In February of 1995, two Chicago-born musicians in California were looking for a bassist to complete their three-man lineup for a run at the LA beach communities. They auditioned several people, and settled for Christopher Lewis. The first rehearsal made it very clear that they had a powerful trio, with Matthew Donne on multiple keyboards and P.J. Pauly on drums, backed by Lewis on basses. After a few months of rehearsal, they had developed a large repertoire of both originals and covers, as well as a sound reminiscent of ELP.
Beginning in April of that year, they began playing performances at parties and bars. They quickly gained a reputation as a powerful band, which attracted both listeners and the local police. Undeterred, they carried on with their efforts, armed with the help of several friends to move Donne's vast array of keyboards. Without their help, it would have been impossible to play the many shows that they did.
On a sunny day in July, the trio performed at a poolside party which was attended by nearly 100 people. They played two sets that day, eventually succumbing to the whims of the Torrance police department. The concert was recorded on video, and subsequent viewings revealed that the first set, which was almost entirely original material, was probably the best that the group had ever played anywhere. That set was the source for the album The Feds- Live 95. This album is not yet available to the public, but is nonetheless a stunning musical performance.
Unfortunately, Matt Donne moved to Chicago a month after the performance, effectively ending the run. However, Donne is still performing these and other songs with his band in Chicago. Pauly is performing with Trailer 8, a blues band in southern California that features Tommy Raye, one of the best blues guitarists in the world. Lewis played with Trailer 8 for nearly three years before moving to New York City, where he currently plays with Detour.
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