By: John 'Nunu' Zomot
In this age of funk-and-soul supergroups, it seems like a pick-up band can materialize -- full of a handful of musicians sourced from a pool of well-known jammers -- at any time and for any reason.
This group of road warriors is ready to be drawn into battle at the slightest provocation. So it takes a certain chemistry when a bonafide band emerges out of them.
Matador! Soul Sounds is such a group. Born out of a "one-time" collaboration, the players just gelled just released Get Ready, an attempt to put what they discovered down in the studio.
Driven on the guitar by Eddie Roberts (New Mastersounds) and behind the kit by Alan Evans (Soulive), keyboardist Chris Spies, bassist Kevin Scott, and vocalists Kimberly Dawson (Pimps of Joytime) and Adryon de León (Orgone) complete the ensemble, adding a bit of complimentary spice to their recipe.
The band spent a March evening at Martyrs' to show off how these flavor's sit together With only an album's worth of material, it meant some lengthy jams o the prevailing funk and soul theme, including a stretched out 12 minute take on "Stingy Love" to close the show.
Opening the night was another pairing of artists that have materialized out of the same scene.
Jen Hartswick and Nick Cassarino are no strangers to each other's projects but in this configuration, they are each other's project, stripping down bigger trappings of bands they've previously occupied to the essence of the two musicians.
Nick's tasteful accompaniment on Jen's passionate vocals on Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home" is emblematic of what how these types of artists create bonds that tie them together in whatever formation. You can even catch de León singing along with her from the front row in the video below.
Along with that, we have a bevy of video evidence of both of these acts to accompany some touching backstage portraits, that capture the spirit of friendship and collaboration that graced the house all night long.