The Band

Affectionately known as SOOP, Seat of Our Pants has propelled to the forefront of the Connecticut roots music scene with their heartfelt and humorous songs. From sellout shows at The Buttonwood Tree, to the grand stage at Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den, to Podunk Bluegrass Festival, SOOP is reaching across the state with their unique mix of instruments. The distinct all-American tone of the Appalachian mountain dulcimer, the visual intrigue of the electric upright bass, the energetic beat of the cajon, the impeccable intricate harmonies, and the melodic play of the fiddle and guitar distinguish Connecticut’s one-of-a-kind SOOP. Their cornucopia of folk instruments and rock-infused songwriting are a contagiously fun experience. 

  

Songs of Rabble & Roots, to be released in late 2018, will mark the band’s first album of all-original tunes. The album is a carefully crafted compilation, recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Ira Sakolsky at Riverway Recording Studio. The songs range from the whimsical and hopeful tune “Forgiveness”, to the deeply soulful folk tradition captured in “Hands”. "Seat Of Our Pants is a great blend of musicianship and positive messages in their lyrics”, says Bruce John of Bread Box Folk Theater. While the new release highlights their songwriting finesse, both of their prior albums, Fresh Hot SOOP (2014) and Higher Ground (2016), include cover songs, which have become a beloved part of their live shows. Audiences are captivated by the band’s live synergy, as well as their unforgettable renditions of songs like “Low Rider” by War and “Driven To Tears” by The Police. 

  

The first time the band members jammed together, the synergy was so palpable that they decided to go full steam ahead as a group. With only bare-bone rehearsals under their belt, they made their first audiences swoon with a chemistry that only Mother Nature can infuse. Simply put, their performances are “magical” - Pamm Summers, Eastern CT Center for History, Art and Performance. The magic is onstage as well as in their writing. “So I guess its up to me to live life a different way. First of all I’ll make a list of all the rules I’ll break today” goes the song “Don’t Break The Rules”, poking fun of their own OCD. Graduating from the early days of winging it, the band carefully arranges each new song and performance, a virtue which creates that “magic” for the audience. 

  

Be on the lookout for Songs of Rabble & Roots this December, and be sure to catch a live show to experience first-hand Seat of Our Pants’ “sweet soup of blended harmonies, uplifting lyrics and…fun vibe”. - Anne Marie Cannata McEwen, The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center

The Band Members...

Carolyn Brodginski first picked up a guitar at the age of 10 and found her passion. Since 2011, she has added other stringed instruments to her bag of tricks, including ukulele, mandolin, and the instrument dearest to her heart, the Mountain Dulcimer. In 2016 she completed a certification as a therapeutic musician, and now plays the dulcimer at the bedside for patients at St. Francis Hospital as part of the hospital’s Integrative Medicine department. She also teaches dulcimer workshops at the hospital, libraries, arts centers, and music festivals.

Michael Frantzen came along in 2015 quite by accident (you’ll hear that story before “Touch Of The Master’s Hand”). A classically trained violin player, he never really played the “fiddle” before joining SOOP. Mike has the gift of being able to quickly play ANYTHING you sing or hum to him. This made it very easy to get him caught up on 3 years worth of music the band had been doing before he came along. Mike is an electrical engineer, lumberjack, woodworker, mechanic…..amazing he has time for music. The song, “The Fiddler’s Wife”, was inspired by Mike’s wife, Carola, who is in the audience as groupie, toting instruments as roadie, and manning the merchandise table at most shows.

Mark Hall has been drumming and singing in bands for more than 35 years. With SOOP he plays an acoustic drum called the Cajon, which he masterfully makes sounds like a full drum kit. With similar singing backgrounds in acapella madrigals, Mark and Carolyn share vocal duties, trading off on lead and harmonies. By day, Dr. Mark Hall is a Clinical Psychologist giving the songs he writes a deep and sometimes humorous take on the human condition (especially the songs that are self reflective). From June through October, he and his wife Robin can be found most weekends in Mystic on their boat in a slip at Mystic Marina.  

Jeff Gorman spends his days as an IT executive, and evenings and weekends as a musician. He has been around music his whole life starting with clarinet and saxophone. With the band he is on upright bass and harmonica, and is currently working on Dobro (resonator guitar), hoping to add a little more blues/bluegrass feel to the band's sound. Jeff and Carolyn were married in 2010, prompting a neighbor to refer to them as the "Von Trapps", with their home full of music and musical instruments.