Jokes and laughs abound when the multitalented members of the new funk band LOVEBITE play together. "It's funk, R&B and rock — funk rock," said Inger Jorgensen, one of two female lead singers in the band. "Frock," said Jacob Ackerman, who plays bass. "We're West Coast funk," said Jorgensen, "Sixties San Francisco style funk."

"I think it's like Ashland style," said Kevin Conness, guitarist.

With six members in the band, anything and everything is a debate. Even deciding on the name for the band took several days of text messaging back and forth. But one thing they can all agree on is the fun funky sound of their group.

"I played with Funkamungus and just fell in love with the whole vibe," said Shannon Harris, the other female lead singer in the band. "It's all about the rhythm section."

"It's Funnnk," said Jorgensen.

"It took us a long time to put it together and to get the right crew and songs and stuff," said Ackerman. "So I feel really blessed and grateful to have this group working really hard. I've wanted to have a funk band for a really long time."

LOVEBITE was originally conceived by Harris and Ackerman in the fall of 2011. Since then they have added Jorgensen to share lead vocals with Harris, as well as Conness on guitar, Jeff Stanley on guitar and Matthew Kriemelman on drums. All the members of LOVEBITE are credited with backing vocals as they all sing in addition to their instrumental contribution.

"Jeff and I went to high school together, and he saw us playing as he was walking by one day and decided to join," said Ackerman of Jeff Stanley, who recently returned to Ashland after performing and living in Sydney, Australia, for the past nine years.

"Then Matthew just fell out of the sky," said Harris of Kriemelman. "We met him at Alex's one night." Kriemelman recently moved to Ashland from Las Vegas, but for the month of June he will be back in Las Vegas performing with The Blue Man Group, so percussionist Noa Bragga will be substituting for Kriemelman temporarily.

Many of the other members are busy playing with other musicians when they are not performing as LOVEBITE. Conness plays with the band Cover Art along with Jeff Stanley's project and teaches guitar in his off time.

"I actually met Kevin that way," said Harris. "Way before we played together he gave me a guitar lesson."

Jorgensen works as a painter and sculptor when she's not sharing the stage with Jeff Pevar, and Ackerman performs with Pevar too, when he's not playing with LOVEBITE, as well as Frankie Hernandez and Stanley's project.

"It was like this or reggae, but none of us have dreads," said Ackerman. "There is not a lot here, just reggae and bluegrass. Everything else is blues-oriented and I didn't want to do that."

"I like it because it brings a lot of people out who are very excited to be dancing and being really joyful and happy," said Jorgensen. "They can't help it — it's infectious. If you have the groove, then you cannot deny it."

Since they began playing together, the members have established a real friendship which comes across through in the music and in the way they riff off each other on stage.

"We became friends through this and to have musical friends is really happy and fun," said Jorgensen. "We just care about each other so much," said Harris.

For the Tidings Café LOVEBITE performed "Kissin' My Love" by Bill Withers in Jorgensen's art studio in Talent.

"We really make our arrangements our own. We have a certain sound. We may do a cover, but it won't sound exactly the same," said Jorgensen.

"Part of that has to do with the fact that we don't have keyboard players," said Ackerman, "so we have to make up for it. Sometimes Jeff Pevar joins us."

In the future, LOVEBITE would like to incorporate more originals, but for now with so many gifted musicians, the group is able to have fun manipulating funk classics. Most unique about this group is the two lead female vocalists. The women take turns singing and it's clear how much fun they have sharing the spotlight.

"That's rare in a band for everyone to sing and to have two women up front," said Jorgensen. "Personally, I think that's rad."

Hopefully audiences going to see Hart at Britt his year on Sept. 11, will think it's rad too, when LOVEBITE performs on the Tablerock Stage before the Britt show.

"Typically in this genre there's a lot of male vocals," said Harris. "So we have to really interpret these songs differently."

"For me it speaks to my heroes like Sly and the Family Stone," said Ackerman.

At 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 9, LOVEBITE is hosting a "dance funk show" at the Jackson Wellsprings. The cost is $10. To find out more about LOVEBITE visit the website at

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