Somah was formed by Dave Wendell and Joe Bowman in their high school days at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, CT. They recorded and wrote together in Dave’s basement in Norwalk, CT for more than a year before meeting bassist Greg Goldman through a close friend of Dave’s and Greg’s, John “Jay” Daly.
Somah began to build a following playing concerts in Wendell’s basement for groups of 20 or more fans, with Daly frequently filling in on keyboards. They briefly had a lead guitarist, and Daly was eventually replaced by keyboardist Jake Lambertson. They also enlisted the services of sound expert Charlie Campbell, who became as much a member of the band as the musicians themselves.
Joe, Dave, Greg, Jake, and Charlie branched out, playing high school talent shows and local public events. Later they began playing local bars and restaurants. They then planned and executed a national tour in 1994, and also began playing the college party circuit. Before long they were routinely playing several nights a week and had built up a strong following, and would frequently play large music festivals and gatherings.
In 1996 Somah relocated from Fairfield County, CT to Burlington, VT. The move placed them in a more strategic location to embark on mini-tours (usually 3-4 days at a time) in which they would circulate the northeastern states and then return to their home in Vermont to continue writing and rehearsing. They also became regulars at The Metronome, Nectar’s, and other Burlington local venues.
In 1997 Charlie Campbell left Somah to pursue a career as a freelance sound engineer in NYC, where he still lives and works today. This had a devastating effect on the band, who had depended on Campbell to shape and direct the sound they produced. They continued for the better part of a year, until Goldman announced his intention to begin college full-time in January 1998. They played their final show at Nectar’s, the venue that launched Phish, in January 1998.
Goldman moved to Arkansas to pursue his undergraduate studies later in 1998, and Bowman and Wendell remained in Burlington. Before long they began working on a recording project with Daly, truly one of the founders if not catalysts of Somah, and released the album The Union Street Project under the band name Somah.
Each member of Somah has gone on to do different things. Campbell is a freelance sound engineer in NYC. Wendell played with local Burlington bands before relocating to Portland, OR. Bowman became a businessman and entrepreneur. Lambertson moved to California and worked in the music promotion and management industry before he became involved in the wine brokering trade and moved to NY. Goldman played with Arkansas-based rock band Sigmund Blue (sigmundblue.com) and then became a clinical psychologist based in St. Louis, MO. Goldman also has a solo music catalogue (greggoldmanmusic.com).
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