On the Serious Side is Connecticut's first and only Tower of Power Tribute band. Created by drummer Gene Zwicharowski and named after one of Tower of Powers most complicated and syncopated songs. After 6 years of playing in Pocket Full of Soul a horn driven cover band, band mate and Trumpeter "Billy the Kid " Grodski struck up conversation about how Tower of Power was the common inspiration that brought Pocket Full of Soul band together and that inspired us to begin construction of On the Serious Side. This was a project we only dreamed of doing! We hand picked qualified seasoned musicians who are die hard Tower of Power fans. Bringing on board J J Martin as front man lead vocalist was the frosting on the cake. We broke the band into sections and created the perfect lead and backing vocals, directed by JJ Martin. The rhythm section is lead by guitarist/musical director Frank Barrese. The most famous element, the horn section, is directed by Billy Grodski and after much work and dedication, in the fall of 2015 we were ready roll!
As we researched the various Tower of Power Tribute bands across the country we decided we wanted to be a cut above the rest. Our show is very focused on the "Live versions" of TOP songs such as the medley "We Came to Play, Soul With a Capital S, Ain't nothing Stopping us Now, You Ought to be Having Fun and Only So Much Oil"
just to name a few. The crowd response is incredible and it sparks off high energy from the very first note. Other great live versions include, To Say The Least You're the Most and Funkafize,
featuring drummer GeneZ as he covers Dave Garibaldi's signature Afro-Cuban cowbell beat. Can't you See
with added guitar solo by Frank Barrese and Me and Mrs. Jones featuring the incredible vocal skills of JJ Martin. The intro to Diggi'n on James Brown , This Time it's Real ,the ever famous What is Hip/Soul Power with TOP's 10 minute version featuring tenor sax Anthony Masi, and "The Kid" Kevin Duffy" trading solos in a funky soul jam. We unleash all the fella's in Squib Cakes
and "Storm'n Norman" Robillard lights up his Hammond B-3 covering Chester Thompson's signature solo to a tee! The"Blazing Brass" trumpets of Billy Grodski and Pat Casey blow the classic Still a Young Man
intro making your hair stand on end with the sound being so high cut and perfect.
Our show has become signature to the reputation of On the Serious Side. All 10 musicians have spent countless hours and extensive studying of recordings of the music to these versions that are not readily available to create the most authentic TOP show. It has taken hard work and dedication on all parts to perfect our show and musically rising above any other TOP tribute band.
Many of us are friends of the members of Tower of Power, and as the band progressed I sent a video clip to Emilio for feed back. One comment was, "Well you named the band "On the Serious Side" why are you not playing that song?" Excellent question so I went back to the guys and said, "Boy's roll up your sleeves and let's get serious and get to work mastering On the Serious Side !
The only glitch was knowing exactly what the lyrics were. They were not available anywhere I searched and very difficult to figure out. I contacted Emilio and he graciously wrote out all the lyrics to On the Serious Side
for us to use. After first run of the song at The Bijou Theater , to a sold out audience in October 2017, the crowd responded with high energy and praise! We also received great feedback from Emilio and Doc on our video clips!
Mission Accomplished and the dream had become a reality!
As Tower of Power heads toward their 50 Year anniversary in 2018 , On the Serious Side Tribute Band will continue paying our musical tribute to the "East Bay Kings of Soul" with the highest level of authenticity and branching out to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey.
Thanks to everyone for the endless support Gene Zwicharowski drummer/manager