Founded in 2011 by Adam Castaneda (bass) and featuring Pat Kelly (vocals, keyboard), Jon Durbin (trumpet), Michael Razo (trombone), Kevin Bernier (guitar), Jose “Chapy” Luna (percussion), Nick Zamora (vocals, drums), Cory Wilson (saxophone), Alex Zamora (vocals, guitar), and Kam Franklin (vocals), the Houston, TX-based dectet The Suffers are part of a retro soul music renaissance and resurgence that began in the early 00s with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields and the Expressions and others, and has continued with an incredibly diverse array of regionally-known, nationally known and internationally-based acts.
The Houston-based dectet quickly saw their profile grow both locally and regionally as they began packing venues in their hometown and have won 11 Houston Press Music Awards over the last few years. And as a result of the attention they had been receiving over the past three years, they’ve played regional festivals such as Voodoo Music and Arts Experience in 2014, Dallas’ Index and Homegrown Festivals, Houston’s Free Press Summer Festival, Untapped Festival, as well as nationally renowned festivals – CMJ and SXSW. They also opened for Lee Fields and the Expressions at Big D NYE, the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the Central Time Zone.
With the release of the Make Some Room EP, The Suffers have exploded on to the national map as the band has played festival sets at Hangout Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Neon Desert Music Festival, made their second appearance at CMJ earlier this month, and made their national television debut on Late Show with David Letterman.
Continuing with the national attention they’ve received, the band recently made an appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert where they played somewhat stripped down and sultry versions of EP singles “Giver,” “Midtown” and their blogosphere dominating single “Gwan.” And from this footage it’s obvious that vocalist Kam Franklin is a charismatic soon-to-be superstar, as her vocal range bears a resemblance to both Sharon Jones and Chaka Khan.