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The name may suggest DJ culture and synthetic petroleum-based substances, but this homegrown San Francisco-based eight-piece band is 100% certified organic roots groove. Fusing elements of funk, reggae, and Latin music, Vinyl has established, in barely two years since their first CD release in '97, a following throughout the western U.S. that threatens to outgrow labels like "underground" or "grassroots," and a reputation for live shows (more than 400 in the past three years) strong enough to pack S.F.'s Fillmore Auditorium to sold-out capacity. The band is Doug Thomas (saxophone/flute), Danny Cao (trumpet), Jonathan Korty (keyboards/harp), Billy Frates (guitar), Geoff Vaughan (bass), Alexis Razon (drums), and brothers Antonio and Sean Onorato (percussion).

The Vinyl sound is unique. Classic, sepia-toned vintage motifs (Hammond organ, wah wah guitar, muted trumpet, D.C. go-go-style percussion) assemble and apply themselves to a variety of rhythms and structures, from Santana-inspired Latin fusion to irie dub-wise reggae and ska to soulful, greasy funk to uptempo disco breaks that would make Isaac Hayes proud. Sometimes tough and gritty, sometimes slick and polished yet never sounding contrived, Vinyl rules a secret realm of crowded dance floors previously explored by the Average White Band and those instrumental grooves in between Beastie Boys tracks.

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