The New Mastersounds have been recording quality instrumental funk (often in the Meters or funky Grant Green tradition) for over a decade now, occasionally hooking up with some of the best vocalists of the contemporary scene. Presumably bored of the casual ease with which this has been accomplished they had a crack at a couple of new angles on Breaks From The Border. The first of these was recording the album in Texas (hence the LP title) – no great hardship admittedly – and the second was for members of the band to do vocals. So how did they get on? We asked the monkeyboxing.com tea lady (she’s a very funky woman) to give us the rundown:
TAKE WHAT YOU NEED
I surely will. This a big ol’ chicken-scratch funk groove sound like them nice Meters boys done when they recorded New Direction. Sound like the whole band sing on this and it work real well. Gonna fetch me a copy from the store just so’s I can play this one loud!
RUN THE GAUNTLET
Lawd a’mercy – it’s that boy Grant Green! He sound sho’ nuff fine.
ON THE BORDER
This them Meters boys again? Got that itchy ol’ guitar working and a bit of piano straight from the juke joint.
Hmm – it start off real nice but them vocal sound like one of them white soul-boys. Put me in mind of Bryan Auger after that nice Julie Driscoll up and lef’ his band.
What’s that you say? Grant Green step in for Leo Nocentelli when he hurt his hand? I kep’ telling that boy to lay off them domino but he ain’t listen to nobody!
This sound like mo’ white boy foolishness – kinda like Georgie Fame write it and play it and Bryan Auger sing it.
WALK IN THESE SHOES
Hmph – he sing on this one too but it sound like the Meters playin agin.
Just ‘cause we back to them good ol’ funk-poppin’ instrumentals and just because you playin’ jazz piano for a touch of class don’t mean it ain’t no thing to take the lord’s name in vain!
CAN YOU GET IT?
This one nearly as funky as the first one! The whole band sing on it too and it sound real nice.
TURN IT UP
Sound like some real nice barrel house funk but for that white boy squalling on it.
UP IN THE AIR
Bless you chile – for a minute there it sound like you say ‘The Style Council’!
Well, there you have it – further proof, if it were needed – that tea ladies (like taxi drivers) always have an opinion. It would seem that vocal cuts Take What You Need and Can You Get It are the strongest tracks. I might add personally that the production is off the hook too. Check the LP on the player below and for more foolishness check the band videos below that and the band bio/ press guff below that…
(Out now on Tallest Man Records)
The New Mastersounds are a four-piece band based in Leeds, England, whose modern take on vintage soul-jazz, funk and rock draws influences from Jimmies McGriff, Smith, and Hendrix, as well as their most closely-associated mentors, The Meters. Try to imagine Grant Green and Lou Donaldson having a fight in a Hammond Organ shop while James Brown holds the coats, and you have some idea of what to expect from this band
Their first single, One Note Brown, was released on Blow It Hard Records in 2000 and was passionately championed by acclaimed Northern Soul and funk DJ Keb Darge. To date, the band has released four studio records: 102%, This Is What We Do, Be Yourself, Keb Darge Presents… as well as The New Mastersounds Re::Mixed, and Live At La Cova. Also of note: their single, “Your Love Is Mine” featuring Corinne Bailey Rae, was used in the 2007 Warner Brothers movie Feast of Love.
Having toured throughout Europe, Japan and the USA, the NMS have earned global recognition as a key band in the ‘New Funk’ scene. But purists beware: their unique blend of funk, rock, soul and dance music is hard to sum up and doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre.
Headed soon to a city near you, The New Mastersounds deliver gritty grooves and deep rhythms in clubs, theater venues and festivals alike. Their live shows will get you up dancing and hold you there intoxicated by the funk until last call- when you’ll stagger home, sweaty and exhausted, on a wave of euphoria. Led by guitarist and producer Eddie Roberts, The New Mastersounds feature Joe Tatton on Hammond, Pete Shand on bass and Simon Allen on drums.