Journey Agents (Houston, TX)
The Journey Agents (commonly referred to as the J.A.’s) are a Houston-based, six member funk ensemble. The music, simply and conveniently classified as funk, is all original (barring the occasional Curtis Mayfield or Lonnie Liston Smith jam) and often explores other territories as well. Latin, percussion-heavy samba rhythms, textures of jazz, and energy of rock are elements that can also be found in the grease bucket. Cosmic, spacy vibes, yet earth-rooted and tightly arranged movements, are designed to be crowd-centric. A phased out Rhodes piano is a common centerpiece, and is punctuated by the warm tube glow, mid 70’s virtuosity and analogue know-how of the players (whose collective name was modeled after a piece by Rashaan Roland Kirk.) The band’s shared passion for the likes of the Isley Brothers and Roy Ayers is a clear central influential force. The lyrical content often revolves around such politically charged, spiritually aware themes as fried chicken and Cadillacs – subjects many musicians and global leaders are afraid to touch. But the JA’s be puttin’ it in yo earhole anyhow.
2010 & 2011 Houston Press Music Awards nominees for Best R&B/Funk/Soul
Achachay (Austin, TX)
Achachay! Is the brain- child of three hyperfunkadelicsuperbadslappin’ dudes from Austin, TX. They seek to bring the groove to you and yours’ booties on the dance floor.
Ryan: Achachay! is unique because we refuse to settle and write songs that sound like what is deemed “popular”. We are trying to get people back on the dance floor with groovy tunes and infectious beats created by dedicated musicians. We pull from a ton of influences and don’t shy away from having songs that don’t all sound similar: you might here ska, samba, jazz, and funk all in one song. We realize there is no easy, golden ticket for success: we love to play and we are willing to work harder and tour more than everyone else to get to the place we feel our music deserves.
Jordan: Yes, it starts with our music, and continues with our mission, our attitude, and our purpose. We live everyday to make the world a better a place. We live everyday to wake the world up from the inside out. It starts with us individually, personally, and the small things we create. Achachay! will always make something you’ve never heard before, from us or anyone else. It will always be created with the intention of being fully honest, fully embracing, and fully inspiring. Whether it inspires you to dance or cry depends on the honesty of the moments we make it in. Our attitude is one of passion, service, and love, and our purpose wrapped up in all of these things. True superstars shine creative light from every fiber of our being. We share something meaningful with the world and make every being in it better for it.
Electric Attitude (Houston, TX)
2011 Houston Press Music Award Winner – “Best Soul/Funk/R&B”
“Electric Attitude may hail from Houston, but there’s some serious Detroit mojo running through the [band’s] veins — the Detroit of the White Stripes and Electric Six, not Iggy and the MC5. Cross-breeding Blake Shepard’s lusty, high-pitched yowl and sprawling guitar with thumpingly precise rhythms, “City’s Gonna Get You, Sucka!” and “Pistolwhip” stop off at Little Steven’s Underground Garage on their way to the dance floor. Potent stuff.” -Chris Gray (Music Editor – Houston Press)
Houston-based singer Blake Shepard, bassist Kwesi Sackey, and guitarist Jordan Bell formed Electric Attitude in the summer of 2007 to take their individual influences in the genres of rock, blues, funk and soul, and fuse them into a modern sound for crowds to stop standing with their hands in their pockets, and grab somebody and dance. With a new drummer manning the skins, and the addition of James Murphy on the saxophone, Electric Attitude turned a lot of heads at SXSW 2010, playing 6 shows in 2 days and leaving sweaty dance floors in their wake. Summer 2010 saw EA hit the Midwest on their 12-date “Breakdown and Shake Tour” in support of 2009’s EP “Laser Laser Laser Beams”, and since then the party hasn’t stopped. Next up was an opening slot for Semi Precious Weapons (fresh off a sold-out tour with Lady Gaga), and the winter months saw the band sharing the stage with such diverse National/International acts as Warpaint, Bonobo, Daniel Johnston, Dengue Fever, Ume, Girl In A Coma, Built By Snow, Yppah, and Thavius Beck. 2011 has proven to be a year of milestones for Electric Attitude, starting with playing to a packed house as the opener for 100 Monkeys on the Main Stage of House of Blues – Houston, as well as taking home the trophy for “Best Soul/Funk/R&B” in the Houston Press Music Awards. EA is keeping the momentum rolling into the studio, as tracking for the new album has started at The Womb in Austin, TX and the full length is slated to hit the streets in spring of 2012.
Brandon West (Houston, TX)
This Friday, Dance Dance Dance, Sweat!