Rockwood Music Hall
September 28, 2014
Featuring members of Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, The Calm Blue Sea, Ocote Soul Sounds, Spanish Gold, the Echocentrics, and several other acts, Hard Proof is a critically applauded and award-winning Austin, TX-based ten member collective known as the first — and currently only — band playing African funk throughout the entire state of Texas. And unlike most contemporary acts playing African inspired music and focus primarily on Afrobeat, Hard Proof’s music is heavily inspired by the variety of genres that are popular in Sub-Saharan Africa, which not only gives their sound an incredible level of nuance, it gives their sound a mind-bending, continent-spanning feel.
In honor of the second annual Cassette Store Day, the Austin, TX-based collective released a cassingle titled “Soul Thing/Lake Tana.” And to support the release of their Cassette Store Day single, the band embarked on a tour that included a late night stop at Rockwood Music Hall, in the Lower East Side.
As you would likely imagine as a blogger and as a music fan, I’ve covered and attended an inordinate number of shows across the city – in some cases, there are venues I’ve gone to so much that the security know me, often by name … In any case, although the crowd thinned out for the fun collective, it was probably one of the more enthusiastic crowds I’ve been around for quite some time as everyone – and i mean everyone – danced, which can seem like a rarity in NYC. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been to funk shows where people have stood there with arms crossed and it doesn’t make sense. But by far it was one of the most fun shows i’ve been to in a few months, as the band initially pushed the crowd’s energy and matched it note for note. And they may arguably be among an elite group of this country’s most impressive funk bands – yeah, seriously.
Check out photos from the show below.
For these photos and more, check out the Flickr set here: