Groove Agency KC
The Groove Agency Band in Kansas City - Frequently seen at The Levee in Kansas City
Groove Agency Band - The Groove Agency Band was founded in 1996 by Joey (Syron) Dale, Terry Hamillton, Adam Blue and Scott Fromm. The Groove Agency band eventually added drummer Remon Grayson (Funky Rexx) to complete the lineup. The Groove Agency played regionally until Adam Blue landed them a steady weekend gig at The Levee in Kansas City. The Groove Agency name was originally "The Agency" named after the rehearsal space that they rented called "The American Agency" - Adam Blue later changed the name to The Groove Agency in 1998.
Today The Groove Agency band only has two original members in Terry Hamilton and Scott Fromm - the guitarist and the saxophonist. The other two founding members and lead singers Joey Dale and Adam Blue left the band to pursue other avenues and projects. Adam Blue currently leads the famous Kansas City band "The KC All Stars" who were recently voted "Kansas City's Best Band" by KMBC-TV. More information on The KC All Stars at our Kansas City wedding band listing - KC wedding bands.
Groove Agency KC Booking and Photos
This is a historical account of Groove Agency by an official Groove Agency KC founding member - All Photos Courtesy of ABP Inc. - All Rights Reserved 1996
The Early Years
The Groove Agency made their debut appearance in 1996 at a dance club in Northtown. It is always a mistake for a live band to perform in a dance club that is used to having only a DJ! To make matters worse, when it was time for the Groove Agency (known only as "The Agency" at that time) to take the stage, the DJ played their first song of their set "This is How We Do It" right before the band went on!! It was a nightmare for the unkown Kansas City band, as they had planned out their setlist perfectly and they were going to kick off their show with the hottest hit on the radio at the time Montell Jordan's "This is How We Do It". The band was waiting backstage to be introduced, and for the DJ's last song he spun "This is How We Do It". This put Groove Agency in a frenzy and they were forced to skip the song and go straight into a Sly and the Family Stone song that the audience had no idea what it was. They cleared the dance floor and stared at the band like they were from another planet or something.
At this point Groove Agency KC was prominent corporate event Kansas City band but the problem with a live band performing in a DJ dance club is that a live band can't possibly keep up with the latest songs that are out at the time and a DJ easily can by pushing "play". Most bands, including The Groove Agency have a large backlog of songs that are from older generations and DJ club dance crowds want to hear only the freshest and newest hit tracks. This is why, at this particular show, The Groove Agency failed miserably. Had the DJ not played "This is How We Do It" right before the band was supposed to go on and perform the song, the night might have swung in their favor. The band was told to "cut it" after just one short set and each band member made $50. The booking at the club was the idea of the band's "booking agent" who happened to own a Kansas City modeling agency called "The Agency", where the band rehearsed and also took it's name. Once the band failed to impress the audience that night, the booking agent and owner of "The Agency" modeling took less of an interest in the band and stopped putting out effort to book the band. They would now be on their own to book their own shows...
Enter Joey Dale, better known as "Syron", one of the founding members of The Groove Agency and the leader of the band. The band's next show would be booked by Syron at a small party thrown for his fellow workers at Bartle Hall. The audience was comprised mostly of Syron's black coworkers who were not at all impressed by the band from song one. As any live musician knows, most black people do not like live bands and prefer a DJ. If they do like live music, it is usually "straight ahead" jazz, or the blues. When The Groove Agency came out and attempted to play some old Motown and R&B like Janet Jackson and Sly and The Family Stone, the audience sat with their arms folded and did not move, dance or applaud AT ALL throughout the entire show. Instead, they shouted at the band "play some 2Pac!" - again, proving that a predominantly black audience wants to hear rap music and current R&B and have absolutely NO interest in old school R&B. This show proved to be disaster number 2 for The Groove Agency, but they went back and rehearsed and got ready for the next chapter and they were becoming a popular charity fundraiser entertainment option in Kansas City by this time!
The Agency then decided to change their name to "Groove Agency" at the suggestion of Adam Blue, another founding KC member, lead singer and keyboardist. The band stopped rehearsing at The Agency on Broadway and began rehearsing in Joey Dale's basement. They fired their female vocalist who was a poor singer at best anyway, and then tried to get the attention of some local KC booking agents. The first booking agent that they approached was the aging Gary Mack from Gary Mack Productions. This proved to be a failure as Gary was out of touch with the modern live music audiences and was stuck in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Most of the acts that he represented were corny and cheesy old tuxedo bands that played the same old songs over and over and stood lifeless on stage like they were about to croak. When Gary heard The Groove Agency demo, he was not very interested. As Adam Blue sat in Gary's tiny little office, Mack popped in a video tape of what he thought a "real band" should look and sound like. Gary put on the cheesiest, most horrific crappy KC band that Adam had ever seen - they were actually singing "Longer" by Dan Fogalberg! And it was even worse than that - it was a husband and wife singing to each other with this corny backdrop. Everyone in Kansas City still tells this story as it has become legendary. It was obvious from the start that The Groove Agency and Gary Mack were not on the same page. Still, Gary Mack made a few attempts to mold the band into what he wanted. Mack would bring over female vocalists to audition for the band including Karen Davis, who auditioned very poorly and couldn't sing any of the band's songs well. Mack then brought over Katrina, who although had a lot of energy, could not sing very well - although she would later improve greatly on her vocals and join the band Xplicit. After the band refused to accept any of the female vocalists that Gary Mack brought over, Mack decided not to book the band. It was at this time that The Groove Agency decided to march forward without a female vocalist and just become an all male band with Joey Dale and Adam Blue sharing lead vocal duties.
Disco Dick and The Mirror Balls and Simplexity Take Over
With it's last gasp of air, the crumbling United Entertainment booking agency took on a fresh new KC band called "Disco Dick and the Mirrorballs". This band suddenly jumped to the top of every nightclub's list of bands to book. With one of the best band names ever created, Disco Dick and the Mirrorballs quickly hurdled over The Groove Agency just as they were on their way to the top. Other bands like Simplexity were also in the mix for Kansas City's best band, and the three bands could be seen performing one right after another at the same nightclubs. Simplexity had their own night at The Levee, which was Wednesday night. The place would be packed to the rafters, but, as often happens in a somewhat urban environment, shots would ring out in the parking lot. This prompted The Levee to give The Groove Agency a shot at the steady Wednesday night spot. They had approached Disco Dick and the Mirrorballs several times to do weekday and weekend slots but they were charging more than The Levee wanted to pay for a band.
After a rough two year start, with less than 4 shows booked, Adam Blue took over the booking duties for the band. Proving early on that Blue had a talent for booking bands (he is now the CEO of a National band booking agency, he started getting The Groove Agency's foot in the door in the Kansas City music scene. After courting a local small KC nightclub called The Levee for several months, The Groove Agency got a few chances to prove themselves serving as a substitute for the band Hothouse, who held the steady "house band" position at The Levee. The Groove Agency was fresh and had an energetic stage show thanks to Joey Dale and Adam Blue, who incorporated dance steps and brought energy to the stage. Soon Adam Blue brought in a trumpet player to round out the horn section and also brought in Funky Rex on the drums to add some much needed funk to the band's sound. The Groove Agency became powerful and a force to be heard in the Kansas City band scene, and soon other KC bands started to copy their style and come gather around at shows. As their popularity grew, Adam Blue stepped up to The Levee management and offered to be their permanent house band. After about 3 months, and the breakup of the band Hothouse, Adam Blue landed them the job. They would now be the headline band at The Levee every Friday and Saturday night beginning on January 1st, 2000.