soul / rhythm and blues

Phonics: The A-B-Cs of Cairo Soul

Venues & Businesses
Newell House
Varsity Center


More Articles
Mel Goot and Sharon Clark; Coulter, Goot, and Wall: Two Weekly Showcases Are Jazzing up Carbondale


Who: Phonics
What: soul Remains Part II release party
Where:
When: 2016-11-05 - 2016-11-11
The Jackson County Stage Company is sponsoring a concert featuring soul band the Phonics Saturday, N
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

The Jackson County Stage Company is sponsoring a concert featuring soul band the Phonics Saturday, November 5 at 7 p.m. at the Varsity Center.

Originally called the Soul Phonics, the band rose to prominence from the late 1960s through the late 1970s in their hometown of Cairo as well as at nightclubs and colleges in the surrounding region. By 1973 Shadow Records released a seven-inch by the band, “Without You (Life Is Nothing).”

(Listeners who stream it on Youtube will find “Without You” sounds surprisingly contemporary, much more like a modern soul tune than the Motown or Stax records of the day. Collectors are paying serious money for the original pressing, too: Back in 2013 a copy sold on eBay for $255.)

Jobs and families eventually pulled the band apart, but about five years ago they came back together to play their high-school reunion.

“It went over fantastic,” drummer Harry Williams told Nightlife. The original members still in the area— Williams, Lee Carter on lead guitar, and Larry Wood on bass guitar— were nearing retirement, able to commit once again to music, and wanted to keep the momentum of their reunion going. The gathered together a crew of new supporting players— Wilma Carter on vocals, John Carter on keyboards, Julian Watkins on congas, and Shadi Frick and Chris Rigdon on saxophones— and the Phonics were born.

The Soul Phonics were born during a series of tumultuous events in their troubled river hometown, which in 1967 was the site of one of the last major race riots of the civil-rights era. Where music was concerned, however, those problems rarely intruded.

“It wasn’t so bad at all.... We practiced every week and played every weekend,” Williams says. “We didn’t have any altercations with any of the people. Now, the town had it worse.”

Though Cairo’s nightclubs were segregated, the band often played an integrated place, Club 37, outside of town, where they performed to mixed audiences. Playing to integrated crowds may not have been part of Cairo’s healing process, Williams says— he thinks sports contributed more in that respect— but it gave people something positive and a reason to gather.

That Cairo’s nightclubs— and many of its institutions— were segregated did prevent the Soul Phonics from playing with their friends in a popular all-white Cairo band, the Mods. Not long after the Phonics formed, however, Williams got in touch with them to rectify the situation. The two bands wound up performing a double-bill at Fort Defiance in Cairo. Bad weather meant poor attendance, but it didn’t matter to the musicians. “That was awesome,” Williams gushes. He hopes to set up regular reunions with the Mods, maybe even some tours.

Meanwhile, Williams is enjoying the rebirth of the band. They’re regularly playing throughout the tri-state area, including a monthly gig at the Newell House. Williams says their ambition is to record again.

“I don’t know where this is going to carry us or take us,” Williams says, “but we’re having a great time with it.”

Tickets to the Varsity show are $15 at the door. Get advance tickets for $10 at Plaza Records and Joe’s Records.

who: Phonics

what: soul

where: Varsity Center, Newel House Grotto

 

when: Saturday, November 5; Friday, November 11

Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings Return to Rule

Venues & Businesses
Walker's Bluff

More Articles
Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings: Hot Blues for Cool Nights
Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings: Southern Illinois Royalty Returns


Who: Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings
What: blues, soul
Where:
When: 2016-08-27
There is something about American rhythm and blues that just warms the cockles of the heart. It is l
Thomas Henry Horan
Video Comentary

There is something about American rhythm and blues that just warms the cockles of the heart. It is like the big, shaggy dog of music— it parties with you when you want to party; it cries with you when you want to cry; it prays with you when you want to pray; it chows down with you on barbecue rib tips and beer when you’re hungry.

Saturday, August 27, the Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings will return for the first time since Fourth of July, 2014, to deliver an unforgettable musical party to Walker’s Bluff. Dancing. Tears. Inspiration. Finger-licking good.

The core of the Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings were once renowned as the Mellow Fellows, longtime backing group for Larry “Big Twist” Nolan, a lovable grizzly bear of a bluesman who charmed audiences with his warm stage presence and roused their spirits with his commanding baritone. Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows first established themselves as a staple of the Carbondale and Southern Illinois blues scene.

Mellow Fellows founding member, Saluki alum, and Carbondale music scene legend Terry Ogolini recalled those days in a Nightlife interview. The late 1960s and early 1970s were turbulent times, with Vietnam War protests shutting down SIU in May 1970. “Oh, I was right there on Illinois Avenue!” Ogolini said.

Musicians, too, could find themselves in tumultuous situations. Ogolini recalled playing behind chicken wire at Old Shawneetown on the Ohio River.

Ogolini said he finally earned a bachelor of music education in 2002, “although I started summer quarter in 1967. I suppose one could say I took a detour academically.”

That detour took him and the other Mellow Fellows on a northern migration to the blues mecca of Chicago. For decades, Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows offered former Salukis in Chicago a cherished venue for joyful, informal reunions.

As Twist’s health declined through the late 1980s, he made room on the Mellow Fellows stage for Martin “Big Larry” Allbritton. When Nolan passed away in 1990, Allbritton became the full-time frontman. Allbritton brought a more down-and-dirty blues voice to the act. He can agonize plaintively over lost love in a blues ballad, then raise the roof in a triumphant show stopper. While no one could ever fully replace a one-of-a-kind like Big Twist, Allbritton did more than just fill Twist’s shoes onstage.

By 1993, the group had changed their name to Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings. Along the way, the group also acquired Sly and the Family Stone trumpeter Don Tenuto, who took the band’s horn section to a whole new level of soul heaven. Guitarist David Mick, replacing Pete Special, brought a jazzier, more thoughtful sound to the band’s ballad-style numbers. Ogolini’s bouncing, Dixieland-infused New Orleans blues tenor saxophone has rooted the band’s repertoire in the finest traditions of American blues, soul, and jump. And drummer Willie Hayes deftly forges an unstoppable backbeat, laying down a ratchet-tight groove with bassist Bob Halaj. After Allbritton’s health problems caused him to move back to Carbondale, the all-star ensemble was helmed by Chess Records alum Gene “Daddy G.” Barge, who does everything from producing and arranging to riffing on sax.

In their high-octane shows, the Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings present a mix of standards, often featuring innovative arrangements by Barge, and raucous originals. All together, these musical masters bless their audiences with a rocking, emotional encyclopedia of American rhythm, blues, and soul jams.

The secret to keeping it going— almost as long as the Rolling Stones— Ogolini says, is simple: “A deep love of music.”

Any fond memories of the ‘Dale that Ogolini would like to share?

“Best blue-plate special in town was Ms. Thelma’s at PK’s,” he said. “They always made sure Twist and I ate regularly.”

And as a sax player, any advice he would give Lisa Simpson?

“You’re an excellent saxophonist,” Ogolini said. “Keep up the good work!”

who: Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings

what: blues

where: Walker’s Bluff

when: Saturday, August 27

Crooked Vines: Bringing N’Awlins Funk to Little Egypt

Venues & Businesses
Tres Hombres


Who: Crooked Vines
What: funk, pop, soul
Where:
When: 2016-08-20
Bust out the dancing shoes— the Crooked Vines will perform Saturday, August 20 at Tres Hombres.
Brett Haynes
Video Comentary

Bust out the dancing shoes— the Crooked Vines will perform Saturday, August 20 at Tres Hombres.

The Crooked Vines are a New Orleans, Louisiana-based funk-pop-soul-rock band whose music carries a hefty, positive, infectious vibe. The band consists of Mikayla Braun on vocals and keys, Stephen Bohnstengel on bass, Woody Hill on drums, James Keene (originally from nearby Pinckneyville) on trombone, Lori LaPatka on alto sax, and Steven Schwartz on tenor sax and keys.

Two years on the scene and one album into the game, they came out of the gates strong and keep pushing. Check out their self-titled independent album on their website at <http://www.TheCrookedVines.com>. The band will crowdfund their sophomore album.

It’s not all smiles and sunshine in the music of the Crooked Vines, however. There is a diversity in theme, an emotional dynamic that many party-funk-rock bands lack. Check out the track “Kill Me Now” for a taste of this.

Nightlife caught up with Keene and Schwartz for the following interview.

You guys have a very positive vibe. If you had to pick one message for your music, what is it?

Keene: That life is worth living. There are a lot of terrible things that happen all around us that I’ve always found very hard to comprehend. Music has always been my sanctuary in which I can not only find ways to process my feelings about these occurrences, but also rejuvenate myself in a way that gives me a refreshed outlook. If our music can open even one person’s eyes to the overwhelming amount of beautiful things that are also happening all around us, music in general being one of them, then I think we’ve accomplished what we’ve set out to do.

How is the scene in New Orleans? Tell us a bit about it.

Keene: The scene in New Orleans is great, especially for an up-and-coming act like us. Lots of people talk about New Orleans as an incubator for bands, and we’ve all experienced that firsthand. When this project started, about four years, four band names, and seven members ago, it was just a cover band that was trying to make some extra dough. Now, after many personnel changes and some terrible band names, we’ve landed on something that is really clicking, and I think the city of New Orleans played a huge part in that. There are very few places in the world where you can go through such fluctuation and still gig through it, all the while developing who you are as an individual musician as well as who you are as a collective.

What is your favorite venue you have ever played?

Keene: I think that we would all agree that Tipitina’s in New Orleans is our favorite spot. The artists that have graced that stage with their presence is literally obscene. The fact that we’ve been able to play that stage three times already, starting on one of their infamous Homegrown Nights and then being able to open for our friend and colleague John Gros, formerly of Papa Grows Funk, two more times, has really been a blessing. We’ll be making our fourth appearance there as part of this tour, opening up for Big Sam’s Funky Nation.

Where did the inspiration for “Kill Me Now” come from?

Schwartz: It was a melding of different points in my life. The chorus lyrics and music came many years ago, but the verse section came later. The ending was just a neat progression that I liked. The actual content of the lyrics came from my frustration that friends of mine kept dying from overdoses or other reasons that caused deaths in people who were too young.

The Tim in the song really did overdose and die, although he represented more than just himself. The words “Kill Me Now” aren’t actually asking someone to kill me now, it’s more sardonic in the sense that I’m frustrated and don’t know what to say— “Oh, just kill me now, dammit.”

Why do you play music?

Keene: To have a platform that I can use to create positive change. I think that’s my goal in life in its entirety. I’ve always thought of myself as a catalyst for positive change, and I think with the right platform, we as a band could change a lot of people’s outlook on life for the better.

If your music was an eighties movie, what movie would it be and why?

Schwartz: The mentality and soundtrack of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets the soundtrack of Weird Science. The idea that everyday should be lived to its fullest and that we are given gifts to enjoy but twisted by Oingo Boingo and Danny Elfman to be weird. That being said, Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield may sum that up.

What’s next?

Keene: To be super cliché, world domination. But really, though, I think we’d love to continue in the same direction that we’re going. Recording this next record, promoting it, releasing it, touring on it, and just seeing where that takes us. We’ve kinda found out that pretty much any plans you make are pretty useless, because the world doesn’t really give a shit about your plans. We’re going to keep dong what we’re doing and doing our best to hit the pitches that come our way.

What has been the most fulfilling moment in your music career?

Keene: This past carnival season, Mardi Gras, we played a show at Tipitina’s opening up for a supergroup that included George Porter Jr., Cyril Neville, John Gros, Eric Krasno, and some other awesome players for an event called Karnival Kickoff. This was our second time playing the venue. After we played our set, we went back up to the green room and were hanging out and George and Cyril walk out of the other green room on their way to the stage and George says something along the lines of, “Hey guys, really dig your sound. Can’t want to see where you all end up,” and Cyril just nods his head with his sunglasses on. All I remember thinking for the rest of the night was “Damn, the dude that helped write ‘Cissy Strut,’ arguably the most covered instrumental song ever, said he dug my band’s music, and I’m pretty sure one of the Neville Brothers agreed with him.” If I wouldn’t have been sitting there, I wouldn’t have believed it.

What are you looking forwards to as an artist in 2016?

Keene: Frank Ocean’s new record! Come on, dude, release the thing already! But seriously, I’m looking forward to putting out what I would say is the best music that I’ve ever been involved in creating on record. I really think this record we’re about to record could change some people’s lives, and that’s really exciting.

Do you remember what about music inspired you to start pursuing it?

Keene: I remember sitting in my room blasting the music of the day and feeling things and thinking about things that I had never experienced before, and just always knew that I wanted to do that. I wanted to give someone insight on a situation that they were dealing with, or a way to cope with something that they otherwise couldn’t, just like all those bands used to do for me. There’s something really intimate and special about taking an emotion and translating it into words. I started writing what I called poetry at about age eleven. By thirteen or fourteen I realized they were song lyrics, and I was in my first band by fifteen. I’ve been going strong ever since.

Anything you want to promote or say?

Keene: If you support us, or any band or artist for that matter, buy their record/product! I believe that art should be accessible to everyone, but I also believe that artists should be able to pay their rent. If they can’t, there won’t be any more art to support, and that will be a dark day.

who: Crooked Vines

what: funk-pop-soul-rock

where:        Tres Hombres

 

when:         Saturday, August 20

Todd Herreman: An SIU Professor Remembers Prince


Who:
What:
Where:
When:
When the news broke that Prince had died last week at his home at the age of fifty-seven, SIU profes
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

When the news broke that Prince had died last week at his home at the age of fifty-seven, SIU professor Todd Herreman had just heard his duet with Sheila E., “A Love Bizarre,” over the restaurant speakers.

“She was around a lot during the time I was working with [Prince],” Herreman said.

That and other memories have been coming back to him ever since, as Herreman recalled his days recording and touring with the late legendary musician.

After graduating from Indiana University in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in music, Herreman knew he did not want to become a concert pianist. He settled for a position in retail at a music store north of Chicago that specialized in higher-end digital technology that was beginning to emerge at the time.

One of those then state-of-the-art products was the Fairlight Computer Musical Instrument, a digital-sampling synthesizer. Herreman sold one of these $35,000 instruments to Prince, and later he received a call from Prince’s managers needing a list of people who could run it. Herreman was the guy.

The rest is history.

“The short answer is, I was in the right place at the time and I was in the position to say yes,” Herreman said.

Herreman started working for Prince the same day that “Kiss” was released as a single. He worked and toured with him for a year, and one of the traits he remembers about the musician is his incredible work ethic and ability to play so many instruments.

“I think he was the hardest working man in show business,” he said. “It was nothing for us to go on three-day marathons in the studio. Or get a page at three in the morning, saying: ‘God gave Prince a groove. Time to go back into the studio.’”

Since Prince could reportedly play as many as twenty-seven different instruments, Herreman said working in the studio could be a difficult because the pace was so rapid.

“He worked so fast and so hard. It was tough to keep up with him,” he said. “But you just kind of anticipate his next move.”

Herreman also recalled Prince as an occasional prankster who loved to laugh, and an incredible athlete who would usher in equipment from local stores for a pickup softball game or play basketball in heels. Yes, just like in the Chappelle skit.

Herreman said he also matched the singer in ping-pong, even securing a win now and again.

“That’s my claim to fame,” he said. “I’ve beaten Prince at ping-pong.”

Herreman said he considered Sign o’ the Times, the platinum album he worked on with Prince, as the “artistic pinnacle” of the musician’s career, a true showcase of the artist at his unique writing stage of fusing funk and pop with rock ‘n’ roll. (Herreman is credited as “Todd H.” on the track “Housequake.”)

Knowing how hard Prince had worked thirty years ago, Herreman said he is sure there is a vault of unheard of music.

 

“If he was working as hard as he did then, he would have thousands [of unreleased recordings],” Herreman said.

Lucero: Country Heart and Memphis Soul

Bands
Number Nine Blacktops

MP3's
Number Nine Blacktops

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Number Nine Blacktops

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Venues & Businesses
Carbondale Music Coalition
Hangar 9

More Articles
Lucero: Hard-rocking Country Soul, Plaza Records’ Label Debuts
Number Nine Blacktops: Turning the Strip into the Drag Strip
Number Nine Blacktops’ New CD Launches the Carbondale Music Coalition


Who: Carbondale Music Coalition
What: Lucero (southern rock) / Number Nine Blacktops (hotrod rockabilly)
Where:
When: 2015-09-25
Though lately Memphis has found itself an important center of the dirty south movement in hip-hop, e
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

Though lately Memphis has found itself an important center of the dirty south movement in hip-hop, especially as embodied by Three 6 Mafia, historically that great city is primarily known for two music exports: Sun Records and Stax Records. The former introduced the world to the revolutionary combination of country music and blues that became known as rock ‘n’ roll, while a decade later the latter encapsulated the rough-edged sound of black America.

Memphis band Lucero, which returns to play a Carbondale Music Coalition-sponsored show Friday, September 25 at the Hangar 9 with local band the Number Nine Blacktops, fits nicely between the Sun and Stax traditions. Though built on a solid country foundation, Ben Nichols’s lupine growl and a punchy horn section give the seven-piece group powerful blue-eyed soul overtones.

Lucero, however, just dropped a new album, All a Man Should Do, September 18 on ATO Records (making Lucero labelmates with Gogol Bordello and Alabama Shakes, among others). It’s more acoustic, atmospheric, and pretty than their previous studio records, with the horns playing less of a role on tunes like “I Woke up in New Orleans,” “Went Looking for Warren Zevon’s Los Angeles,” and “The Man I Was.”

Credit for this direction in part goes to Ardent, the legendary Memphis studio where the Replacements, R.E.M., and especially Big Star all recorded seminal work. Though the latter never sold many records, they became one of Memphis’s most influential bands, and their gorgeously textured songs put Ardent on the map as a special place where musicians could capture a certain ringing guitar tone and crystal-clear vocal harmonies.

To wit, the full band gathers on All a Man Should Do to record Big Star’s beautiful “I’m in Love With a Girl,” complete with Big Star drummer Jody Stephens singing background vocals.

[H]aving Jody from Big Star sing backup vocals makes it that more special and amazing. This is a Memphis record in the greatest sense and a perfect finish to the three-part love letter to a city that brought us up and made us what we are today,” says Lucero guitarist Brian Venable in a press release, referring not only to the new album but the band’s two previous studio efforts.

All a Man Should Do isn’t without overt tips to Memphis soul, however. “Can’t You Hear Them Howl,” “Throwback Number Two” and “Young Outlaws” all feature the horn section, the latter with satisfying, overt Stonesy riffing.

Recordings aside, however, aren’t where Lucero has built their reputation. The band is primarily known for marathon live shows— the thirty-two-track Live from Atlanta captures them on four discs recorded at three slamming Georgia shows. It’s something they have only once brought to a local stage, at the 2014 CarbondaleRocks Revival, which was a packed, explosive affair that many more people wanted to see than the venue’s capacity could accommodate.

Find out more at <http://LuceroMusic.com>.

This time around, local rockabilly trio the Number Nine Blacktops, which leans heavily on the Sun Records roster for influences, will warm up for Lucero. The group quietly called it quits a couple of years ago, but just as quietly, lead singer and guitarist Skinny Jim Rotramel has regrouped them, a happy event for those who love hotrods, Harleys, and songs that sound like torqued-up engines peeling tires out on city streets.

Tickets are $20 at <http://CarbondaleMusicCoalition.com>.

who: Carbondale Music Coalition

what: Lucero (southern rock) / Number Nine Blacktops (hotrod rockabilly)

where: Hangar 9

 

when: Friday, September 25

Soul Glo: Out of This World and Back for One More Go

Bands
Soul Glo

MP3's
Soul Glo

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Soul Glo

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Soul Glo

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Venues & Businesses
Tres Hombres

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Soul Glo: Bringing Classic Soul to Southern Illinois


Who: Soul Glo reunion
What: classic soul, rhythm and blues
Where:
When: 2015-05-28
Soul Glo is back in town for a two-night set beginning Thursday, May 28 with a gig at Tres Hombres.
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Soul Glo is back in town for a two-night set beginning Thursday, May 28 with a gig at Tres Hombres. The band is also set to play at John Brown’s on the Square in Marion Friday, May 29.

Started in 2010, Soul Glo has included Mike Alderfer on bass, Jim Beers on drums, Scott Clough and Shadi Frick on horns, Brad Bell on keys, Dan Goett on guitar, and Sarah Jones on vocals.

For more information about Soul Glo, check out the band’s profile on Facebook.

Nightlife spoke with Goett, who is now living in Colorado, to get the lowdown on the shows, the impact Soul Glo had on the local scene, and the future of soul music in a digitally-based world.

What led to the decision to have Soul Glo come back for the weekend?

I’m coming back to town for the wedding of two friends of mine. I also managed to work with the Carbondale Music Coalition on getting the Live on Main event date to coincide with the trip home I was already making. It only made sense that I fill the rest of my calendar with gigs with all of the bands that I left when I moved to Denver last year. In that span of ten or eleven days that I’m home, I managed to schedule two shows with Soul Glo, three with the Storm Crows, one with the Woodbox Gang, one with the Mudsills, and one with the Giant City Slickers.

There wasn’t much thought put into the decision to play together again with any of these bands. It’s more about the fact that I’ll be in town for a visit, so why not? And with all of those bands, the close friendships among the bandmates were developed through our love of playing music together. So when a friend comes in from out of town for a visit, a lot of people may go to dinner or to a bar to catch up. My friends and I book gigs.

Why do you think Soul Glo was able to resonate with so many people?

I think the reason Soul Glo resonated with people is first, the style of music that we decided to play. Whether we were playing covers or our original songs, there’s something about the soul/[rhythm and blues]/funk genre that pretty much all people can get into, regardless of age or other musical tastes. That’s why I think this band worked so well at weddings— the material and style transcended age and could usually get people out of their seats.

When the band performs, I think our chemistry with each other and the overall lighthearted attitude of the band transfers well into the audience. We never were the kind of band that took ourselves too seriously. We played seriously, and learned the music as well as we could, but always made sure that it was fun. Anyone that has been to one of our shows knows how much messing around there is on stage, whether it be with an arrangement, or mimicking each other musically, or inside jokes that has the band crying with laughter and leaves the audience wondering what these guys are busting up about. And I believe that that transfers to the audience and they loosen up and have a good time as well.

What is your take on soul music today?

Soul music is in a great place nowadays. All the stuff coming out of Daptone Records, or bands like Saint Paul and the Broken Bones— people are making fantastic original soul music in 2015.

who: Soul Glo reunion

what: classic soul, rhythm and blues

where: Tres Hombres

 

when: Thursday, May 28

HotSauce: An Extra Spicy 2014 Sunset Concert!

“When you see it, you feel it, and when you feel it, you get it!”— that’s what Dyrel Johnson, lead s
John Atkinson
Video Comentary

“When you see it, you feel it, and when you feel it, you get it!”— that’s what Dyrel Johnson, lead singer and flute and sax player for the Detroit, Michigan band HotSauce says it’s like to see the real-good, feel-good act live.

On Thursday, June 26, the band will bring rhythm and blues, hip-hop, and high-energy pop to the Sunset Concerts. The show takes place at the Lot 89A Hillside, just north of the SIU Trout-Wittmann Center.

The eight-man ensemble consists of Dyrel Johnson; music director Eric Johnson on keys and trumpet; Otis Shelton on trombone, vocals, and guitar; Jeff Ponders II on sax, vocals, and keys; Andrew Hicks on keys, talkbox, bass, guitar, and vocals; Durell “Red” Campbell Jr. on bass; Marquis Johnson on drums; and Gary Johnson on lead guitar.

“Everybody has a very important place in this band,” Dyrel said. “Even with a bunch of different personalities, we are able to maintain the people we are. We are a brotherhood, like a fraternity.”

And like a fraternity, HotSauce likes to cut loose and make some noise. The group draws sets from their all-original Play! The Mix Album, a few cover songs flavored up the HotSauce way, and new material. They feed off the collective, positive grooves of their audience, and then put that same vibe right back into the show. This synergy has gained HotSauce a following in their hometown as well as across the Midwest.

“We like to have a good time and bring the party to the people,” Dyrel said.

“Music is the spice of life, and we always like to freshen things up,” Otis, who contributes to writing and performing most of the hip-hop lyrics, told Nightlife. “We love outside shows, where people don’t have to spend a lot of money, can bring their lawn chairs or blankets if they like, and just show up because they want to see something great.”

HotSauce wants to continue spreading a message to live what they call L.I.F.E.— love, inspiration, freedom, entertainment— to the fullest.

“We love meeting new people,” Otis proclaimed. “We want everyone to come out. Bring your family, bring your friends, bring your crew.”

“Summertime is a very busy time for us,” Johnson rang in. “Our goal is to spread out the passion for what we do to as many people as possible.”

For more information about HotSauce, check out <http://HotSauceMusic.com>.

No pets, glass containers, kegs, or underage drinking are allowed at the Sunset Concerts. For more information, visit the Student Programming Council at <http://www.spc4fun.com>.

who: HotSauce

what: Sunset Concerts (rhythm and blues, hip-hop)

where: SIU Lot 89A Hillside

when: Thursday, June 26

Soul Census: Soulfully Ascending into a First Big Tour

Bands
Soul Census

MP3's
Soul Census

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Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9
PK's


Who: Soul Census
What: funk, reggae, soul
Where:
When: 2014-03-28 - 2014-04-25
One of Carbondale’s own is getting ready to spread wings and leave the nest for a first national tou
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

One of Carbondale’s own is getting ready to spread wings and leave the nest for a first national tour.

Soul Census is ready to embark on a big on-the-road venture, but first the reggae, blues, and soul outfit will play a handful of dates in the area, beginning this Friday, March 28 at Curbside. The show also will feature Fabulous Decline and J.D. Kemp. Soul Census is also performing Thursday, April 24 at PK’s and with the Main Squeeze Friday, April 25 at the Hangar 9.

“It’s very exciting,” said Peter Floyd, the band’s rhythm guitar, percussion and occasional drummer.

News of the national tour comes off Soul Census’s recent local successes. Last month, an audience vote at the Hangar 9 awarded the band a slot at the Summer Camp Music Festival, giving them the opportunity to perform in Chillicothe, Illinois, during Memorial Day weekend.

Floyd said the new tour will start this May. The rigorous schedule will include two months of shows.

“We’re currently working on bookings in Edinburgh, Indiana, and Saint Louis,” he said. “The logistics aren’t easy, but we’re most proud of winning a spot at Summer Camp.”

For Floyd, the opportunity to perform and live on the road presents an interesting family dynamic. His wife, Whitney Marie, a powerhouse and soulful presence he discovered by chance a few years ago, is the band’s lead vocalist.

“We met at a house party in Bloomington,” he said. “I was a drummer at the time, and I ended up playing her favorite song.”

Marie and Floyd have been making music together ever since, moving to Carbondale about five years ago. The two exchanged vows last fall and have a daughter who just turned a year old this month.

Having his wife in the band is something Floyd said he would have no other way.

“I love it— sharing music with the one you love, being with her all the time,” he said. “It has its advantages and disadvantages, sure, but there is no one I would rather be with.”

And while the band’s home base will likely change to accommodate personal obligations, Floyd said he is grateful for what the Southern Illinois music scene has done for him and his band the last few years.

“It has been great,” Floyd said. “There are so many opportunities for so many local bands. The whole reason I moved from Chicago to Carbondale was the environment, and it has been so supporting.”

Soul Census plans to release a few singles, including an updated version of the song “Hide and Seek,” in the near future.

“We are doing our own recording from our home studio and hope to have some music up on our page really soon,” Floyd said. “I can’t wait for you guys to hear it. They are exceptionally good, but we’ll see. It’s a work-in-progress.”

For more information about Soul Census or to hear music, check out the band’s page on Nightlife’s web project at <http://www.CarbondaleRocks.com>.

who: Soul Census

what: funk, reggae, soul

where: Curbside; PK’s; Hangar 9

when: Friday, March 28; Thursday, April 24; Friday, April 25

Steven Roth: Let Me In to Carbondale!

Venues & Businesses
Tres Hombres


Who: Steven Roth Band
What: blues, soul
Where:
When: 2013-10-19
Most independent musicians celebrate a new release with a club date before an audience of friends an
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

 

Most independent musicians celebrate a new release with a club date before an audience of friends and fans.

Steven Roth’s latest disc, Let It In, came out January 29. The next night, he warmed up for the Who at the Staples Center in Los Angeles before an audience of fifteen-thousand.

It was an auspicious premiere, to say the least. “It was pretty wild in the way of release parties,” Roth agrees in a Nightlife interview.

How does he deal with the inevitable letdown?

“I just try to keep a positive outlook and keep having fun whatever room you’re playing in,” he says.

That’s not too difficult for a musician of Roth’s ilk. A quick spin through Let Me In shows not only why Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend would approve-- the music displays an uplifting nature that Roth should enjoy performing in a venue or before an audience of any size. Let Me In has a solid foundation in 1950s doo-wop rhythms (and, on “Dancin' in the Fire,” doo-wop vocals)-- somewhat odd, since Roth says he didn’t much listen to that style of music while growing up. Two tunes, “Make You Love Me” and “Emma,” bring a funky N’Awlins second-line to the proceedings, while “Love Light” mixes in southern rock à la Little Feat. Other songs recall Burt Bacharach and Wings-era Paul McCartney.

Throughout it all, Roth carries an immediate, blue-collar rasp in his voice, though he says he doesn’t write with any demographic in mind. “I’m just writing from the inside, and that’s just how it comes out,” he says. “The songs just resonate with me, and that’s where they tend to go.”

Meanwhile, the production on Let Me In, by Dave Cobb (who has worked with Shooter Jennings), possesses a thoroughly modern wallop, especially in the drum sound.

Hitting those skins is Neal Daniels, with whom local music legend Robbie Stokes went on a three-week European tour backing Carbondale expatriate Chicago Mike Beck.

“Neal and I share a distinction very few musicians do,” Stokes tells Nightlife. “We played outdoors, in walking distance-- if you wanted to walk six miles-- of the Matterhorn. Those Germans and Swiss and Italians like to eat lunch outdoors and listen to American rock and blues music. I can take a lot more of that. It was a lot of fun.”

As a result of his drummer’s connection to Carbondale, Roth has heard plenty about this city, and he’s looking forward to performing at Tres.

“We expect to put on a really fun show,” Roth says. “It’s a town we’ve never been to before, and that’s always exciting, and it’s a weekend show.... I expect to have a really good time, and have fun if nothing else.”

Find out more at <http://www.StevenRothMusic.com>.

who: Steven Roth Band

what: blues, soul

where: Tres Hombres

when: Saturday, October 19

 

Marion Spectacular Hubfest and Tour de Hope 2013: Celebrating the Center of the Universe

Bands
Sam West Trio
Soul Glo
Swamp Tigers

MP3's
Sam West Trio

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Soul Glo

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Swamp Tigers

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More Articles
Ivas John Blues Band's New CD: Look Who's Cryin' Now
Ivas John: Doin’ What’s Natural-- Playin’ the Blues
Sam West: Bringing It All Back Home by Breaking the Bread
Soul Glo: Bringing Classic Soul to Southern Illinois
Swamp Tigers: Celebrating a New Record at the CarbondaleRocks Revival


Who: Marion Main Street
What: Marion Spectacular Hubfest
Where:
When: 2013-09-28
Pictured: Swamp Tigers.
Brian Wilson
Video Comentary

Several events are taking place in Marion on Saturday, September 28, including the Marion Spectacular Hubfest, Art on the Square, and the Hands of Hope Clinic Tour de Hope bicycle ride and five-kilometer run.

Hubfest runs from noon to 8 p.m. and includes activities for all ages. Four live bands will perform, including Soul Glo, the Swamp Tigers, Sam West, and the Ivas John Band. The festivities will include a dachshund race, an adult hotdog-eating contest, a youth watermelon contest, and a carved-pumpkin contest.

There will be lots for kids, including a bounce house, face-painting, and balloon animals.

The Little Egypt Arts Association will also feature Art on the Square, which consists of vendors offering food, crafts, and other merchandise.

Marion Main Street president Meredith Ashe says folks can look forward to an event that offers something different and unique.

“We are just getting started with our fifth year, but every year we’ve been improving, so it’s just going to be more and more exciting every year you come out.”

Coinciding with Hubfest will be the Tour de Hope bicycle ride and five-kilometer run, both of which begin at the Marion Tower Square at 8 a.m. The ride offers fifteen, thirty, sixty-two, and one-hundred-mile routes, which cover terrain ranging from the flat or gently rolling pathways of Williamson County to the more challenging areas of Southern Illinois Wine Country. The routes have several rest stops equipped with water, sports drinks, snacks, and restrooms.

The five-kilometer run goes from the Tower Square through the Williamson Country Fairgrounds and ends in front of the grandstand.

For more information about Hubfest, visit <http://www.MarionIllinois.com>.

For more information about Art on the Square, visit <http://LittleEgyptArts.com>.

For more about Tour de Hope, visit <http://www.HOHTourDeHope.com>.

who: Marion Main Street

what: Marion Spectacular Hubfest

where: Marion Tower Square

when: Saturday, September 28

Right Now Brings Vintage Soul to the Present Tense

Breakups have been a part of music ever since, well, men and women have been coupling off. But for t
Leah Williams Wright
Video Comentary

 

Breakups have been a part of music ever since, well, men and women have been coupling off. But for the next band playing Carbondale’s premier summer-concert series, the tension that exists between the sexes in song lyrics is more fictional than anything else.

“It doesn’t really apply to us right now. That is just what came out [in our songs],” guitarist and keyboard player Brendan O’Connell said. “But it is autobiographical in a sense. [Lead singer] Stefani Berecz and I are actually in committed relationships with other people.”

The Right Now rocks the Sunset Concerts Thursday, July 11 on the steps of Shryock Auditorium. The vintage-soul group from Chicago is touring hot on the heels of a new album, Gets Over You, which featured an array of it’s-not-me vibracious tunes complemented by the septet’s impressive instrumentation and impeccable live energy.

O’Connell said he met Berecz in 2007, and eventually the group added others to the lineup-- currently Chris Corsale on guitar, Greg Nergaard on bass, John Smillie on drums, Jonathon Edwards on baritone saxophone, and Jim Schram on tenor saxophone. In 2010, the band released Carry Me Home, and the album helped establish the Right Now’s reputation as a dynamic, fun band to see.

The Right Now has opened for George Clinton and the P-Funk Allstars, Fitz and the Tantrums, Bettye Lavette, Otis Clay, Kings Go Forth, Orgone, and Tortured Soul. The band’s music has also been placed on episodes of television shows like 90210 and CSI: Crime Scene Investigations.

While both of their albums include a breakup theme, O’Connell said that was never the initial intention. When the brainstorming process thundered, both he and Berecz tried to come up with music that they knew could be relatable. And most people know what it is like to feel rejected and lose love.

“We just went into our songwriting sessions, and that was what came out,” he said. “We knew we wanted to do something that people could relate to.”

Though the Right Now has generated numerous songs about love gone wrong, O’Connell insists the band’s lyrics are about more than breakups. The group is known for their live presentation, which at times has included matching outfits.

O’Connell begins each performance checking to make sure the sound is right, then lets the music take over.

“After that, I just kind of zone out and focus on playing the best that I can at that very moment,” he said.

The summer awakens something inside, and O’Connell says he can feel it no matter where he goes.

“There is something about the summer, especially in Chicago,” he said. “You have months of being cooped up inside, miserable about the weather. And then you have these few months where the city just comes alive. It explodes. It’s awesome, really.”

And when things start warming up, opportunities to take music on the road also begin to heat up.

“As a band, you really enjoy those times you get to play outside in the different festivals,” O’Connell said.

After a heavy touring schedule that included one-hundred shows a year, the Right Now is set to take a little break before the next full-throttle push to promote new material. O’Connell, who just became a father again a few weeks ago, said the temporary hiatus is just so the band can reset.

“After four years of really pushing it, we are ready to slow things down a bit,” he said.

Songwriting sessions are coming up with new sides of the story about this crazy little thing called love. But O’Connell said all of the songs are about life in general.

“We are definitely trying different things each time we get together,” he said.

For more information, visit <http://www.TheRightNow.com>.

who: Right Now

what: Sunset Concerts (vintage soul)

where: Steps of Shryock Auditorium

when: Thursday, July 11

 

Right Now Brings Vintage Soul to the Present Tense

Breakups have been a part of music ever since, well, men and women have been coupling off. But for t
Leah Williams Wright
Video Comentary

 

Breakups have been a part of music ever since, well, men and women have been coupling off. But for the next band playing Carbondale’s premier summer-concert series, the tension that exists between the sexes in song lyrics is more fictional than anything else.

“It doesn’t really apply to us right now. That is just what came out [in our songs],” guitarist and keyboard player Brendan O’Connell said. “But it is autobiographical in a sense. [Lead singer] Stefani Berecz and I are actually in committed relationships with other people.”

The Right Now rocks the Sunset Concerts Thursday, July 11 on the steps of Shryock Auditorium. The vintage-soul group from Chicago is touring hot on the heels of a new album, Gets Over You, which featured an array of it’s-not-me vibracious tunes complemented by the septet’s impressive instrumentation and impeccable live energy.

O’Connell said he met Berecz in 2007, and eventually the group added others to the lineup-- currently Chris Corsale on guitar, Greg Nergaard on bass, John Smillie on drums, Jonathon Edwards on baritone saxophone, and Jim Schram on tenor saxophone. In 2010, the band released Carry Me Home, and the album helped establish the Right Now’s reputation as a dynamic, fun band to see.

The Right Now has opened for George Clinton and the P-Funk Allstars, Fitz and the Tantrums, Bettye Lavette, Otis Clay, Kings Go Forth, Orgone, and Tortured Soul. The band’s music has also been placed on episodes of television shows like 90210 and CSI: Crime Scene Investigations.

While both of their albums include a breakup theme, O’Connell said that was never the initial intention. When the brainstorming process thundered, both he and Berecz tried to come up with music that they knew could be relatable. And most people know what it is like to feel rejected and lose love.

“We just went into our songwriting sessions, and that was what came out,” he said. “We knew we wanted to do something that people could relate to.”

Though the Right Now has generated numerous songs about love gone wrong, O’Connell insists the band’s lyrics are about more than breakups. The group is known for their live presentation, which at times has included matching outfits.

O’Connell begins each performance checking to make sure the sound is right, then lets the music take over.

“After that, I just kind of zone out and focus on playing the best that I can at that very moment,” he said.

The summer awakens something inside, and O’Connell says he can feel it no matter where he goes.

“There is something about the summer, especially in Chicago,” he said. “You have months of being cooped up inside, miserable about the weather. And then you have these few months where the city just comes alive. It explodes. It’s awesome, really.”

And when things start warming up, opportunities to take music on the road also begin to heat up.

“As a band, you really enjoy those times you get to play outside in the different festivals,” O’Connell said.

After a heavy touring schedule that included one-hundred shows a year, the Right Now is set to take a little break before the next full-throttle push to promote new material. O’Connell, who just became a father again a few weeks ago, said the temporary hiatus is just so the band can reset.

“After four years of really pushing it, we are ready to slow things down a bit,” he said.

Songwriting sessions are coming up with new sides of the story about this crazy little thing called love. But O’Connell said all of the songs are about life in general.

“We are definitely trying different things each time we get together,” he said.

For more information, visit <http://www.TheRightNow.com>.

who: Right Now

what: Sunset Concerts (vintage soul)

where: Steps of Shryock Auditorium

when: Thursday, July 11

 

Tawl Paul: Carbondale's Towering Music Legend Gets His Own Day

Bands
Slappin' Henry Blue

MP3's
Slappin' Henry Blue

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Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9


Who:
What:
Where:
When:
Few Southern Illinois musicians are more worthy of having their own day dedicated to them than Tawl
Leah Williams Wright
Video Comentary

Few Southern Illinois musicians are more worthy of having their own day dedicated to them than Tawl Paul Frederick.

“There was a rumor going around,” Tawl Paul told Nightlife. “I just tried to stay out of it.”

It is official now. Tawl Paul Day will be declared Sunday, June 23 at the Hangar 9 by Carbondale mayor Joel Fritzler.

Nightlife spoke with Paul between sets of a recent Slappin' Henry Blue show at the Bluffs Winery in Ava. Paul candidly discussed the surreality of Southern Illinois fame, the evolution of playing with top-tier talent in Carbondale, and the perils of really making it.

A native Chicagoan, Paul remembers the first blues he ever heard was when his parents hosted parties.

“No one could afford to go to the bars, so everyone would just come over, and they'd play records,” he said.

His band Slappin' Henry Blue has played in the area for more than twenty years. Paul, who was a part of Da Blooz and Pontiac Jones, previously relocated to Seattle and San Francisco back when the Carbondale scene was either overrun with disco fever or in a country-western kick. Those fads came and went, but Paul eventually came back and settled down for good in Southern Illinois.

What kept him in Carbondale, Paul said, was the aesthetic beauty of the area and that he could build the quality of life he wanted here.

“I could afford to live here,” Paul explained. “If I would have went back to Chicago, I couldn't have lived like I lived here. I have a nice place in the country; I really like it. Southern Illinois is beautiful. It really is.”

Paul spoke fondly of the Club--- located where the garden of the Bike Surgeon is now--- where a different kind of band played every night, and you knew if you were not in attendance, you missed out on something major.

“You had to be there, because you knew something funky was going to go down,” he said.

Paul said the coming proclamation made him think back on his music career.

“It's quite an honor. I was getting kind of nostalgic thinking about all the people and the musicians that have worked with me over the years,” he said.

Paul said he experienced a surreal moment last month when he was approached by several different fans during a gig.

“What is really weird is, when the last time I played at PK's, it was graduation weekend,” he said. “And there were people coming up to me and telling me that they went here in 1980 and now their kid is graduating. And then it's like, 'Oh, geez. How many generations does this go?'”

Playing the Southern Illinois scene is different now. In addition to bars, Slappin' Henry Blue often plays at wineries, which allows some of the band's audiences to come see them in a different setting and an earlier time of day.

Paul said the Carbondale music scene has gone through its peaks and valleys, but through it all it has always made room for him and the blues.

“It's a roller coaster,” he said. “It has its highs and lows. Americana is really big right now. They do their thing. We're still playing. We don't down what they do and we're still here.”

Paul may be okay with being a Carbondale institution, but he does have one absolute: He has no desire to reach the kind of celebrity that invades his privacy.

“One thing, I don't want to be famous,” he said. “Hell, no. You ever watch Entertainment Tonight? They tear people apart. They are doing it to [Justin] Bieber right now. They did it to Britney [Spears] before that. Lord, what they put that woman through.”

Paul said he enjoys all of the songs he performs as well as the opportunity to meet and perform with some of the best in the area. Looking at all who have played with him over the years is literally a rockin' Rolodex of top-tier musicians.

And getting to share the stage with them is what makes Paul feel very honored.

“I'm so privileged to be around great musicians and to be hanging around great musicians,” he said. “I really am.”

who: Tawl Paul

what: Tawl Paul Day

where: Hangar 9

when: Sunday, June 23

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