Soul Searchers
Although they recorded, The Soul Searchers never had an official 45-rpm release.  Due to the song, a cover of ‘Can I Get A Witness,’ being played on the radio, however, they became very popular from Tallahassee to Daytona.  While not the group’s leader, guitarist and vocalist Anthony Martinich was responsible for reuniting the band, and they still perform occasionally in their home state of Florida.
Anthony Martinich and Tim Ballentine

Still Searching For A Witness
An Interview with Anthony Martinich of The Soul Searchers

 
60sgaragebands.com (60s):  How did you first get interested in music?
Anthony Martinich (AM): My early and seemingly uninterrupted attendance at the First Baptist Church drew me into music. When I was a pre-teen I joined the junior choir where I learned the correct techniques for projecting my voice and how to harmonize. Like many kids, my parents were divorced so I did not see my father much, but he was a musician who happened to make his living as a painter (of houses, not canvases). Though primarily an accordion player, he could play any instrument he picked up. He did not teach me to play guitar, but I accepted his opinion that I should be able to play by listening to music and working with whatever instrument I chose. He didn’t read music, but it didn’t stop him. He showed me a few chords; I bought a Mel Bay book and then started picking out songs.

60s:  Was The Soul Searchers your first band?
AM: Yes, The Soul Searchers was my first band. Though I liked the harmonies of the choir music, I was listening to and playing songs from groups like Peter, Paul, and Mary, The Kingston Trio, and The Goldebriars, as well as tunes from pop vocalists like Ricky Nelson, Johnny Mathis and Dion. I started singing folk songs with several friends, but we never performed anywhere other than at a high school talent show. I was really not interested in performing rock and roll until The Beatles came along. In fact, rock and roll to me was Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis and I wasn’t interested in them. The Beatles were something entirely different and that changed everything about my musical direction, except continued participation in the church choir to pacify my mother. Almost from the moment I saw the Robert Freeman cover of Meet The Beatles, I knew I had moved musically from folk to rock.

60s:  Where and when was The Soul Searchers formed?
AM: In 1964, Dru Lombar had an instrumental-only group called The Crescents. We met when his band played for a party at my girlfriend’s home; really the band just came over with their gear because she wanted a band and they were willing to play. We all attended Fletcher High School in Neptune Beach, Florida. I was in eleventh grade and the guys in The Crescents were in ninth or tenth grade. I was intrigued that these younger guys of thirteen and fourteen already had a band. As it turned out, Dru wanted a vocal rock band, so we talked about putting together a group. Dru and Fred Hawkes (drummer) had lived next door to one another since they were four years old and now surfed and played music together. Rod Highsmith was the other guitarist who departed when I began playing guitar rather than just singing. I recruited Tim Ballentine (also a junior) who learned to play bass as we went, but more importantly had a good voice. As a gimmick, while Rod was with us, we added Conrad Peterson as a second lead singer. Both Rod and Conrad did not stay with the group long.

Conrad Peterson and Rod Highsmith
60s:  Why did the group decide on the name The Soul Searchers?
AM: For a couple of days, we were The Buster Cherry Group, a name Dru concocted. I got the joke, but I knew we would never play anywhere we had to give an adult the name of the band. All our friends at school thought the name was hilarious and encouraged us to keep it, but we changed the name before we played our first gig. As I was still into the spiritual quest as a kid in the church choir and because I liked The Searchers, I suggested The Soul Searchers as a name. Almost for the lack of any other viable alternatives, we agreed on the name and started looking for gigs. About the name, though we did the obligatory soul songs, we never saw ourselves as a soul band. Nothing was further from our idea of where the band was headed. The name just sounded “intelligent,” which The Buster Cherry Group certainly didn’t. Even with our choice of names, we didn’t please the adults. As early as 1965, an article in the local paper applauded us for having recorded a song we wrote, but couldn’t understand why we didn’t choose a name like “The Melody Boys” instead.

Although we started out with six people, with Conrad and I fronting as double lead singers and Rod playing second guitar, we were quickly down to four players. Within weeks, Dru fired Rod and I became a guitarist as well as a lead singer. Conrad was a professionally trained dancer, so he was a natural on stage, doing the Mick Jagger thing and interacting with the crowd without intimidation. Even at thirteen or fourteen, he was participating in major stage productions and soon began to miss band gigs, simply not showing up. While a lead singer as confident as Conrad was good, paring the band down to four players made us a tighter group.

At one point, I was approached by The Emotions, another local Jacksonville Beach band, to take the place of their lead singer/guitarist, Gary Goddard. At first, I thought the brothers, Russell and Preston Gilbert, were kidding me because of how good Gary was. He is still playing professionally after all these years and has worked with some important players in the business. In spite of the invitation, I chose to stick with The Soul Searchers. Tim was asked to sing for another band. Each of us had opportunities to work with other groups. As a band and as friends, we were very close. Once we got down to four members, we kept that same configuration the entire time we played together.

The Soul Searchers were: Dru Lombar - guitar, organ and vocals; Tim Ballentine – bass and vocals; Anthony Martinich – guitar and vocals; and Fred Hawkes – drums.  As mentioned, there were two others initially with the group: Conrad Peterson – vocals and tambourine (he really played it, not just banged it around) and Rod Highsmith – guitar.

Fred Hawkes, Tim Ballentine, Dru Lombar and Anthony Martinich

60s:  Where did the band typically play?
AM: Our first gig was at the Jacksonville Beach bandshell where we made a total of $6.66 (from a coffee can passed around the audience while we performed). We played school dances, city and private teen clubs, a bar in Daytona Beach, sorority/fraternity parties and the Jacksonville Beach Auditorium (later called Jax Beach Coliseum and then the Flag Pavilion before it was demolished). I recently put together a list of thirty places we played, most of them multiple times.

60s:  Where were you based? Where did you practice?
AM: The communities of Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, and Atlantic Beach adjoin along a seven mile strip of A1A on the coast of Northern Florida. In the early sixties, we lived that small-town surfing experience. The school was just blocks from the ocean. Dru lived one block from the beach.  Dru’s mother had helped Bill Hixon out with a loan to open a surf shop in Neptune Beach. Although none of us had our own car or truck, the Hixon’s Surf Shop van was at our disposal anytime we needed it – whether to get to gigs or to where waves were breaking. We turned Dru’s parent’s detached garage into a combination band room and surf shack. We insulated the walls and covered them with grass cloth. With surf boards, wax, wet towels, and our musical gear lying around, it became the perfect hangout – a great place to practice. A Fletcher teacher who lived next door to Dru used to call the cops when we played past sundown, so we got a bad name with the teachers from the very beginning of the band. We spent most of our free time after school in the garage practicing, if we did not have a gig or were not with a girlfriend. The way we moved stuff in and out of the garage, it seemed like we must have played somewhere every weekend. 

60s:  How far was the band's "touring" territory?
AM: We played as far west as Tallahassee and as far south as Daytona. We also ventured into Georgia to Savannah and St. Simon’s Island. We played many gigs right on the ocean – at band shells, clubs, motels, and parties. We, as have many other bands, got booked (as opposed to planning it themselves) as some major group. Because we could do very close renditions of songs by The Zombies, one agent, whose name I remember but will not mention, booked us as The Zombies. We thought we were doing really well until an argument arose during a break when some of the audience kept telling us we were not The Zombies. It confused them when we agreed so readily. The large crowd had been sold tickets (for $1 each) believing The Zombies would be playing. Once the audience realized we were not trying to pretend to be someone else, they settled down and enjoyed the music.


Fred Hawkes

60s:  How would you describe the band's sound?  What bands influenced you?
AM: Though surfers, we were more influenced musically by the British Invasion sound than by The California sound. We liked The Beatles, yet we preferred performing songs by The Yardbirds, The Animals, The Kinks, The Zombies, and The Rolling Stones. With three strong singers – originally four – we all took leads and added harmonies, competing to out-sing the others. We could do songs by The Beatles and The Hollies as well as the single-singer songs of The Stones and The Animals. We did not care enough for The Beach Boys to tackle their harmonies and only worked up a couple of their songs because it seemed obligatory as a beach band to have them ready.

60s:  Did you play any of the local Florida teen clubs? 
AM: One of our earliest gigs was at a private teen club in Atlantic Beach called The Down Under, put together for a party by a high school girls club (Y-teens). The gig was so successful that the mom whose dance studio housed the club continued it as a teen club for a year. We played there more than any other group. Because it was fitted out as a dance studio, mirrors covered most the walls. Though the room was fairly small, reflections in the dimly-lit mirrors made it seem like the room went on forever and was filled with thousands of people. Some nights in that low-ceilinged space with only the door for ventilation, there were more than 100 kids crammed inside.

Overlooking the ocean in Vilano Beach near St. Augustine was a two-story wooden structure that had seen better days, even in the sixties, when it was a club for teens called The Outer Limits. We played the venue on several occasions although I almost got us fired before we set up the first time. The owner told us that we had to open every set with the instrumental of the same name as his club. With all the puffed-up pride of a fifteen year old with a song on the radio, I told him we didn’t know the song and didn’t want to learn it. He said that we could just get our junk out of his club. As we had just lugged it all up stairs, I caved in and we agreed to play the song. The first set we just walked through the tune so we could do the songs we wanted. But, by the end of the night, we had gotten into the song and started switching instruments. I think we wound up adding the song to our repertoire because it was something different.

We played The Warehouse in Tallahassee (I think that is what it was called in the sixties). The Bitter Ind was the house band and lived in the upstairs of the old building. The band needed a stand-in group, so we did the gig. We also played a private teen club in Live Oak (or Lake City) called The Barn. I remember the owner’s sons were in a band and had incredible equipment. It was like walking into a great music store, all that Vox equipment and Gretsch, Hofner, and Rickenbacker guitars.

We played the Southside Women’s Club – competing with groups like The Bushmen, The Illusions, and Mouse & The Boys, but preferred to stay on the east side of the intracoastal waterway. Even so, we played the Northside, Southside, Tredinick, and Woodstock teen clubs, as well as the Keystone Pavilion in Keystone Heights and The Ravine Gardens in Palatka.

60s:  What do you recall about the Fletcher Breakfast Klub? How did the band land that regular gig?
AM: Back in 1963, at Fletcher, Mike (Monkey) Sanders got the idea to have an early-Friday morning pep rally at a local restaurant where the cheerleaders, coaches, and players would host a coffee and donut breakfast. Somehow, he managed to convince kids to pay money to come into a public restaurant. He booked the group he played drums for – The Scott Wiley Band – to play. This near-weekly event during football season became a tradition as the Breakfast Klub. The Klub was spelled with a K because Monkey organized it under the guise of the Key Klub (youth version of the Kiwannis Klub). We got a chance to play one Friday and were the band for nearly a year. Unlike Monkey’s band, we were paid nothing – except swats from the dean of boys for being late to school. Because we had to load everything up from Dru’s garage, set it up at Roland’s Red Barn Barbeque, play, then get it all back to the garage before going to school, we were frequently late. I remember getting three swats for being tardy almost every week we played. When the dean noticed I was not wearing socks with my Bass Weejuns, I got another three. At some point we wised up and let other bands in on the experience. 

60s:  Did The Soul Searchers participate in any Battle of the Bands?
AM: We played in several battles. I will never forget one in which all the bands were set up in a barn, each in their own stall. I don’t think we did particularly well in that one. I remember that at the end of the battle, Bobby Goldsboro sang with the winner. I always wondered how the band knew the song, if the outcome of the battle were not predetermined. 

We also played in a battle at a teen club called The Sugar Bowl in Jacksonville. We tied to win with a group called The One Percent, which later became Lynyrd Skynyrd.

We were Vox equipment freaks, having gotten rid of our Fender amps and Farfisa organ. We played in a regional Vox battle of the bands sponsored by Hanaford’s Music at the Jacksonville Beach Auditorium. The Soul Searchers placed high in the standings, but we did not win.


Tim Ballentine and Dru Lombar

60s:  Did The Soul Searchers have a manager?
AM: Our first manager was Rangatan Rick – a WAPE AM radio DJ. He liked us enough to get us into a recording studio. He booked us in some battles, teen clubs, and the Jacksonville Fair. As was always the case, Dru sought out someone to represent us because he knew we were too young to be accepted by most people as a viable band. In fact, we lost one job Rick got for us because the organization’s representatives came to audition us and kept asking where the real band was (they had heard our tape on the radio). When we started playing, they believed we were the ones on the tape, but told us we were too young for the audience.

Don Walton (owner of Don’s Guitar & Pawn in Jacksonville) booked us occasionally. Though not actually our manager, he got us gigs when he could.

Also not our managers, Ron McVey and Sidney Drashin of Jet Set Enterprises booked us all over Florida and most frequently as opening bands appearing at the Jacksonville Beach Auditorium. That venue became our home base whether we were the opening act, the main group, or just there listening to and meeting other groups.

We always wanted a real manager – preferably one of our parents, like so many other groups – who had our best interest (musically and personally) at heart, but that never happened. Don, if not one of our parents, would probably have been our best choice.

60s:  How did your parents feel about the band?
AM: Dru’s mother was incredibly supportive, signing notes for and shelling out money for whatever we needed, but she was not the manager type to book us. None of the other parents was really against the group, but did wonder why we were not focusing on schoolwork. My brother, already a high school math teacher, was especially curious and concerned. My mother, a strict Baptist single mom, had all the worries about rock and roll that most adults did. But, as long as I kept going to church and singing in the choir (which I did), she accepted the band.

In retrospect, so many of the bands like The Teddy Bears and The Illusions had parents who not only supported, but led the bands to success. I do not mean the guys were not talented – the two groups I mentioned certainly were – but at 14-16 years old, adult encouragement was critical.
 

60s:  How popular locally did The Soul Searchers become? 
AM: With the airplay that ‘Can I Get a Witness’ received on WAPE (number one requested song on the Top 5 at 5:00 for weeks) our sound was recognized. However, we were a band from the beach, which I think hurt us. Most of the live music in Jacksonville was from bands in the city or from Georgia. When we made the trip to Marvin Kaye’s Music Store in Jacksonville to stare at equipment we wanted or to buy strings, very few musicians knew we were a band, not just wannabes. The success of the one song didn’t last long.

We had a loyal following on the west side of Jacksonville. A few years ago at work I received an email from a new employee who asked if I were the Anthony Martinich who played with The Soul Searchers. She was one of the girls who used to hear us at a club called The Sugar Bowl in Jacksonville.

Our true fan base was the beach crowd who heard us at the Jacksonville Beach Auditorium and at other gigs at the beach. Ironically, I found out years later many fellow high school classmates went to hear the band, but were not aware I was one of the singer/guitarists.


60s:  What were some of the national acts that you played with or opened for?
AM: We opened for groups like The Knickerbockers, The Left Banke, The Music Machine, The Gentrys, The Outsiders and The Animals. 

When The Knickerbockers did their sound check, we were standing in the middle of an empty Jacksonville Beach Auditorium. The headliners were permitted to use the PA system that was reserved for adult functions, like graduations and civic meetings. When the guitarist played the slide from C to D and the three singers cried out, “Lies,” the sound was incredible, but immediately the PA choked. I don’t know why Dru and I as kids got involved, but we found that the single word had blown the PA fuse. After a couple of replacements, we resorted to one of our “fuses,” a piece of paperclip cut and jammed into the slot. The PA held out for the performance. As the opening act, we had to use our PA. When The Knickerbockers came on with their voices and the “real” PA, the difference was astounding.

I think we got the Left Banke gig because Fred had a Ringo-styled Ludwig set and the Left Banke’s drummer did not bring his kit. At another of the gigs where we were the opening act, the manager of The Outsiders offered Dru the position of lead guitarist; that is, until he found out Dru was only fourteen and in ninth grade.

Amazing how you forget certain aspects of some gigs. I suppose I was more concerned with playing well than for whom we opened, but Tim reminded me that we opened for The Animals when they played at the Jacksonville Coliseum. A few years later, I was with another group that opened for Eric Burdon and The Animals during the ‘San Francisco Nights’ period.

60s:  Your group released one single that I'm aware of.  What was the flip to ‘Can I Get A Witness?’
AM: We recorded ‘Can I Get a Witness’ at Sound Labs. I believe it was on Edgewoood Avenue in Jacksonville. In spite of the song’s popularity, The Soul Searchers fall into that category most garage bands find themselves: a no hit wonder. None of our songs – not even ‘Witness’ – made it to vinyl. We recorded Witness’ and four other songs, two of them originals. The closest any of these tunes came to being a 45, was transfer to an audio disk demo. I remember we were so excited about getting a demo of ‘Empty Heart’ and ‘Blue, Blue Feelin’ that we talked a restaurant owner into putting it into his juke box just to make people listen to it. What we heard was embarrassing. The demo was the size of a 45-rpm, but was recorded to be played as a 33-rpm. We sounded like chipmunks and everyone in the restaurant laughed. We retrieved our “hit single” from the jukebox and left. Even though we never had huge success, I can identify with artists who talk about nearly running off the road when they heard their songs on the car radio. Though our songs never made it into the stores, we went crazy anytime a song from The Soul Searchers came over the airwaves on WAPE.

60: What do you recall about the recording session?
AM: What I remember about the session was a sense of urgency in laying down the tracks and how my fingers ached from playing a twelve-string acoustic guitar on our two original tunes. Someone in the studio decided that rather than use my Danelectro Bellzouki twelve, an acoustic guitar would be better. That decision was unfortunate: what were intended as rock and roll songs became bland ballads. I also remember that I did not feel we were in control, probably a typical response most musicians had of their first session. Yet, I do remember we were very excited by the playback, and actually hearing ourselves playing and singing.

60s:  Whose idea was it to cover ‘Can I Get Witness’?
AM: Dru wanted to do the song because he had gotten into playing the Farfisa organ. He also preferred the rough R&B of the early Stones recordings, cuts like ‘Hitch Hike,’ ‘Walkin’ the Dog,’ and ‘Empty Heart.’ We played the song almost from the first time we got together. It was one of those regular progression rockers that suited us. I would have liked one of our originals to have been our signature song, but ‘Witness’ got the air play. In retrospect, our version did have a strong drive and gave us an identity. It didn’t hurt that the song made us sound older than we were, either.


Tim Ballentine

60s:  Did The Soul Searchers write many original songs?
AM: I wrote several songs, recognizing early that we needed to write our own songs if we wanted to be successful. The Beatles taught us that part of the business. The first tune I wrote was ‘Thinking of You.’ Dru also knew we needed our own material, so it was not hard to convince him to add this first song, even if it were not really our style. While we had one decent original song, it had no arrangement and the performance lacked dynamics. I had intended the song to sound something like ‘Tell Her No’ by The Zombies. Instead, it came out as a slow ballad. Dru and I collaborated on another song, ‘One Step Ahead,’ that incorporated an interesting 12-string guitar lick. This song had some potential, a kind of a Beau Brummels flavor. I continued to write songs, but Dru was not as easily accepting of them as he had been, so the other songs I wrote for the band in 1965-1967 have just sat – chords and lyrics scribbled down, but were never performed. I never even brought them out for the other guys in the band to hear. If it sounds like Dru decided what we played, you understand exactly the way it was. From the beginning, Dru ran the band even though he was the youngest. Every band has to have a leader. Dru was ours.

60s: Apparently the only copy of some of your tapes was taken by “Rangatan Rick.”  How many songs did the band record in all? Are there any other recordings?
AM: We recorded four songs at Sound Labs besides ‘Can I Get a Witness.’ On the tape Rick had were ‘Empty Heart’ and ‘Blue, Blue Feelin’ (I have a demo disk of these two), ‘Thinking of You,’ and ‘One Step Ahead’ (no copies of these last two song exist). I wish I could contact Rick (Northcutt) and locate a copy of the tapes, though I imagine they have long since been destroyed or recorded over.

At a later session, we recorded three other songs – all covers – that have remained on a single tape all these years. In all the time we were together, we recorded only eight tunes.

60s:  What about other recordings?  Are there any vintage live recordings?
AM: We recorded at Dave Plummer’s Cypress Studios now in Jacksonville Beach. Back in 1966 the studio was down a sandy road in Palm Valley, south of Ponte Vedra – really in the woods. When the band broke up, I told Dru I wanted one of the tapes of the songs we did. He gave me a small reel-to-reel tape that I carried around for over thirty-five years. I tried many times to get it transferred to a cassette because I was sure something we did was on it. When Tim (the bass player) finally found someone to do that, it seemed there was only one song, ‘Can’t Stop Lovin’ You,’ on the tape and that song by another band. One night I put headphones on and listened to the tape from beginning to end. I had just about fallen asleep to the hiss of the tape when the cassette player auto-reversed. I was startled to hear a Vox organ playing the turnaround to a verse and then my voice. Although in very rough condition, I had located part of one song, ‘Roses Are Red’ (no, not the Bobby Vinton song), and two complete songs – ‘Leave Me Be’ (Zombies tune) and ‘If I Needed Someone’ – that we recorded in 1966 at Plummer’s Palm Valley studio.

Don Walton is still looking for a live recording he made of the band when we played the Starke Armory. To this day, he swears that we were as good as any of the bands he booked or heard play in the area at the time. He especially remembers our versions of Hollies tunes, like ‘Look Through Any Window.’ Sadly, he cannot find this tape of our only live recording from the sixties.

60s:  Did the band make any local TV appearances? 
AM: Several local bands were on TV – either as part of a local event or on their own shows – but The Soul Searchers never appeared on TV or were video-taped. We have some video of the group since the reunion, but only a few pictures of the band from the sixties.

60s:  When and why did the band break up?
AM: This question makes an interesting segue from my previous response that the band was close as friends and musicians. Tim and I graduated from Fletcher in 1966, but did not want to break up the band, still hoping someone would offer us a record contract. Rather than accept admission to one of the four-year universities, we went to the closest accredited college we could afford – St. Johns River Junior College. During that first year, we both put the band ahead of school, driving back and forth between Palatka and Neptune Beach. One weekend we came back to the band garage to find Dru playing with another band. I think that assemblage became The King James Version. As spontaneously as we had formed The Soul Searchers, the band dissolved, and with it the dream of a career in music. Tim stopped playing music with any band. Fred and I along with Sonny Clyatt, a bassist we knew from high school merged with a Palatka band called The Sons of Men. Within the year, Fred, Sonny, and I left to join John Paul Jones (keyboardist, singer, guitarist) as a foursome dubbed A Sundae Mourning. This last group recorded three covers: ‘Walk Away Renee’ (too much like the original), ‘Daytripper’ (a la The Vanilla Fudge), and ‘Hey Joe’ (a Hendrix-influenced version). I do have those tapes. Fred, Tim, and I have remained friends though for nearly thirty-five years we played no music at all together.

60s:  What was the catalyst for the Soul Searchers’ reunion? How often do you perform today?
AM: In spite of the way we broke up, I always wanted us to play together again. I ran into Dru while he was recording Grinderswitch albums with Capricorn Records. We spent a few days together in Macon, even writing a song together. I asked him about getting together to play a little, but he just laughed. Later, when he led Dr. Hector & The Groove Injectors, I approached him when he was performing in Jacksonville Beach; he half entertained the idea. The band almost got together for my 20th class reunion, but Dru was booked. Three years ago, some of the “girls” from his Fletcher class contacted him about playing for their class reunion. The class wanted to re-create a Breakfast Klub, with The Soul Searchers playing. Quite unexpectedly, he got in touch with me and I encouraged Fred and Tim. I was surprised, but neither of them really wanted to do the reunion.

Once I got everyone at my house and started talking about playing, all the objections turned to ways we could get around the obstacles – from equipment to geography. Fred is an attorney in Tallahassee, so he had to agree getting together again would be worth the travel. We received an amazing amount of local newspaper coverage regarding the reunion, which inspired us to start playing again as The Soul Searchers at clubs and private social events. The real obstacle was that Dru was still touring and recording with Dr. Hector and with a new lineup of Grinderswitch. He was either in the studio or on the road most of the time. We did what we could, but with a drummer in another city and another player on tour with two bands, spur of the moment gigs were impossible though we played as much as we could. A year ago, Dru passed away from a massive heart attack, shaking the three of us so much that we decided not to play again.

Though The Soul Searchers had always been “Dru’s band,” in a conversation with him only a few months before he died, Dru said, “it’s your band now; you are the reason we got back together.” After a brief pause, he added, “So, where’s our next gig, man?” That exchange encouraged me to ask Tim and Fred to play again. We are now performing as a trio, sporadically, though as intensely as ever. Our most recent gig was an after-performance party at The Hippodrome Theatre in Gainesville for the production, Shout! The Musical. With only three instrumentalists and one fewer vocalist, we have had to adjust our arrangements, but we play the same songs. We have no plans to add personnel as we like working as a trio and audiences like what we do.

60s:  How do you best summarize your experiences with The Soul Searchers?
AM: The Soul Searchers as a band and as a group of friends were the focus of my high school days. Everyone – girlfriends and family included – recognized how important music was to me. Nothing got in the way of practicing and playing. My professional life has taken the paths of literature and project management, but my experiences as a member of The Soul Searchers are my most treasured memories. Even though we never made a hit record and were not as popular as many other local bands, the band was a success. So, not only was The Soul Searchers my first band, it remains my band – with three of the four original members still making music after forty years.


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Soul Searchers - 'Roses Are Red' (Snippet - Unreleased)
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Soul Searchers - 'Leave Me Be' (Unreleased)
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Soul Searchers - 'If I Needed Someone' (Unreleased)
Anthony Martinich
Dru Lombar
The Soul Searchers
Fred Hawkes
The Soul Seachers
Tim Ballentine
The Soul Searchers
Tim Ballentine and Dru Lombar
The Soul Searchers
The Soul Searchers