Monophonics At The Elks Lodge in Telluride
By keeping all of the groovy rhythm and horn flexing of orthodox funk, throwing down world beat progressions and topping it off with a psychedelic flare, San Francisco’s rising progressive soul act Monophonics aims to conquer Telluride yet again. Starting as a traditional instrumental act in 2005, the group recently brought on singer and keyboardist Kelly Finnigan to build upon their unique concoction of the Soul sub-genre called Black Rock. The blended sound aims to find the balance between electronic organ-based funk and fuzzed up West Coast guitar rock. Fittingly coming from the actual birthplace of the 1960s music movement, the timeless influence channels through their Louisiana-laced brass and deep base. While the soul notes switch between fancy organ leads and guitar solos, the overall combination of feel-good songwriting places Monophonics among the best to come out of California in recent history.
The last year was the biggest yet for the California sextet now in its seventh year. The month of March saw them trading notes with trombone legend Big Sam at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and this past September they threw down a memorable set at our very own Telluride Blues & Brews. Building off of guest appearances by Karl Denson and Mic Gillette of Tower of Power on their most recent record, Into The Infrasounds, Monophonics has put in work on over 300 live shows all around the country. In the process they have perfected their dark soul brand that is truly highlighted by Finnigan’s fierce vocal delivery. That kid is something special, so be sure to catch him and crew on Saturday night at The Elks Lodge.
Monophonics, Sat. Feb. 9, Elks Lodge, 10 p.m., $12
The Royal Southern Brotherhood at Fly Me to the Moon Saloon
It is not uncommon for Telluride to receive appearances from rock royalty, but when it becomes a family affair featuring Southern Rock’s extended genealogy of the likes of Cyril Neville, Devon Allman, Mike Zito, Charlie Wooton, and Yonrico Scott, it is impossible for something special not to happen. With pure bloodlines running all the way back to the Allman Brothers’ Peach State blues rock and the Neville Brother’s Louisiana birthright funk, this supergroup lead by Cyril and Devon combines two of the most influential families in Southern music history into one strong jam outfit.
After the success of demos and a few video singles, the band made its debut performance at the New Orleans Rock ‘N Bowl last September. The familial hybrid sound features three-part harmonies of the poetic flavor, rough guitars that reach up and get down, and a rhythm section that has been road tested with players like The Wood Brothers and the Derek Trucks Band. If the personnel alone won’t get you through the door, one listen to strong cuts like “Left My Heart in Memphis” and “New Horizon” will probably do it. Now with a self-titled full length album under their belts, and bold plans for a world tour, The Royal Southern Brotherhood will first make their debut performance in Telluride on Monday at the Fly Me to the Moon Saloon.
The Royal Southern Brotherhood, Mon., Feb. 11, Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, Telluride, 10 p.m., $15