Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Dogtown Allstars

Let's just get this right out in the open to start; I love funk, be it Sly and the Family Stone, Tower of Power, The Meters; it's all candy.  Loving funk, though, is both a blessing and a curse.  It's a blessing for pretty obvious reasons, just listen to "If You Want Me to Stay" by Sly and you'll be sold (it gets me every time).  The curse is that the golden age of funk passed by about 10 years before my conception, and since then, it's been a rare occurence to see a live funk show that lives up to its billing.  But I refuse to believe that funk is dead.

So all that said, I would like to start this review with a thank you.  Thank you Dogtown Allstars for putting on a hell of a live show and instilling me with a little more hope for the future of funk.  

The Allstars are about one thing, and that's laying down a groove.  Drew Weiss sticks out some of the more complicated beats you'll hear live these days, while Andy Coco's fingers lay down a steady bass foundation.  Adam Wilke, guitar, is strong on the comp and dishes out some great bluesy solos, but it's Nathan Hershey on the Rhodes Piano that really fills out the band's sound.  The 3 or 4 (if you count their arrangement of "Bitch" by the Stones) originals show a lot of promise.  Taking strong hints from The Meter's riff funk and MMW's early jazz lines, the tunes find the proverbial groove "pocket", although do tend toward the repetive, but then again, so did The Meters.

All in all, the Dogtown Allstars set out to get the crowd up and dancing, and that's exactly what they accomplish.  With grooves as steady and exciting as the Allstars play, don't pass up a chance to see them around town.

Buy their cd here. (Support your local artists!)

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