Band of Professors Rock the Alley Cat

Photo Credit: Ashley Rollins
Photo Credit: Ashley Rollins

Favela, a band of UWG professors, brought a new sound to Carrollton in their performance at The Alley Cat Friday, Feb. 20. The songs were split into two sets of eight songs each, with a short intermission between, and consisted of covers from all over the world. Portuguese, Japanese and English are the main languages of a Favela set. Favela’s members are five current professors and one retired UWG employee. Muriel Cormican, a German professor, beautifully croons the lyrics and occasionally plays small percussion instruments. Her husband and fellow German faculty member, John Blair, jams out on guitar. Chad Davidson, professor of English, plays the eccentric beats on the drums. Kevin Casper, assistant professor of English, grooves on the bass. Keyboard player, Don Rice, is the Department Chair of Psychology, and Bobby “Bobby” Johnson plays the keyboard.

The Alley Cat, located on the square, is one of the only and definitely the most unique venue in Carrollton. The venue/bar quickly filled up with an enthusiastic and diverse crowd.

“It’s kind of cool to see everyone mixing there,” said Casper. “The regulars, students, and faculty… no one is really uncomfortable. It’s just cool.”

Many of the attendees seemed to enjoy Favela’s smooth sound; some couples even slow dancing in the walkways. Favela provides a unique and soothing Friday night experience. Usually jam bands are found in a college town bar, but Favela is bringing a lesser-known genre to the West Georgia population. This group provides the ultimate soundtrack for a relaxing night.

Bossa nova is a genre of music that originated in Brazil in the mid-1950s.

“It’s a Brazilian pop jazz,” said Casper. “When Miles Davis made ‘Kind of Blue’, he just kind of slowed down jazz bop. Supposedly the guys in Brazil heard that record and did the same thing to Samba music.”

Favela pays tribute to the history of bossa nova with their choice of songs. The second set featured “Chega de Saudade” which is often considered to be the first recorded bossa nova song. They also play more popular, award winning bossa nova tunes such as “The Shadow of Your Smile,” featured in the first set.

The current Favela lineup began playing together about a year and a half ago when Casper came to UWG and Davidson had the desire to start something different musically. Bossa nova music contains very interesting drum pieces, emphasizes rhythm and horns, and features songs in several different languages.


The band “happened very naturally,” said Casper. “I bought the bass and an amp about a month after I was here.”

The band only plays bossa nova cover songs but allegedly there are some originals floating around. The name, Favela, is a Portuguese word that means “working class, down trodden neighborhood,” said Casper. “Kind of how we say the projects.”

Casper and Davidson can also be seen performing in a band called the Wayne Shackelford Interchange. This band also solely performs covers. Each semester the band chooses one classic band or artist to pay homage to. Last semester they covered Van Halen songs and the upcoming performance will pay tribute to Neil Young.



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