Friday, June 27, 2014

Tweed Funk -- "First Name Lucky"

Tweed Funk formed in 2010 in Milwaukee, and their debut release was "Bringing It." That put them on the map, and their next cd, "Love Is" just kept them climbing. This is their third cd, and this time out, Tweed Funk wanted to make something in the style of those great Memphis soul records. Recorded mostly live in the studio of first or second takes. This is one great cd--just smoking from track one to track eleven! 

Of course, all the members of Tweed Funk have talent and abilities in spades, and they have won awards to prove it. Tweed Funk won the 2012 Wisconsin Area Music Industry award for R&B/Soul Artist of the Year.  For 2013 frontman Smokey took home the WAMI for Male Vocalist of the Year and Bassist Eric Madunic for Bass Player of the Year.  Additionally, Tweed Funk was nominated in 2013 for R&B/Soul Artist of the Year and Kevin Klemme for Brass/Reeds Player of the Year.  In 2011 the band was nominated for a WAMI for New Artist of the Year.  Frontman Smokey was nominated for a 2012 WAMI for Best Male Vocalist. And Kevin Klemme took home the 2014 WAMI for brass/reeds Player Of The Year.

Smokey Holman sings, JD Optekar plays guitar, Eric Madunic plays bass, and Nick Lang plays drums. The horn section is Jon Lovas on sax and Kevin Klemme on trumpet. Rounding things out are Brian "Looper" Lucas on harmonica on "Get It On," and Chrissy Dzioba and Sara Moilanen on backing vocals on three tracks. Seven songs are new Tweed Funk originals, with four covers--a hot reading of "Let The Good Times Roll" that takes it back to its blues roots, a truly amazing "Sugarfoot," with maximum R&B spilling on the floor, an inspired take of "I Got Loaded" that threatens the Los Lobos version, and a cover of "Knock On Wood" sung by Eric Madunic that my wife in the next room thought was Sam and Dave. I really enjoy "Blues In My Soul," an original that, the first time I heard it, made me get up from the computer and dance. 
Sometimes all your heart needs is a guy with a guitar. But there are other times when the sound your heart is looking for is a full band with horns. These guys play it hot and greasy, and the Memphis soul/R&B focus was an inspired choice. It's like listening to Booker T & The MGs again when those guys were all in their prime. 

I could go on and on, but suffice to say this is my new favorite band. You can buy this cd at   

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