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Giving physics some soul

The Congregation

The Congregation performing live (Hooper is fourth from right). (Courtesy: D T Kindler)

By Michael Banks

It seems as if Fermilab physicist Dan Hooper has finally hit the big time. Not for his latest theory on the Higgs boson or dark matter but rather through his involvement in the soul band The Congregation.

Guitarist Hooper formed the band about three years ago and it now consists of a drummer, bass player, singer, horn player and keyboard player.

On 9 August the “60s-era soul band” opened a joint gig by the US rock bands Garbage and the Flaming Lips in Madison, Wisconsin. “The show went great – although we did get some rain,” Hooper told “We were well received, and had a great time.”

Not resting on their laurels, the band is getting ready to release its latest album on 28 September. Right Now Everything will be available to buy on the band’s website.

Hooper, who goes by the stage name Charlie Wayne and who also writes the band’s lyrics, says that the band steers clear of anything physics related, as well as any rock-band antics. “We don’t do a lot of smashing guitars and such anymore,” says Hooper.

So will the band’s success force Hooper to give up his physics career? “I can’t imagine doing that,” he says. “Doing physics is the best job someone like me could have – even compared with playing rock and roll for a living.”

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