Joel Paterson and The Modern Sounds is a Chicago based rhythm trio featuring Joel Paterson on guitar, steel guitar and vocals; Beau Sample on string bass and vocals; Alex Hall on drums and vocals. This big little band is dedicated to performing traditional American music, specializing in hot jazz, western swing, rockabilly, classic blues and everything in between. The Modern Sounds are on the cutting edge of the Atomic Age—bringing you the best of the 30's, 40's and 50's.
Guitar ace Joel Paterson hails from Madison, Wisconsin and has lived in Chicago for many years, performing with various bands including Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms, The Wabash Jug Band and Kelly Hogan's Wooden Leg. He currently fronts The Modern Sounds and Joel Paterson's Blues Roundup. Joel can also be seen playing pedal steel with The Western Elstons. Slap bass virtuoso Beau Sample is from San Antonio, Texas. He spent a few years on the Austin music scene and has recently made Chicago his home. Sample has toured the world and the U.S. many times over, fronting his former band Cave Catt Sammy and backing up Elana James. Alex Hall is from Chicago and is a very talented drummer and recording engineer. He is the man behind the "Chicago Sound" of Ventrella Records and Tapes.
Joel, Beau and Alex founded Ventrella Records in an effort to get rich quick or go broke slow, depending on how you look at it. Ventrella released two CD's in 2008. "A Chicago Session" features The Modern Sounds backing up boogie woogie piano master Carl Sonny Leyland. "Steel is Real" showcases the pedal steel sounds of Joel Paterson. In June, 2009 The Modern Sounds released a specially priced double length album. The two CD set features "both kinds of music" they play—one disc is titled "Hold It Fellas...It's the Modern Sounds," featuring their rockabilly and blues set. The other disc is titled "Stomp Stomp," and features their hot jazz and swing side. Minimally mic'd and using no overdubs—The CD's have captured in the studio the great live set of the Modern Sounds.
The Modern Sounds can be seen playing around Chicago at various nightclubs including The Green Mill, Buddy Guy's Legends, The Hideout, Katerina's, Pete Miller's and Fitzgerald's.
Winner of The Chicago Reader's "Our Reader's Choice" award for "Best Jazz Act," 2009.
“Joel Paterson kinda defines who the ideal session guy should be: selfless, musical (i.e., not a technique monger) and born with impeccably good taste. His sympathetic hollowbody makes the rock, jazz, country, rockabilly or swing he's backing come alive.” – Timeout Chicago
“Clearly, the members of Modern Sounds were being ironic when choosing a band name. The trio sounds like a holdover from an era when Willie Mays still roamed the outfield and school desks doubled as bomb shelters. The Sounds allow Paterson to test the limits of his guitar...Paterson bends and folds notes as though his instrument were made of molten steel.” – Andy Downing, Chicago Tribune
“There's something charmingly unpretentious about Paterson's self-styled mixture of jazz, country swing and other genres he brings to steel guitar. Yes, the historic origins of this music may be apparent, but Paterson brings his distinctly lyric voice to it.” – Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune