The New Mastersounds

The New Mastersounds

In the late 1990's, guitarist and producer Eddie Roberts was running a club night in Leeds called "The Cooker." When The Cooker moved into a new venue with a second floor in 1999, there was space and the opportunity to put a live band together to complement the DJ sets. Simon Allen and Eddie had played together in 1997 as The Mastersounds, though with a different bassist and no organ. Through friends and the intimate nature of the Leeds music scene, Pete Shand and Bob Birch were added on bass and Hammond respectively, and The New Mastersounds were born. Though it was raw, and more of a boogaloo sound at first, it was powerful from the start. Their first rehearsal was hot enough for Blow it Hard Records to release on two limited-edition 7" singles in 2000.

As a band, and as individuals, they have since collaborated or jammed with an impressive array of musicians DJs and producers, including: Lou Donaldson (Blue Note), Corinne Bailey Rae (EMI), Quantic (Tru Thoughts), Carleen Anderson (Young Disciples / Brand New Heavies), Keb Darge & Kenny Dope (Kay Dee Records), John Arnold (Ubiquity), Mr Scruff (Ninja Tune), Snowboy (Ubiquity), Fred Everything (2020vision), Andy Smith (Portishead), James Taylor (JTQ), LSK (Faithless), Lack of Afro (Freestyle), Page McConnell (Phish), Karl Denson (Lenny Kravitz / Greyboy AllStars), Melvin Sparks (Blue Note Records), George Porter Jr (The Meters), Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker (JB's), and Art Neville (Neville Brothers, The Meters)

In 2006, as well as playing club gigs in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy, the band toured the USA & Japan. In August they finished recording their fifth album, 102% (released on One Note Records in 2007). The album features collaborations with sax and flute player Rob Lavers who performed as a guest with the band on several subsequent live tours. In the same year producer/guitarist Eddie Roberts had already released a live album in Japan (Roughneck - Live in Paris), and produced a studio album of his own arrangements of traditional Italian songs called Trenta.

2007 started auspiciously - on their very first Jamcruise (an American funk festival on the high seas) the NMS were playing Meters tunes with George Porter Jr sitting in - just one of the highlights of a legendary 3-hour set. On their return to the UK the band were greeted by a capacity crowd at London's prestigious Jazz Cafe venue, for the album launch of 102%. They also performed tunes from the new album for Mark Lamarr on BBC Radio Two. At the end of January, organist Bob Birch reluctantly retired from the band due to commitments at home. In February Eddie, Simon and Pete ushered in another Leeds keyboard player, Joe Tatton, who had depped for Bob in the past, as well as working with UK soul star Corinne Bailey Rae and funk renegades The Haggis Horns. Joe's real initiation took place in April with the band's first trip to New Orleans during which they played late night at the House of Blues and the Blue Nile and where Eddie stuck around for the following week to sit in with the likes of Idris Muhammed, Lonnie Smith, Galactic, Papa Mali and The Greyboy Allstars. Having thrilled audiences at Wakarusa, Harmony, Gratefulfest and High Sierra music festivals, the NMS returned to the US at the end of July - to Chicago, to play Wicker Park and to open for The Headhunters.
After a well-earned break, the NMS regrouped in October for a 2 week tour of France during which they rediscovered the joy of the original 4-piece NMS sound: bass, drums, guitar and Hammond.

On the record front, German label Legere Recordings released their compilation An Introduction to The New Mastersounds on CD and LP back in May, while Milan-based label Record Kicks was putting together an album of NMS tunes remixed by a host of talented underground funk and beats producers. "The New Mastersounds - Re::Mixed" was released on CD, LP and itunes on October 15th.

As an example of the respect this band commands, Peter Wermelinger - DJ, collector, and author of the crate-diggers' bible The Funky & Groovy Music Lexicon - places the 2001 NMS track 'Turn This Thing Around' in his all-time top-ten tunes, along with the likes of Eddie Harris, Funkadelic, and Herbie Hancock. The New Mastersounds are at the very top of an elite selection of acts that bring the true soul out of funk.

Psychedelic Soul, sometimes called black Rock, is a sub-genre of Soul music, which mixes the characteristics of Soul with Psychedelic Rock. It came to prominence in the late 1960s and continued into the 1970s, playing a major role in the development of Soul and Funk music.

Over the past seven years, Monophonics have staked their claim as one of the west coast's premier bands. Raised amid the Bay Area's rich musical culture, Monophonics has proudly carried on the tradition of music native to their hometown, which flourished during the birth of funk music and psychedelia.

Monophonics were formed in 2005; originally an instrumental ensemble, in the last 2 years they have come to find there own sound. The foundation is the blistering funky drums of Austin Bohlman and soulful bass playing of Myles O'Mahony, fuzzy echo guitars by Ian McDonald, a powerhouse horn section made up of Ryan Scott & Alex Baky and the swirling organ & dynamic vocals of Kelly Finnigan. The result is a psychedelic soul & heavy funk sound, which harks back to the styling of the late 60's and early 70's, all while keeping its feet planted in the present.

As a mainstay of Bay Area venues such as The Independent, Great American Music Hall & Sweetwater Music Hall the Monophonics created a national buzz and fervent worldwide following. With 2012 being a break out year playing over 150 shows in 7 different countries. Sharing the stage & bill with such names as Al Green, Budos Band, Rodriguez, Orgone, Galactic, Edward Sharp & The Magnetic Zeros, Dennis Coffey, Syl Johnson, Soulive and many more. Their touring schedule has brought their rowdy, hard-hitting, energetic live set to 40 States from Hawaii to Motown, NYC and down to NOLA and gained them a reputation as one of the best new live touring acts. In the past year the band also performed at some of the major music festivals in the world including Wakarusa Music Fest, Portland Waterfront Blues Fest, Telluride Blues and Brews, Ottawa Blues Fest and both International Jazz Fests in Victoria and Vancouver.

Besides given major kudos for their live energy and stage show the sound of their new record has gotten them a lot of attention. Produced and recorded by Finnigan & McDonald and recorded on an old Tascam eight-track 1/4"tape machine at The Soul Barracks in San Francisco. The LP drips with warm tones, a gritty rawness in performance and spontaneous songwriting rarely found since the golden days of FAME and Stax Records. The vibe, production and overall tone of the record has gotten compared to the best products by Daptone Studios in NY and Killion Sound in LA. This is the Monophonics sound and it is a welcomed by soul, funk and lo-fi heads worldwide. In 2012 Monophonics followed up their highly regarded 45/single "Like Yesterday" off Colemine Records with their third and best record to date entitled "In Your Brain" off the well known rare groove imprint Ubiquity Records. The critically acclaimed record is considered one of the best soul and funk releases of 2012 even gaining them a radio hit in Greece with their cover of Sonny Bono's "Bang Bang". The full length has the vibe and the sound of the late 60's/early 70's. Dark psych soul, heavy funk, top notch songwriting, analog tones and renowned production, which is a sonic testimony to the evolution of this six-piece unit.

Looking ahead at the future, the band is scheduling a limited edition 6 song cover EP in the winter, another full length LP in the summer time, more US, Canada and Europe shows plus festivals with the hope of exploring new markets like South America, Japan & Australia. Besides being busy with their own movement, the band has become in demand working and collaborating with lots of other respected groups and artists like Motown singer Ben l'Oncel Soul , Multi instrumental producer Shawn Lee, Hip Hop group Blackalicious and world famous DJ Kenny Dope. With all those things happening, there is no sign of slowing down in 2013 and beyond!

61 North is an electrifying blues-rock band whose high-energy performances have established them as one of the Northeast's best live concert and festival attractions. Their swampy, guitar-heavy sound has drawn comparisons to Gov't Mule; their freewheeling, Southern-rock vibe to the Allman Brothers Band; and their charismatic funk-pop to the Black Crowes. Now, having captured that live energy on their latest record Back Down To The Woods, 61 North is set for a national breakthrough.

$15 - $18

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The New Mastersounds with Monophonics, 61 North

Thursday, August 15 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at The Blockley