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Soul-R Fusion Full Bio

Painting of Soul-R Fusion by Cammeron Batanides

Painting by Cammeron Batanides

Soul-R Fusion is Tim Koehler (acoustic guitar / vocals) and Alex Goodell (fretless bass).  They started collaborating as a duo in 2015 and developed an original sound by blending diverse musical influences and unique approaches to their instruments and to songwriting.  Perhaps best described as modern bluesy-folk with a touch of singer-songwriter storytelling, Soul-R Fusion’s music highlights ethereal fretless basslines and rhythmic acoustic guitar, that together complement intelligent, heartfelt lyrics. 

Based in Wilmington N.C., the duo are focused on writing and performing their own original music.  Soul-R Fusion’s songs and live performances are uplifting, positive experiences that pull people in and make them feel good.  

Soul-R Fusion’s large repertoire of original music ranges from the humorously quixotic Slack Cat Blues to the elegant poignancy of Simple.  The duo has three studio album recordings, all recorded in Wilmington, NC: their eponymous debut Soul-R Fusion, (2016) with drummer Roger Manning, a double CD Like a Circle ‘Round the Sun, (2019), and their newest release, Everybody Knows, (2023).  And they have a whole new batch of songs that they are looking forward to recording soon!

The duo performs regularly at their local listening room, Live at Ted’s, and at the Beale Street Barber Shop, Wilmington’s Elvis themed barber shop / original music venue.  They have been featured in local original music showcases and festivals, including Laura McLean’s Songwriters Showcase, Voice and the Pen, the Hope Concert Series, and Alt-Zalea Fest. 

Soul-R Fusion’s music is optimistic and highlights the common experiences and connections people share.  The duo is currently looking to expand their range and book performances in original-music friendly venues beyond Wilmington, in order to share their music and connect with a wider audience.

Alex Goodell

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Alex started playing bass in high school, after playing classical violin throughout her childhood.  She grew up surrounded by music; her mother is a classical pianist and retired music educator, and her father is a classical music enthusiast.  As a teenager, Alex listened to a variety of 80’s British new wave music and classic rock.  Her early influences on bass include Steely Dan, Talking Heads, REM, Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, Mark Egan, Mick Karn, Colin Moulding, and Michael Manring.  She studied fretless bass guitar with Peter Princiotto and Gary Willis, and is a graduate of the Musicians Institute’s bass guitar program. 

Although she is originally from New Jersey, Alex lived for quite some time in California before relocating to North Carolina.  She played bass in a variety of groups in California, including a rock power trio and an Elvis tribute band.

Since moving to Wilmington, NC, Alex has played bass with an eclectic assortment of groups including: a county-rock band, a funk / soul band, a surf band, a retro instrumental gameshow / tv theme show / unusual medley-mash-up band, alt-jam-rock band, and a barn-jam band. 

 

But it was when Alex and Tim started collaborating and formed Soul-R Fusion that things really clicked.  Alex was initially drawn to playing fretless bass guitar because she felt it was an incredibly expressive yet underrated instrument; simultaneously subtle and powerful.  With Soul-R Fusion, Alex explores its limitless potential. 

Tim’s rhythmic acoustic guitar style allows Alex to play melodic basslines that complement his rich vocal lines.  She incorporates a variety of techniques in her playing, including altered tunings, harmonics, sliding harmonics, double stops, slap, and slides that highlight the unique qualities of fretless bass and make Soul-R Fusion’s sound unlike anything else.

Tim Koehler

Tim also grew up in New Jersey and he began playing guitar in his early teens after his
cousin taught him to play some Cat Stevens songs.  He took a few lessons early on but remains self-taught for the most part.  Tim's "superpower" has always been his ability to get to the emotional center of the song, whether it’s a cover or original.  There's something honest about his voice that pulls people in and moves them.

Tim’s influences include singer-songwriter-storytellers like Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Tom Waits, and Todd Snider.  But he mixes in a little Taj Mahal and Howlin' Wolf for good measure.

He was the lead guitarist and front man a succession of bands starting in high school and into his late twenties, ending with a popular local Monmouth County group called The Misfit Toys.  Switching from electric to acoustic, Tim became a solo act playing acoustic guitar in the Red Bank, New Jersey music scene and even occasionally dipping into the crowded Greenwich Village folk scene.  A brief hiatus from playing live occurred for a few years while he moved around from state to state.  But through all that time Tim never stopped writing and recording his original music, releasing four self-published CD's during the time between leaving New Jersey and settling in North Carolina.

In Wilmington he frequented open-mics and gigged as a solo singer-songwriter, until a chance meeting with Alex at a benefit show in Surf City, N.C. led to the collaboration that became Soul-R Fusion.

Tim is a prolific songwriter. His thoughtfully crafted and uplifting lyrics relate stories, experiences, and emotions that are brought to life by his rich, soulful vocals.  And his voice, together with his rhythmic guitar style, provides a magical sonic ecosystem for the fretless bass meanderings of his partner in music and life, Alex Goodell.

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