HOME BASE: Salida
PLAYERS: Earl Evans, bandleader/vocals/drummer; Ed Saunders, bass/vocals; Anthony Connelly, piano/trombone; Deanna Del-Rio, vocals/percussion; Floyd Comfort, guitar; and Gill Sabatini, vocals/guitar
SOUNDS LIKE: The Valley Rhythm Section plays a mix of R&B and funk, with some other genres sprinkled in. Its influences include performers like Cameo, Kool and the Gang and Aretha Franklin.
BACKSTORY: The band began in Salida in 1988 with a goal of becoming the best band in the valley. Its repertoire is a mix of old school, Motown, classic rock, Top 40 and jazz. Last year, the group was nominated for a Modesto Area Music Association Award for best blues/jazz band. The group also performed at the awards show that October. The group plays regularly at Clayton's and Etouffee in Modesto.
QUOTE ME: "Because of the professionalism and talent of the musicians in the Valley Rhythm Section, we stand strong with our claim to play any type of music requested of us without taking shortcuts." — Ed Saunders, group leader
NEW MUSIC: The group is recording its first CD.
NEXT GIG: Show from 7 to 11 p.m. today at Etouffee Restaurant, 924 15th St., Modesto. Other dates: Sunday at the Ceres Street Festival, May 10 at Etouffee, May 12 at Clayton's and May 16 at Etouffee.
FIND ONLINE: www.myspace.com/valleyrhythmsection