By: David M. Higgins II, Publisher
I had a chance to catch up with some relative newcomers to the Southern Maryland cover band music scene, the acoustic guitar and vocal duo is known as Tell You Monday(TYM). TYM currently consists of vocalist Brandi Syndor and guitarist/vocalist Mike Aughe. They are self-described as an “acoustic duo covering a wide range of artists from classic rock, country, and pop genres”
The original iteration of Tell You Monday began as a full band back in the year 2012. They played together for a few years but were eventually forced to disband due to unforeseen circumstances. The beginning of the end for the original TYM came when one of the members moved to Florida to be with his girlfriend. Soon after that, other members of the band, including current member Mike, began having children and settling down. These significant changes in their lives left them with little to no time for the pursuit of playing music, and thus ended the first version of the band.
Fast forward to 2018. Brandi’s husband and Mike were both stationed at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Brandi and her husband went over to Mike’s house one day, where Brandi and Mike decided to jam. They found that they had similar tastes, as well as an instant and effortless musical chemistry. They started out slow, carefully choosing a setlist of songs that would be familiar and enjoyable to the audience, while simultaneously remaining personal favorites of Brandi’s and Mike’s.
I always enjoy finding out the origin and meaning behind a band’s name, as everyone seems to have a unique process for arriving at this very important aspect of their audial artform. TYM did not disappoint in this regard. Back in 2012, when the project was first formed, the original full-band lineup had been practicing for some time, and they had their first gig coming upon, you guessed it, a Monday. When the venue owner asked what name to put on the bill, they told him that they would have one for him on the day of the show. Starting on the Friday preceding that first gig, Mike Aughe and the other members began actively brainstorming to come up with an official band name. As the weekend waned on and the time remaining before the show grew short, they still didn’t have a name that everyone was happy with. Mike, feeling a bit exasperated, said to the other members, “We said ‘We’ll Tell You Monday’ to the venue. Maybe that should just be our name.” In an inadvertent stroke of genius born from a bit of frustration, they had arrived at their alias.
On that note, Brandi and Mike would like to send a light-hearted message to venues and fans alike. When you ask them what their name is, and they say, “Tell You Monday”, they aren’t being rude or buying time to think about it, as has been the misconception more than once.
I was interested to know what musical artists Brandi and Mike draw influence from, in order to create their own vocal and guitar playing styles, respectively. Brandi revealed that her biggest influences are all female artists, as she feels she can relate more closely with them and their vocal stylings. Her top three singers are Kelly Clarkson, Faith Hill, and Christina Aguilera. Mike’s favorite musicians include the legendary Led Zeppelin, Rockville, MD natives O.A.R., and classic rock icons Pink Floyd.
Tell You Monday just played their very first show back in July of this year at Toots Bar in Hollywood, MD, making them one of the newer acts in the area. They have since played a handful of gigs, getting into the flow of their live performance. They have a few more shows booked between now and the end of 2019, and they have plans for 2020. Next year, they are hoping to play more venues, potentially expanding into music markets outside of the SOMD area. They are also looking to reach more people and build a larger following in 2020.
Mike and Brandi both discoursed a bit upon the virtues of performing live as a duo versus playing with a full band. Brandi did not think that people playing as an acoustic duo would be able to have as much fun as those who play in a full band. She quickly discovered that they were able to bring just as much energy and get the crowd just as pumped up as any full band. Mike had some similar misgivings about the fullness of performing with only two people, but he now feels that performing with such a minimalist setup has made him a better musician, overall.
Without several other instruments filling out the sound, he found that, were he to make any mistakes while playing, they would be glaringly obvious. This motivated him to reach new levels of precision as a guitarist. When you check out their live video clips or go see them live, it will be easy to understand how they bring the energy of a larger group to the stage. Mike’s tight, concise guitar playing and Brandi’s beautiful, crystal clear voice hitting all of the right notes coalesce with their genuine smiles and upbeat stage presence for an entertainment experience that is uplifting and makes you want to hit the dance floor.
Despite the fun they are having as a two-piece, Tell You Monday has been toying with the idea of returning to their original format from 7 years ago, as a full band. Brandi has also recently begun the journey of learning to play the guitar while she sings, utilizing YouTube as a learning resource.
As many of us know, this can be a fantastic tool for learning a myriad of skills and trades, being that it is rife with a plethora of information on countless subjects. One must always remain judicious in mining for knowledge on the internet, however, as there is just as much misinformation as there is useful information. That being said, Brandi may also be considering taking some guitar lessons from Mike at some point in the future in order to speed up her learning process.
Brandi and Mike are having a blast doing what they love, and they want to share that joy and energy with as many people as possible. They have had a very positive and encouraging response in their short time performing together, and they look forward to bringing their positive, joyful energy to a venue near you!
I highly recommend that you make it a point to go out and see Tell You Monday perform at one of the gigs they currently have booked between now and the end of 2019. Here are all of your chances to do so:
- Thursday, October 17th– ABC Lounge- California, MD at 10 p.m.
- Saturday, October 19th– Tap House 1637- California, MD at 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, December 12th– ABC Lounge- California, MD at 10 p.m.
Live video clips of Tell You Monday–
Wanted Dead or Alive (originally by Bon Jovi)–
Linger (originally by The Cranberries)–
You can find Tell You Monday on both Instagram and Facebook: