British funk band set to headline Old Town Pub Thursday
If You Go...
What: The New Mastersounds
When: 10:30 p.m. (doors open at 9:30 p.m.), Thursday, Oct. 15
Where: Old Town Pub, 600 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $20 on the day of the show
Steamboat Springs — What transpires when authentic James Brown grooves, Meters-inspired funk and infectious vintage soul are blended into a four-piece instrumentation? The instrumental safari ride of the British-based quartet, The New Mastersounds.
“They have this sweet, funky sound to them” said Sean Regan, manager of Old Town Pub. “I would compare it to something like a high-speed driving pursuit, because everyone in the room may be bobbing their heads and feeling all of that energy at the same time and the same speed.”
Bringing their infectious vintage soul and irresistible bass lines, The New Mastersounds will be back in town to take the Old Town Pub stage at 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Doors open at 9:30 p.m.
Getting a start within the local DJ scene in Leeds, England, in the late 1980s, guitarist and producer Eddie Roberts met fellow members of the New Mastersounds — Simon Allen on drums and Pete Shand on bass — in 1999, and the group released their first two limited-edition seven-inch singles in 2000. Now, they have a repertoire of nine studio albums, two live albums, one remix album and three compilation albums. They have also welcomed a new member, Joe Tatton, on keyboards. Tatton joined the group in 2007.
The group’s newest and most ambitious record thus far is “Made for Pleasure.” It features collaborations with vocalist Charly Lowry, percussionist Mike Dillon and the San Francisco-based West Coast Horns, with tenor saxophonist Joe Cohen and trumpeter Mike Olmos.
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“They are a driving force in the jam scene right now, and we are super-excited to have them back after four or five years now,” Regan said. “It’s going to be the show of the year for us.”
Steamboat Today had the chance this week to chat with Roberts on the group’s new album and developing the dynamic style of this supremely funky mix of musical talents.
Steamboat Today: How do you go about coming up with such funky interlocking guitar parts for The New Mastersounds?
Eddie Roberts: I’m not sure. I think it’s just from listening to so much of it when I was young.
ST: Did you guys always intend to be a jazz, funk, jam band?
ER: Jam band? No. We hadn’t even heard of the jam band scene until we arrived in U.S. 10 years ago. Funk? Yes! Jazz? Sometimes!
ST: What is the process of developing your defined instrumental funk songs like “Let’s Do Another,” “You Mess Me Up,” “Way Out West” and “Freckles?” How is that process different when developing a song like “Your Love is Mine” or “Enough is Enough?”
ER: When it comes to vocal tunes, they are definitely a little different. Quite often, we will lay down an instrumental track and have a vocalist write on top of that. But in the case of “Enough is Enough,” it was actually Charly’s tune originally that we changed somewhat to fit the band’s sound.
ST: Will the concert in Steamboat be the four of you, or will vocalist Charly Lowry/any other collaborations be there, as well?
ER: Unfortunately, it’ll just be the four of us. Charly is based in North Carolina and will be joining us for the end of the tour.
ST: You guys have had a handful of guest vocalists on a few of your albums. How did you guys decide on these particular singers, and what do you think they contribute to particular songs/albums. Example: “I Want You to Stay,” with Kim Dawson, or “I Mean It So,” with Dionne Charles)
ER: It is usually quite an organic process and tends to be, because we’re already working together in a live capacity.
ST: Do you find that having vocals as opposed to only instrumental music broadens your fan base?
ER: Not really. I just think it’s all part of the whole sound and keeps it interesting for us.
ST: With the new album, “Made for Pleasure,” do you think you guys went in the direction you intended to, musically? What was it that you wanted to accomplish with this album?
ER:We wanted to capture a slice of New Orleans, which is why we recorded it down there. We don’t tend to have a direction, as such. We just get in the studio and see what happens.
ST: What can the Steamboat audience expect to see tomorrow night? A supremely funky show with a mix of new and old tunes?
ER:A night made for pleasure.
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