Tag: Eddie Roberts

Chris Sherman is a Cincinnati-born and-based bassist, best known as Freekbass. Sherman, who graduated from his hometown’s School for Creative and Performing Arts started his career in earnest, when Bootsy’s Rubber Band vocalist Gary “Mudbone” Cooper recruited Sherman to record a track, which would appear on a Jimi Hendrix tribute compilation.

Sherman was introduced to the legendary Bootsy Collins, who had given him his stage name. In 1992, Sherman along with guitarist Chris Donnelly formed SHAG. Two years, later the band released their debut effort, Bootsy Collins Presents SHAG Live.

In 1998 Freekbass went solo, releasing his full-length debut, 1998’s Ultra-Violet Impact. Since then, the Cincinnati-born and -based bassist has gone to release seven more albums leading his own band, including 2019’s All the Way This. All the Way That.

Freekbass begins 2022 with the Eddie Roberts-produced “Under Krameria,” a swaggering and strutting bit of gritty funk that seems indebted to Funkadelic and Mandrill, centered around Freekbass’ thumping bass playing creating woozy melodies, Sky White’s soaring organ chords and some old school breakbeats. It’s the sort of soundtrack for strutting down the street in your finest threads.

After the session, the band was waiting for a title to come to them and found their van stopping under the Krameria street sign in Denver. As the story goes, the band realized that this odd bit of happenstance worked. It also manages to mirror, the song’s organic nature.

Lincoln, NE-based soul and funk outfit Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal — Josh Hoyer (vocals, keys), Blake DeForest (trumpet), Mike Keeling (bass), Benjamin Kushner (guitar) Harrison El Dorado (drums) — formed back in 2012. And since their formation, the Lincoln-based soul and funk outfit. which features some of their city’s most acclaimed and talented musicians, has received attention in the national and international soul and funk scenes for a genre-defying sound inspired by Stax RecordsMotown RecordsMuscle ShoalsNew OrleansPhiladelphia and San Francisco.

During their run together, the Lincoln-based quintet have also developed a reputation for being one of the region’s hardest working bands: They’ve released five albums, including this year’s Eddie Roberts-produced Natural Born Hustler, which featured the The Payback-era James Brown meets 70s Motown-like “Hustler” and sociopolitically charged, bluesy and soulful strut “Sunday Lies.” Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal have supported their albums with several tours across the Continental US and two European tours — and they’ve shared stages with George ClintonCharles BradleyBooker T. Jones, Muscle Shoals Soul Revue and an impressive list of others.

The Lincoln-based soul and funk outfit’s latest single, “Automatic” off Natural Born Hustler is a slow-burning and beguiling ballad that’s equal parts 50s doo-wop, Lou Rawls, and Motown/Daptone Records soul. Fittingly for a song centered around a classic and timeless sound and Hoyer’s effortless crooning, the song lyrically focuses on true love and its ability to make all of life’s woes and uncertainties disappear when you’re with your lover. From experience that sort of love is rare; but worthy of celebrating and cherishing.

Formed by Eddie Roberts and Robert Walter founding members of The New Mastersounds and The Greyboy AllStars respectively, The Rare Sounds is a new act that also features The Greyboy All Stars’ Chris Stillwell and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and The Greyboy AllStars’ Zak Najor.

The Rare Sounds’ debut single “Yeah You” is a gritty and urgent bit of 70s-like jazz funk and fusion centered around a relentlessly funky groove and some inspired soloing that to my ears is a slick mix of The JBs Booker, T and the MGs and Headhunters era Herbie Hancock. And at its core, is the knowing familiarity, comfort and esteem held by musicians who have played together for years in a number of different projects and configurations.

Interestingly, the Robert Walter penned composition had been workshopped in several different projects but its found a home during the band’s session at San Francisco‘s Hyde Street Studios last August. Walter describes “Yeah, You!” as “70s jazz-funk and fusion before the edges and dissonance were smoothed over to make it more commercial.” 

The band will be releasing additional tracks from their Hyde Street Studios session in the coming months and plan on booking additional performances in select markets to showcase the material.

Growing up in a small island community in Florida, the Florida-born, Denver-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jeff White believes the experience is imprinted onto his soul and his work. Inspired by the likes of Sublime, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Jack Johnson, Barrington Levy, and Paul Simon, the Florida-born, Denver-based artist has developed and honed what he has dubbed “acoustic roots soul” with Jeff White & Soul Taxi, The Casual Strange and as aa solo artist.

White got the vision for his latest single — a recreation of Peter Tosh‘s classic “Treat You Right” — while surfing in Costa Rica. He recruited his friends and longtime collaborators JJ Grey and Morfo‘s Todd Small, Magic Beans‘ Casey Russell and Joey Lanna to record two versions of the track with Color Red Music founder and The New MastersoundsEddie Roberts: The A side is a soulful reggae version that slows the tempo down but still manages to hew closely in spirit to the original. The B side is a shuffling Motown meets Muscle Shoals-like take on the song that makes the song sound as though it could have been released in 1972 or so. Interestingly, while both versions prominently feature White’s soulful crooning, they manage to pull the hurt and betrayal at the center of the original, even more into the spotlight.

Ojai-born, Long Beach-based vocalist Adryon de León has had a vast and varied career. de León has been a backing artist for an eclectic and impressive array of acclaimed artists including Lady Gaga, George Clinton, Macy Gray and others. She spent seven years as the frontwoman of Orgōne — and she’s currently one of the dead vocalists in Matador! Soul Sounds alongside Eddie Roberts, Alan Evans, Kim Dawson and Nate Edgar. Recently, de Leòn contributed vocals to a a track on Trent Reznor‘s score for the Netflix biopic Mank.

de Leòn’s Max MacVeety and David Tam-produced single “Ally” is funky, Motown soul-inspired strut, centered around the Ojai-born, Long Beach-based vocalist’s soulful, powerhouse vocals. And while seemingly indebted to the likes of James Brown, Steve Wonder and others, the song was inspired by contemporary events: The song finds de Leòn reflecting on the riots incited by George Floyd’s murder happening two blocks from her Long Beach home — and the messages she received from well-meaning friends the following morning.

As, a response, the Ojai-born, Long Beach-based vocalist decided to stop being precious and cute with the subjects of race and injustice. “Ally” wound up being a vehicle to process her emotions and respond to all of them — with the song being a fiery and soulful reminder and call to the arms. The fight for equality and justice is an ongoing one, the song says. this particular iteration of uprising and struggle is a small chapter in a much longer story. And as the song — and its narrator — demands of the listener: if you’re in a position of privilege, it’s your responsibility to stand up for the disenfranchised, the vulnerable and overlooked, and to be an ally for positive change.


Rising Lincoln, NE-based soul and funk act Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal — Josh Hoyer (vocals, keys), Blake DeForest (trumpet), Mike Keeling (bass), Benjamin Kushner (guitar) Harrison El Dorado (drums) — formed back in 2012, and since their formation, the act, which features some of the Lincoln area’s most acclaimed musicians, has received attention nationally and internationally for a boundary crossing sound inspired by the sounds of Stax RecordsMotown RecordsMuscle ShoalsNew OrleansPhiladelphia and San Francisco.

Over the past eight years, the members of the Lincoln-based act have been one of the Midwest’s hardest working bands, releasing four, critically applauded albums, including last year’s Do It Now, which they’ve supported through several tours across the Continental US and two European tours. Adding to a growing profile, the act has opened for the likes of George Clinton, Charles BradleyBooker T. Jones, Muscle Shoals Soul Revue and an impressive list of others.

Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal’s Eddie Roberts-produced fifth album Natural Born Hustler is slated for release later this year through Color Red Records, and the album further establishes the act’s sound — music written for grown-ass folks by written-by grown-ass folks rooted in earnest and honest songwriting while sonically drawing from 70s funk and blues, doo-wop and psych soul with a modern twist.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Hustler,” Natural Born Hustler‘s third single was a strutting and defiantly upbeat bit of soul that seemed indebted to The Payback-era James Brown, 70s Motown, Muscle Shoals, Daptone and Memphis soul in a seamless yet period specific synthesis. The end result was a track is one-part, much-needed proverbial kick in the ass and one-part, much-needed rallying cry for our uncertain times.

“Sunday Lies,” Natural Born Hustler‘s fourth and latest single continues a run of coolly strutting, bluesy soul centered around twinkling organ, Hoyer’s Tom Jones-like crooning, wah wah pedaled guitar, twinkling organ, a looping and propulsive groove and a cinematic yet powerhouse horn line. But underneath the expansive song structure and cool strutting vibes is a simmering anger, as the song calls out the widening chasm between word and action when those in power corrupt their message. In fact, the song’s narrator makes the observation that for voters, the voter dynamic is often swayed when politicians co-opt their platforms with religious messages — and the willful blinders that sometimes inhibit the faithful from accepting the truth and reality: that they’re being cynically played by wanton hypocrites.