Beanstalk returns for this Sunday's Old School Reunion at Skipper's

Local bands come and go, but there are always those few that make such a lasting impression, that burned so hot and so bright in their heyday, that they are remembered and talked about long after they're gone. Case in point: Beanstalk, an instrumental, funk/jazz/jam trio that peaked in Tampa nearly a decade ago and is still the standard against which subsequent local jam outfits are measured.

Unfortunately, Beanstalk took on too much too fast and burned out after less than four years together.

Beanstalk grew from some casual jam sessions in 1997 between three talented Tampa musicians — drummer Aaron Kant, guitarist Joel Lisi and bassist Andy Irvine (pictured at left). The trio culled from jazz, funk, soul, blues and rock 'n' roll; the grooves were so good that soon enough they were working up material by Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, James Brown and others to play live. During one session, Lisi idly fingered the vocal melodies to a tune they were learning, and Irvine and Kant realized the group didn't need a singer, that Lisi could manage all the lyric parts and still convey the feeling.

"That's where the Beanstalk sound was born," Irvine told me last week when we met to discuss the past, present and future of the band. Click here to read more.

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