While headliners draw the most attention at Summerfest, emerging bands and artists make up the majority of the lineup. For many of these bands, it’s a place to gain a lot of exposure from a single set. One of those emerging names this year is Chicago’s Hood Smoke, a soulful indie group that will be appearing at the Miller Lite Oasis on Friday, July 8th at 2:30 PM. We checked in with band leader Bryan Doherty, a Milwaukee native, to talk about the experience:

B&E: For those that haven’t heard, try to describe the sound of Hood Smoke:

Doherty: I like to describe Hood Smoke as a sort of indie rock band that leans towards soul and funk with the goal of moving your heart, mind, and booty equally.

B&E: Growing up in Milwaukee, what does Summerfest mean to you?

Doherty: Summerfest represents some of my happiest memories as a kid in Milwaukee. Summerfest and my parents’ record collection had a lot to do with my pursuit of a career in music.

B&E: Your latest project, “Rough Around The Hedges” has a soulful, jazzy sound to it. Who would you say influenced the sound of this record?

Doherty: It’s tough to say who influenced it. There’s so much music out there in the ether, when it comes to my turn to contribute to the music world I try to take the things that I think are great and put them into song, but not force anything. A lot of the music comes to me when I hit the pillow. It’s then a matter of sculpting the ideas that are given to me from nowhere.

B&E: Any tracks that stand out as your favorite on the album?

Doherty: There are many moments I like on the album. I really enjoy the songs with strings, “Stained Glass Saint” and “Hiding,” but my favorite is probably “Alluring Bedlamite”. That song is a lot of fun.

B&E: Lastly, what Summerfest traditions have you told the rest of the band that they have to check out?

Doherty: The sky-glider, if that’s what they still call it. Personally, I’ll be going to see Paul McCartney later that night with my family. Looking forward to it.