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Is the band Anodyne your antidote?

March 23, 2012

At the end of a busy week, when you find yourself in search of a bit of cheering and require something to relax your spirit, Anodyne may be your antidote.
The four-piece local band, Anodyne, which is literally defined as relaxing or a source of soothing comfort, will delight your senses and recharge your soul with their outstanding covers of popular music from the 1970s through current-day releases.
Julie Shafer, the lead vocalist for Anodyne — also skilled at playing the acoustic guitar, the mandolin and the keyboards — began her singing career in the sixth grade when she joined choir. She jokingly confesses that her vocal abilities were lacking a tad in the initial launch.
Shafer says, “My mom actually was worried about me singing in front of people.”
Undeterred by her mother’s protective instincts, Shafer continued with choir through high school. Obviously gaining vast improvements, through her perseverance, she eventually toured Europe during the summer of 1983, performing with the Sound of America Choir.
In 2000 Shafer began a Karaoke/DJ company called Calamity Karaoke which eventually led her to audition for the band Higher Ground. Though the band was not originally intent on a female lead vocalist, Shafer quickly swooned and swayed the members with her vocal diversity and range, covering even the “male stuff.” When Higher Ground finally parted ways, in 2008, Shafer decided to piece-together her own band.
Todd Behney, drummer and vocalist, and Todd Schoettmer, lead guitar and background vocalist - both former members of the band Lynchpin — became acquainted with Shafer through an advertisement she had placed with www.bandmix.com. Bob Dodge, bass guitarist, who had also played with the band Higher Ground, was the final ingredient to successfully complete the mix of talented musicians Shafer had aspired to create. She explains, “…when we all got together it just ‘clicked’”.
Anodyne’s bass guitarist, Bob Dodge, became first involved with playing acoustic guitar at the age 13, but his attention quickly moved onto playing the bass. Though Dodge is currently employed by Culver Schools he spiritedly jokes that his preference of how his time is spent has not changed much since youth, “I am now over the hill, at 40 years old, and still love [playing] the bass”. He continues, “The feelings I have on and off the stage at a venue are the best in the world. I don't ever plan to stop playing for people.”
Todd Behny, drummer for Anodyne, seconds Dodge’s sentiments regarding the satisfaction of entertaining, “My favorite part of playing is seeing the crowd have as much fun as I am playing for them…”
Behny has been tapping out the beat since age 10 when he rattled his first snare. In school, he eventually became involved in choir and performed the tri-toms in marching band which, “…took 1st place 4 years in a row at state finals,” for percussion. Behny played in a variety of bands following high school, ultimately finding a good fit with the family-like members of Anodyne. He says, “I have currently been playing with ANODYNE 4 years now and we are having a blast doing it.”
Todd Schoettmer, lead guitarist and background vocalist for Anodyne, did not realize his flair for the guitar until the age of 16, following a brief three year affair with the drums. He says he first picked up an aging acoustic guitar and began to learn to play, “…thanks to my brother Tim who was a big influence on me”. Schoettmer claims it was merely all practice until he bravely ventured out in 2005, joining his first band, Lynchpin. Following Lynchpin he established the connection and the ideal fit with Anodyne. He explains with enthusiasm, “I just love the way we can keep a tight friendship through the years of jamming at all the various places...”
Even with all the warm-fuzzy appreciation for performing and entertaining, any live band can attest to the fact that there still remain certain challenges. Anodyne simply says, “LIVE SOUND…,” to sum up their primary frustration when performing. Each venue introduces a variety of issues and obstacles acoustically to consider when attempting to produce a high-quality sound. Shanan Shafer works to manage the sound quality for Anodyne as he considered by the members to be, “…the behind the scenes magic.” He runs the sound for each show and is always on standby when something, on stage or off, is amiss. Anodyne declares, “Shanan has really saved the day on more than one occasion… He works as hard as the rest of us do keeping things sounding great.”
Shanan Shafer began learning the task of sound management when wife, Julie Shafer, was in-need while working with the band Higher Ground. Julie frankly and appreciatively states, “It helps having such a supportive husband. He has faith in me at times when I don't have faith in myself.”
The close-knit team of Anodyne has been playing “classic rock, southern rock, and a little country thrown in for good measure” together for four years and has no intentions of changing anything in the near future. The members explain their collective view on the melodic combination they have accomplished, “…things only seem to be getting better and better. This band has been such a great match of people and personalities. It's very comforting on stage to know what everyone else will be doing, almost as well as you know what you're doing yourself…Things that might cause other bands that are not so in sync to melt down on stage end up being nothing more than a minor hiccup.”
Generally Anodyne can be found performing in local clubs but also they participate in benefits whenever possible. They say, “It's nice to be able to use your music to help others in need.”
Do not suffer through another demanding work week without seeking the soothing sounds of Anodyne! This unquestionably talented and diverse female-fronted cover band will turn your week around with the light-hearted fun-filled evening necessary.
Anodyne is scheduled to play in Akron at Susie’s Sandbar 5/19; at Leiters Ford Tavern 3/24 and 5/05; and at The Plymouth Eagles 4/21. They are also available to perform at weddings, private parties and festivals. To find out more information on Anodyne and the members you can find them at www.facebook.com/anodyneband. Email Julie at anodynerocks@comcast.net or phone 574-835-3573, for bookings and information.

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