expect to hear.”

While some songs did have a hint of folk roots, much of it sounded like a new breed of music entirely.

Their lyrics all share messages of “hope, love and healing” and their beats make listeners want to get up and dance.

McKinney was very interactive with the audience Sunday, offering them to get out of their chairs and dance, or snap their fingers along to the beat of the drums.

When Blankenship brought out his shamisen, the band asked the audience who could name the instrument.

After a few seconds of thinking, one woman shouted out the correct answer and she was awarded with a newly released Option 22 album.

For more information about Option 22 and a sample of their music, visit www.option22.net.

Definitely check out the tracks “No Fences” and “Earth Plane Defector.”

Next week, Sunday@Two at Tamarack will feature the traditional, acoustic, folk/country sounds of guitarist and vocalist John Lilly.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com