Monophonics

One of the best live soul bands I have ever seen!” – Al Bell (Record producer, songwriter, executive, and co-owner of legendary Stax Records)
Raised amid the rich musical culture and history of the San Francisco Bay Area, Monophonics proudly carry the torch through the generations into today’s musical landscape. Holding on to tradition, but by no means purists of any kind, they play their own brand of music known as “Psychedelic Soul.”
The 2012 release of Monophonics last album In Your Brain saw the band pulling influences from such acts as early Funkadelic, Sly and The Family Stone and the The Temptation’s Norman Whitfield produced records. With the new album, Sound of Sinning (April 1, 2015 on Transistor Sound Records), the band has grown in all areas of record making and felt a need to explore other important influences. While the group has come to cherish these inspirations, with Sound of Sinning they started venturing beyond, to the groups that were inspiring those soul acts to embrace the psychedelic sound of the 60’s and 70’s. Bands such as The Zombies, The Beatles, Beach Boys and Pink Floyd. Even with the experimentation of new musical territory, they display the sound that people know and love about Monophonics. Touching on Northern soul, doo-wop, rock and roll, Psych pop, and cinematic music, Monophonics show off their diversity while remaining true to their roots. Overall it’s heartfelt music and old school vibes, without losing sight of the present. This is music steeped in that timeless feeling when people could write and produce songs that you could listen to over and over again. Sound of Sinning was produced by Kelly Finnigan & Ian McDonald and recorded on an old Tascam eight-track 1/4” tape machine at Transistor Sound Studios in San Rafael, CA.
Monophonics is Austin Bohlman (Drums), Myles O’Mahony (Bass/Background Vocals), Ian McDonald (Guitar/Background Vocals), Ryan Scott (Trumpet/Back- ground Vocals/Percussion) & Kelly Finnigan (Keys/Lead Vocals) along with a rotating 2nd horn usually filled by Nadav Nirenberg (Trombone) from Ikebe Shakedown and Breakdown Brass.

Over the past eight years, Ikebe Shakedown has cemented a reputation as one of New York City’s boldest, most creative instrumental bands. Combining cinematic soul, Afro–funk, deep disco, and an irrepressible groove, Ikebe Shakedown has forged a style all its own. Each song is anchored in the deep-pocketed pulse of its four-man rhythm section (Barnaby Alter, drums; Dave Bourla, percussion; Vince Chiarito, bass; Robin Schmidt, guitar) and driven by one of the tightest horn trios on the East Coast (Mike Buckley, tenor/baritone sax; Jason Colby, trumpet; Nadav Nirenberg, trombone), with tunes ranging from dance-floor burners to lush, captivating scores.

The band first came on the scene with 2009’s debut EP, Hard Steppin’, from Colemine Records. Praised by WNYC’s Soundcheck as “the perfect soundtrack for the unwritten Tarantino movie of your imagination,” the five–song release led to tours up and down both U.S. coasts and paved the way for Ikebe Shakedown’s first full-length LP on Ubiquity Records. Recorded at Killion Sound in L.A. with Orgone’s Sergio Rios and Dunham Studios in Brooklyn with noted producer Tom Brenneck, this self-titled album, released in 2011, featured 14 blistering tracks that Okayplayer called, “an adventurous trip through time” and “one of the best releases of the year.” Having toured the record throughout the U.S. and Canada, Ikebe Shakedown returned to the studio in 2014 for their follow up album for Ubiquity, Stone by Stone. Recorded at Daptone Studios, the 10-song set let the band become more adventurous than ever before, weaving psychedelic textures and raw soul into powerful compositions, or as Wax Poetics called it, “a greasy and sometimes trippy funk world.”

Now, after hitting major jazz festivals, opening on extended runs for stars like Lee Fields, and with the band’s members simultaneously touring with acts like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires, and the Monophonics, Ikebe Shakedown is poised for their next big release in 2017. The new album, The Way Home, is due out October 20th on Colemine Records. It shows how the band’s style has continued to evolve, with material that transports listeners beyond their living rooms into dance parties and spaces for introspection. Building on the success that has led to musical features in series such as Eastbound and Down, movies like Our Brand is Crisis, and commercials for brands including Mini Cooper, Vans’ Off the Wall, and Surfline, the songs are at once richly familiar and incredibly fresh, paying homage to classic influences while pushing a brand new sound. Defying genre or classification, this album proves Ikebe Shakedown is helping define the next bold and soulful wave in instrumental music.

The Jay Vons

Brothers and Sisters, to witness The Jay Vons in action is to believe. A personal appearance by The Jay Vons is a "happening." The stage lights pop on. Suddenly music explodes alive and present. Soon the beats into you, penetrating skull and belly. Something inside has got to move. You notice this group: clean cut – groomed hair – neat. Their steps are smooth and graceful. Thumping on his custom Harmony bass ax is Benny Trokan. His insistent bottom sound produces The Jay Vons' trademark: heavy, driving rhythm. Banging away on drums is Mikey (Custodian of Soul) Post. He keeps two things working: mouth and drums. That haunting, ever-riding whang comes from the unique lead guitar of Mike "the Cat" Catanese. On organ is Dave Amels. Personable, strong and seasoned, Dave's forte is the hurting kind. Lead vocals rotate between Ben and Mike, but sometimes Mikey is given a well-deserved solo spot. Their songs would best be described as danceable heartbreakers. As you shuffle across the floor your eyes will fill with tears. On their forth-coming single "Days Undone" B/W "Never Take me Back" (Cryptovision Records) you will notice that The Jay Vons sound on-stage just like their records. They use no studio musicians. They are what they are.

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