UAD “Kings of the Fall”
Hollis Mathis is a retired foreman from the Department of Public Works in the City of Syracuse. He worked there for over 35 years. Isaac Wynn has driven for Centro Bus Co. for nearly as long. They are the founding members of the singing group UAD.
Hollis is known for his powerful falsetto and vocal range. If you think of Phillip Bailey or Eddie Kendricks you will be in the right arena. Isaac’s voice on the other hand much like his personality is like that of a smooth jazz radio announcer’s. It never rises above the threshold of calm but spreads easily across the vocal harmony, just as the announcer’s does over the airwaves. Together their voices help to sweeten UAD’s sound.
Over the years the pair has performed a great number of shows and sometimes likes to use their shows as a platform to salute and give honor to women. They are especially noted for their annual Mother’s Day shows where they cover a whole set of tunes paying tribute to mothers, and women in general. A few of their crowd favorites are, “Treat her like a lady” by the Temptations; “I’ll always love my momma” by the Intruders and “Heaven must be missing an angel” by Tavares.
UAD’s presentation is similar in style to some of the stand-up singing groups popularized in the 60’s & 70’s like the Temptations, the Whispers or the Four Tops. When they hit the stage dressed in their high fashion matching outfits audiences reminisce while enjoying the group’s choreographed display of dance moves. Occasionally, for a broader appeal to younger audiences the group will use their tight vocal harmonies to revamp newer RnB flavored hits while keeping within their old school style.
Their first show under the UAD moniker was in 1997. It is an acronym that stands for Uplites, Avatar and Destiny. Those are the names of some of the groups that Isaac and Hollis were a part of dating back to their teenage years. In 2014 they added the tag Line “Kings of the Fall” in recognition of their status and longevity.
Filling out the group’s front line are vocalists Richard Linzy and James Brown. The textures of Brown’s and Linzy’s voices add body and substance to UAD’s sound.
Linzy’s voice has authority. During the week he relies on it as vice principal at TJ Corcoran Sr. High School. On the weekends though, it can be heard blending with the male chorus at Peoples AME Zion Church and of course while he’s performing with UAD. In the past he has sung with the Soul Mine band and the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company.
James Brown has a big voice as well. It is as big as the shoes it has to fill because of the name he shares with “the Hardest Working Man in show business”, that is, “the Godfather of Soul – (the late) Mr. Dynamite - Jaaaames Brown.” Lol! Over the years his powerful voice has beefed up the vocals parts of many popular local bands including, Lil’ Georgie & the Shuffling Hungarians and the After FX Band. (The AFX band also featured Hollis). James’s relationship with Isaac and Hollis dates back to his childhood as well.
Isaac, Hollis, Richard and James are UAD “Kings of the Fall”.