Local band returns from tour

Will Wells

Kent soul has begun to go national.

With seven days on the road and more than 2,500 new miles under their belt, Winslow has returned home to Kent knowing what it’s like to outgrow “local band” status.

“We had success around this area, but you never know what’s going to happen when you leave the friendly confines of Ohio,” said Maurice Martin, singer and manager of Winslow.

The band’s tour started June 8 in Cincinnati, and took it as far as Miami, with many of the shows being great experiences in what Martin calls “less than ideal circumstances.”

In Edgewater, Fla., the band played in front of fewer than 20 people, but the crowd was louder than its number.

“The band thought: ‘Where are we? Why are we here?'” said Carissa Bowlin, Winslow’s director of media relations and Kent State alumna. “But they ended up with one of the most positive, appreciative crowds of the tour.”

Nearly everyone who bought a CD that night asked for an autograph, Martin said.

Winslow’s tour was booked by Rich Halo Booking, a Virginia-based artist-representation agency whose former clients include Incubus and Blink 182.

“The band hooked Rich Halo,” Bowlin said. “I think they realized that Winslow isn’t what you hear on your radio these days – in a good way.”

Justin Hofmann, Winslow’s drummer and Kent State alumnus, said the band’s goal on the tour was to perform in any city and have the crowd be just as excited as audiences back in Kent.

“A large reason we have this confidence on stage is because of the support from people back home,” said Martin.

Winslow will be back in Northeast Ohio this month, with shows in the Cleveland and Youngstown areas. The band plans to return to the Kent club scene this fall.

Contact performing arts and entertainment reporter Will Wells [email protected].