Tag Archives: funk rock

Review: The Groove Merchants – Take It

Artist: The Groove Merchants
Album: Take It (LISTEN)
Released: Aug. 9, 2016
Genre: Blues/Funk/Rock

Need New Year’s Eve plans? Ring in 2017 with The Groove Merchants at The Hamilton Kitchen beginning at 9 p.m. Details here.

The Groove Merchants have gained a reputation for their big sound, funky rhythms, and stellar musicianship. They deliver on all of those points on their recent full-length effort, “Take It.”

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Dana Gaynor Band Stands Up to Give ‘Power to the People’

Dana Gaynor is one of our music scene’s true icons and veterans. She’s won awards, and has played and toured with world-renowned artists.

All of Dana’s influences and experiences seem to come together splendidly on her band’s latest release, “Power to the People,” a seamless 14-track journey through the lands of blues, funk, country, and rock and roll.

Dana’s guitar work on “Power to the People” is, as expected, magnificent. A particular highlight is “In the Land of Fool’s Gold,” which features two well-crafted solos. Things get grittier on “Road to Oblivion,” which is complemented nicely with a fun groove in the rhythm section.

One thing to note about “Power to the People” is versatility. “Frenchman’s Wife” draws its main influence from country, while “Ghost Train” showcases the band’s blues side. Meanwhile, the album’s title track brings out the funk as Gaynor cries out for mankind to stand together and find unity in the world’s madness.

By crossing so many different styles and appealing to so many different tastes, Dana Gaynor makes it possible to find that unity, not only through her lyrics, but through a thoughtful album that offers something for everyone.

Standout tracks: “In the Land of Fool’s Gold,” “Power to the People”

Review: Wetbrain ft. Rone and Russell Kutys – She Bad

Combine a funky groove with slick hip-hop verses and reggae rock undertones, and you have “She Bad,” the new single from Philadelphia’s Wetbrain.

The band draws well from an eclectic blend of influences on “She Bad,” ranging from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper. This is Wetbrain’s first collaboration, with the band receiving support on the track from local rappers and friends Rone and Russell Kutys. Together, the artists combine with catchy verses and clever lyrics to make “She Bad” a fun and enjoyable track for the summer.

Check it out below, and stay tuned for Wetbrain’s upcoming EP this fall.

Review: The Wayside Shakeup – Private Party EP

Join us tomorrow on SoundCloud and iTunes for QSLehighValley, where we will be joined by Rob Volansky of The Wayside Shakeup. Also, check out our review of the band’s newest single, “Stay Up.”

Artist: The Wayside Shakeup
Album: Private Party EP (LISTEN)
Released: 2015
Genre: Funk/Rock

Those who know The Wayside Shakeup know that they’re a versatile group of guys, each with distinctive musical tastes. Their most recent EP, “Private Party,” sees them use their talents to delve into the world of funk with the savvy of genre veterans.

This EP will get you up and moving from the start, beginning with the fast and fun title track. Indeed, “Private Party” sets the tone for a good time to come before heading into the groovy dance rock tune, “Silence is Your Soundtrack.” We then flow quite easily into the sunny “Finally Looking Up,” which laces jazz undertones and a fun chorus together to make even the biggest skeptics feel optimistic.

Things get very interesting on EP closer, “Wear You Down,” a six-and-a-half-minute romp that, in addition to funk, gives nods to 80s synth pop and Wayside’s trademark roots rock. This track is truly a journey, with a spacey, acoustic-based bridge that builds to the EP’s sonically climactic, feel-good ending.

If you haven’t been, now is a good time to begin following The Wayside Shakeup. The band proves on its “Private Party EP” that it has only just begun to tap into its potential. Let this EP serve as an introduction to their capabilities.

The Groove Merchants Revisit Some Favorite Tracks

The Groove Merchants are a name you’ve heard a lot so far on Lehigh Valley Underground. Between this Q&A from earlier in the week and our review of their debut, self-titled album, you’ve had the chance to know this great funk rock outfit from Kutztown.

It keeps getting better! The band has released a three-track EP, on which they’ve re-imagined some favorite songs from their first album with new trumpeter, Dylan Hinnershitz. Check it out!

Review: The Groove Merchants (Self-Titled)

Artist: The Groove Merchants
Album: Self-titled (LISTEN)
Release Date: Jul. 24, 2015
Genre: Blues/Funk/Rock

One thing a music lover will notice about The Groove Merchants is their prowess as musicians. They are seasoned beyond their years, and are only getting better with the recent addition of trumpeter Dylan Hinnershitz.

Their self-titled album was released in July, before the addition of Hinnershitz. However, it is an impressive introduction to this emerging funk rock juggernaut out of Kutztown.

That introduction is made right away, with the opening track, “John the Savage.” Tye Vallone’s smooth vocals are accompanied by funky rhythms from bassist John Evin Groome and drummer Anthony Guidotti, while guitarist Luke Ferracone shows some impressive guitar chops on his first solo of the record.

Overall, a listener gets the sense that this band’s creative process is fun and fluid. A track like “Modern Days” is an enjoyable six-minute ride that goes unexpected places, while album closer “Uhuru” is a slow-building jam that knocks on the door before kicking it down about five and a half minutes in, bringing the song and album to a climax with an exhilarating wall of sound.

The Groove Merchants offer some softer moments on this album. “Monster” is a love song that seems ripe for an acoustic set or album, while “Princess Please” is a beautiful ballad that has the potential to be used for a romantic candlelit dinner or the first dance at a wedding.

While the band continues to evolve its sound with the addition of horns, The Groove Merchants’ first effort is as solid an opening statement as you’ll find from a young band. The excitement to see where they go from here is palpable.