Have you heard of Jelly Bread? The quartet tours the country with a blend of soul and funk music that attracts big crowds at every stop. They recently played at the High Sierra Music Festival and Jelly Bread was also named Lake Tahoe Band of the Year in 2012.
Their following is growing by the day, which is why locals are especially proud to know Jelly Bread was born right here in Sparks. "We had our first rehearsal in the back room right here at Top Notch Barber Shop, which is my brother's barber shop," recalls Cliff Porter, who plays drums and is the lead vocalist. Now, they spend most of the time on the road. Dave Berry is the Band Leader and he estimates they are on the road 200+ days a year. "We're working. We're working hard. We're doing a lot of festivals and a ton of touring. I mean, this is what we do for a living."
If you are not familiar with the band, Dave Berry sings, write songs and plays guitar. Cliff Porter is uniquely the lead vocalist and drummer. Brady Carthen jams on the bass. Eric Matlock plays piano. Together, their infectious grooves appeal to large audiences, but who are their biggest fans? All you have to do is look around them during rehearsals. "Between myself, Cliff and Brady," says Dave, "We have 17." 17 children, that is! "Eric's a slacker! He doesn't have any kids." Brady has four, Cliff has six and Dave has seven. "I'm in the lead!" The kids have up around rehearsals - listening and learning. The dads often hand over their instruments and jam out with their kids. Many of them sing and dance and some even want to take their love for music to the next level, including Cliff's youngest son, who sometimes even takes the stage for a drum solo at the end of their concerts. "I'm proud. I'm a proud father. I love seeing them do it," Cliff says with a grin on his face.
While the trio of dads has never forced music onto the kids, they believe it's in all of them and Dave's daughter, Sydney, agrees. "I feel like it's definitely passed down. It's not something that I just learned; I think I was kind of born with it." That thought is echoed by the other Jelly Bread kids, who look no future than dad for inspiration. "Definitely, always," agrees Clifford Porter. "I love live music; that's always going to stay a part of me."
To learn more about Jelly Bread, follow them on Facebook or log onto www.JellyBread.net
Written by Kristen Remington