Storm Roberts (from Facebook 10-8-2018)· I get to work with a lot of local bands and Friday at Chomp The Block I was blown away by Fast Lane!! What a show. They played everything — Rock, Pop, Jazz, salsa. From Michael Jackson, to Talking Heads to Motown! Their lead guitarist, Scott Free, played with Bo Diddley for decades! I highly recommend this band!” - Storm Roberts

— Facebook

One of Gainesville's best bands, if not THE BEST. Caught them (again) at the Downtown Community Plaza last week - what a show! Accomplished musicians all, covering everything from Sly to Talking Heads to Chuck Berry, even a little tasty country too. Definitely a "can't Miss" group. (JR, 5-19-2017)” - JR

— Facebook

Fastlane, I wanted to let you know how much you all brought the house down and the people to their feet. Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE at the wedding was asking who you were and saying you all were one of the best bands they've ever heard. I agree. I had never heard you play before but hired you at the suggestion of others and I'm SO HAPPY I did. I am now an official groupie.  I thought the dance floor under the stage with the lights and floating lanterns made the night magical and you were the pilots of the night, taking the guest on a ride they'll never forget. I still have people telling me they haven't danced that much in YEARS. You all were so powerful there were even three people out on the dance floor who were in active Chemo therapy! Music is the best medicine.  I will never forget dancing with my father and my newly minted husband. You helped make the wedding a magical experience, which we will never forget. Many, many thanks, Skye White ” - Skye White

— email to FAST LANE

You all rocked! It has been wonderful working with you. You are very professional and talented, Everyone came up to me to tell me how great the band was. I can't thank you enough for the fun and funk you brought to our wedding, We will reccommend FAST LANE to anyone.   thank you,   David and Adrienne Ostrov” - David/Adrienne OStrov

— Note to the band

Sweet Gig! Fast Lane was a stellar band all around. Nearly all of our 120 attendees were up on their feet and dancing to the funky beats of Fast Lane. The band was fun, personable, and a pleasure to work with. Would recommend them to anyone hosting a banquet, reception, or corporate event. Our attendees have requested them already for our event next year. Thanks Fast Lane! Hired by: Lisa W.” - Lisa W.

— Gigsalad.com

We booked fastlane about 7 to 8 months in advance for our wedding in Miami Florida. We had alot of requests for specific songs for our reception. Fastlane's only request was that we get them what we wanted to hear a few months in advance and they would easily accomodate. True to thier word they delivered on what we wanted to hear and then some. Most impressive was that only about a 3rd or so of our request were on thier song list that they posted on Gigmasters. Every guest was impressed with the band and we partied. We would highly reccommend Fastlast for any event. If you want a professional talented band Fastlane is the best choice by far.....” - A. Archie

— gigmasters.com

Dear Vernon,   I am writing to thank you and the band for one terrific night of fantastic music and fun. Everyone has been commenting all week on how good you guys are. So Many people danced, laughed and had fun. You and your band made it a great party.” - M. C-S

— letter to FAST LANE

hey Vernon, this is very overdue but i wanted to say thank you for playing such a great show at our wedding back in October.  Katie and I absolutely loved you all and had a fabulous time. y'all brought the funk, and that is what the NOLA crowd is always looking for. many, many thanks for a great memory.” - Jeffery and Katie F.

— letter

Fast Lane Beating the Rain With music, sometimes you just have to take a chance.  There it was, the first day of summer, and rain poured down.  But one of my favorite bands, Fast Lane, was scheduled to play the Bo Diddley Plaza downtown as part of the Free Fridays Concert series downtown.  Every Friday night, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., we get treated by Alachua County to a free concert outdoors under the stars (http://gvlculturalaffairs.org/website/programs_events/plaza_series/plaza.htm.  My husband, Ken’s band, Uncle Morty’s Rhythm Cream, is scheduled to play July 19. But we were both excited to go see Fast Lane, and we’ve been looking forward to it for weeks.  Fast Lane was scheduled to play as part of African American Music Appreciation Month.  So, even though it was raining hard, we decided to take a chance, grab some dinner and head downtown.   The band was already on stage, playing their hearts out to an almost empty crowd as the downpour continued. But lo and behold, after a few minutes of tenuous weather, a break in the rain occurred and the crowd began to gather.  The gods of music smile on Fast Lane. All they had to do was start the first few notes of a song and the crowd went wild – they couldn’t believe what they’re hearing.  You’re a shining star, no matter who you are. One reason the band is so popular is because they are so great at capturing the hearts of the crowd.  The range of the lead singers, Lacy Lou Gifford and Michelle Banfield, is impressive.  Michelle has a solid range and an amazing voice, perfect for the soulful songs.  Lacy’s voice is higher but strong and engaging.  Guitarist Bo Digitally is a master showman.  He gets the crowd going and keeps the band at a fever pitch.  These three began the night in brightly colored costumes and then changed halfway through.  How many bands do you know have a lead guitarist in bright green pants and a yellow shirt with flowers, playing a red guitar?  How about lead singer Lacy in her little skirt and green camisole, or Michelle, who went from patriotic colors to a brown and gold silk tunic and brown boots?  They literally dance the night away. A little thing like a costume change just thrilled the audience, especially the college kids who had wandered in from the various restaurants in the downtown area.  These kids were really funny.  They originally started across the plaza to their cars, and I’m sure they had no intention of stopping to listen to some local band they’d never heard of.  Then Fast Lane started playing again, and the groups stopped, stared, open-mouthed, and never left till the end of the concert. This band gets the crowd going every time, even in the midst of a stream, which the Plaza basically was.  Little children played in the wet grass and came up soaked. An elderly gentleman began break dancing – yes, really – and for a moment, the crowd stared.  Were we going to have a crisis?  He moved so slowly on the one-handed turn we were afraid – would he get up or should we call for backup?  On the other side of us, a high school couple danced.  The girl moondanced in front of her friend, who shyly , subtly gyrated.  Then suddenly, inspired by the music, he reached over, grabbed the girl up off the ground and hoisted her up to his waist.  He swung her around, and she screamed, startled but thrilled. I look over and two ladies in their sixties are dancing next to each other.  They could be sisters.  They have the same dark skin, short hair and big, bright smiles. At the front of the stage, a woman in a white hat points to the piano player, Vernon, who points back, laughing.  I don’t know what type of instrument he has – a portable piano he can wear around his neck?  Never seen anything like it.  Of course he goes back and forth from his  real piano to his mobile device, so there’s never a break in the action. An older couple comes forward and dances – the woman, who has long hair tied down her back, dances enthusiastically, like she’s doing the old dance, The Pony (and she’s old enough to remember it.)  The guy, long hair tied down his back, dances back and forth like those of us who couldn’t dance did in the early seventies.   She’s definitely getting the better workout. Dancing and singing and moving to the music – play that funky music white boy. Pony girl is wild with joy. In the center of the plaza, a bunch of older women help a couple of young girls do the dance, the Electric Glide (or maybe they knew it as the Hully Gully, which is what it was called when I was in high school).  As the women dance, more and more people join in and soon the kids are rocking and turning like pros. Photographers have appeared out of nowhere, complete with tripods and expensive cameras. The lead guitarist goes to the front of the stage, stands on the edge, and plays till the crowd is literally jumping for joy.  The sisters have moved closer to the stage.  The breakdancing old man is holding both hands up in the air, signaling number 1 with both thumbs. The drummer, Josh Hoffenberg, was fantastic, and for a band that plays as much open-ended music as Fast Lane, this was a challenge.  But Dave Baggaley, also on guitar, is no slouch!  Bassist Keith Ladd was excellent.  Pianist Vernon Montoya was amazing, pulling all those master showmen together. The band had a few new sounds that evening – Perry Hornkohl played saxophone and an incredible flute, while Uncle Morty’s trumpet player, Doug Myers, played his usual amazing horn music.  Doug told us later that the band was tough to keep up with since they changed their set list frequently.  But I think that’s one of the amazing things about Fast lane – they are so versatile.  They give the audience what they want. And what we wanted was just what we got – a night of hot music under the stars after the rain had washed the world clean and cooled everything off.  Sometimes, you just gotta take chances.     ” - Wendy Thornton

— Sounding the Depths (http://floridawendy.typepad.com/sounding-the-depths/)

12/18/2011 Tonight's going to be a Good Good Night It’s Saturday night and I have the first week off before Christmas that I’ve had in years, maybe in my life.  We decide to go out to see one of our favorite bands, Fast Lane, at an infamous downtown bar called Lillian’s (http://www.gigmasters.com/Music/Fast-Lane/).   Lillian’s has been a Gainesville institution for as long as I’ve been here and that’s a long time.   Today was fall graduation day so the town is kind of quiet. Most of the students have gone home for the holidays.  The ones who are still here are a little older, tend to live here year-round.  We get the best seat in the house, a booth right by the front window.  We can see the crowds walking by on Main Street, and we can see the band from our airy seats above the crowd.    The lead singer  SLIMMI HEMPSTIX/SKYNTYTE (Scott Free), says, “What were you doing in 1968?”  Then he laughs.  “I know.  Some of you weren’t even here in 1968.”  The band launches into “Everyday people.”  What a great song.  J ust when you think it can’t get any better, they keep the medley going with “Proud Mary.”  The old fogies join in, “Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river.” The young kids listen in amazement.  They sorta recognize this song.  They sorta like the dancing. “Proud Mary keep on burning.”  Some little chickie in a teeny black dress wags her bottom in our faces.  I sorta wish she would take her tiny charms down on the dance floor.  My husband doesn’t :)   I love it when VELVET (Michelle Banfield)  and   LACE (Lacy Gifford) take their microphones into the audience.  It’s so cute to watch a semi-drunk college student suddenly realize that the vocalist they’re dancing to is actually dancing and singing right next to them.  Lots of hand motions ensue – you are so cool; no you are so cool; no you are so cool….  Good times!   Do I need to say that all the band members are fantastic.  Well, yeah!  DR. ROCKINSTEIN (Vernon Montoya) plays the piano with a frenetic energy that perfectly matches DOPAMINE (Sebastian dela Calle) on the bass and the new drummer (new to me, anyway), TIM-BRRR (Tim Mulberry)   slams it on the drums.  Soon the tables are empty – everyone is dancing.  With the exception of me on my computer and Ken on his iPad.  Geek city up here in the cheap seats.   I remember spending some crazy nights in Lillian’s.  Mostly, alas, I don’t remember, because I used to drink back then.  I remember some of the bands were good, and I loved them, but the haze of alcohol prohibited me from recalling their charms.  Now the music positively energizes me.  At the break, I compliment Michelle and Lacy on how great their show is, how much we enjoy all the new songs.  They say, “We work really hard.”  It’s true.  One of the hardest working bands in Gainesville, and THAT, folks, is saying a lot.   Frankly, now that I don’t drink, it’s a lot more fun going out.  I know the songs, I love the music, I go home with a fine appreciation of the artistry.  And hey, the people-watching isn’t bad, either.  Gainesville after the students leave is a nice place, peaceful, upbeat.  There’s more tattoos and pickup trucks than designer dresses and $100 haircuts.  The new Hampton Inn across the street is lit up for Christmas.  The Downtown Plaza has these cool blue lights with icicles that light up and down like some kind of magic potion is being poured through them.  The night is warm and the young girls are dressed in their sexiest little dresses.  The boys wear t-shirts and skin-tight dark jeans and everyone is smiling.  Every once in a while, a proud set of parents will walk by with some young just-graduated  attached teen, the boy or girl looking longingly into the bar, wondering how long it will take Mom and Dad to go to sleep at the Hampton so they can REALLY celebrate graduating.    The crowd goes crazy over Cee Lo’s “Forget You,” just as they do when Ken’s band sings it.  It’s such a cute, funny song – of course assuming that you sing it with the Forget you lyrics instead of the lyrics which shall remain unmentioned.  And the Black Eyed Peas, “Tonight’s going to be a good night.” Old and young kick it up.   On the wall there is a painting of a voluptuous naked woman reclining on a feather bed.  She is very old-fashioned and I didn’t really notice the painting when I first came in.  It’s rather retro – looks like something out of the Renaissance.  But when Fast Lane get’s going on the song, the painting begins to sway in time to the insistent drumbeat, do it, do it, do it, of the new drummer. Remember, I have NOT been drinking  - it’s really swaying.  The effect is that the naked woman is dancing, her heavy-set body a cute counterpoint to all those tiny little dancing girls.  I don’t really mind that I, alas, look more like the painting than like the college kids.  I used to look like them once upon a time, and I don’t remember having the fun I’m having now.   Outside our window, the Occupy people hang out on the Plaza, in sleeping bags, waiting for the coming cold front.  Diligent supporters of freedom, impressive in their committment.  They know it’s going to be bad.  It’s tough to hang out without shelter when a cold front comes through, just like a homeless person.  It’s going to be wet and the air becomes frigid. I admire their courage.   Fast Lane tells me they will play the Plaza on New Year’s Eve and I’m already making plans for the night.  Can we sneak in a small firepit?  Maybe I could loan it to the Occupy Gainesville guys and they could hold it for me till New Years’ Eve.   Ken says we’d all go to jail, but hey, that could be a good opportunity to bring demands into the open, right?  Free fire all year round!  Can’t wait till New Year’s Eve! ” - Wendy Thornton

— Sounding the Depths (http://floridawendy.typepad.com/sounding-the-depths/)

The Fast Lane played at my wedding in October 2010, and was a HUGE hit! We knew we wanted to hire a band, hoping it would make the event more lively and get everyone up and dancing instead of sitting at their table waiting for the next thing to happen. Fast Lane provided not only music, but ENTERTAINMENT all night, no guest was left waiting for what happens next. They made all the announcements throughout the evening fun by singing a jingle instead of bossing the herd of guests to the next room. I am not exaggerating in that the FIRST compliment we get from 90% of guests is for the band. Vernon is so professional in the booking and details. Will not be disappointed” - Kelly S., Orange park, Fl