The Soul Rebels
Imagine blending the sounds of Mardi Gras funk, soul, R&B and pop so seamlessly it defies category. Now shrink that idea into an eight-piece brass ensemble, add a hip hop sensibility plus 100 years of New Orleans jazz tradition, and you get the New Orleans sound known as THE SOUL REBELS.
The Soul Rebels grew from their traditional New Orleans brass style out of the desire to play the music they heard on the radio, but with respect to the New Orleans brass band tradition. The band has gone from a local New Orleans favorite to live collaborations with Metallica, Green Day, Galactic, Trombone Shorty, Slick Rick and shows with Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Seal, Cee Lo Green and Estelle.
In January of 2012, the band released its first international album, Unlock Your Mind, on Rounder Records. This new song-driven studio effort includes guest appearances by Cyril Neville, Trombone Shorty and Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli.
Since Hurricane Katrina, The Soul Rebels have been more successful than ever serving as an international ambassador of the New Orleans sound represented its hometown on television, appearing in the season finale of the HBO series Treme, Conan O’Brien, ESPN, NPR, BBC, NBC, and the Discovery Channel.
The Soul Rebels continue charting new territory today, combining top notch musicianship and songs with grooves that celebrate life in the time-honored New Orleans style.
Cave Music / kAv myoozik / It's like House, but its more wild, more jagged, more free, more natural to live in.
"Whoever thought of a band with two saxophones and a drummer? That's the stupidest idea, right?" Moon Hooch saxophonist Wenzl McGowen asked the crowd at a recent gig. Well, Wenzl, James Muschler (drums) and Mike Wilbur (saxophone) never intended on forming a band together. The three guys graduated from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan in 2010. Wenzl and Mike shared mutual contempt, each one thinking the other was a cocky sax-o-phony. And while they were both correctly judged each other, they eventually learned tolerance when Wenzl moved in to an apartment with James, next door to Mike.
The three began busking in the subway and in the city's parks. At the same time, Wenzl was producing House music and writing House for saxophone. When the guys played this music in the subway, people immediately began dancing.
The lovechild of a studio experiment that was never meant to make it out into the wild, Los Angeles’ American Royalty constructs an unlikely yet glowingly functional blend of dark garage rock and poignant electronica. This creative soundscape is topped off by the two vocal leads of Marc Gilfry and Billy Scher, whose pipes both seem to fall somewhere in the realm of where eerie and soul meet back on the other side; altogether resulting in one of the most innovative sounds to haunt independent music today.
The psychedelic blues-rock three piece has already begun making their mark on the road over the past year, turning heads in the touring circuit with their unorthodox stage set up, a penchant for sprinkling in reworked bits of both the classic and obscure, and an explosively energetic and entrancingly unique live performance.
Above all else, Billy Martin believes in the power of unguarded expression to capture glimpses of the truth – sometimes only fleetingly, sometimes for extended, intoxicating stretches. He pursues the ecstatic and the insightful from a variety of vantage points: as a drummer and percussionist, as a composer, as a filmmaker, sculptor, visual artist, and even as a carpenter. To varying degrees, each endeavor is marked by Martin’s dearly held belief that unfettered improvisation and an honest commitment to the moment at hand can bring about new levels of understanding, new perspectives, new sonic textures, and a more profound emotional impact. “In any circumstance, any medium,” he reflects, “you need to be sincere with yourself and with your audience. This is who you are, and you’ve got to be trying as hard as you can to create something for the situation that’s new and fresh. There are going to be some mistakes, it may not be perfect, but you’ve got to be willing to take that chance at any given moment.”
Maceo Parker: his name is synonymous with Funky Music, his pedigree impeccable; his band: the tightest little funk orchestra on earth.
Everyone knows by now that he’s played with each and every leader of funk, his start with James Brown, which Maceo describes as “ like being at University “; jumping aboard the Mothership with George Clinton; stretching out with Bootsy’s Rubber Band. He’s the living, breathing pulse that connects the history of Funk in one golden thread. The cipher that unravels dance music down to its core.
“Everything’s coming up Maceo,” concluded DownBeat Magazine in a 1991 article at the beginning of Maceo Parker’s solo career. At the time Maceo was remembered by aficionados of funk music as sideman; appreciated mainly by those in the know. More than a decade and a half later Maceo Parker has been enjoying a blistering solo career. For the past sixteen years Maceo has been building a new funk empire, fresh and stylistically diverse. He navigates deftly between James Brown’s 1960’s soul and George Clinton’s 1970’s freaky funk while exploring mellower jazz and the grooves of hip-hop.