Friday I caught a really fun show put on by the Giant Step family at Hiro Ballroom: Alice Russell, Taylor McFerrin + J-Boogie. Coming from my bay area background, it’s essential to get my fill of unpretentious, down-to-earth soul every once in a while. Even though I missed Taylor’s set, I still managed to get my fix. Having shared the stage with Ms. Russell less than a year ago at a tiny venue in the Lower East Side, it was very encouraging to see her with a full band (the talented TM Juke on guitar) getting lots of love from a much bigger crowd. And her new songs are not to be slept on! At the end of “Hunger” she brought the song into some double-time foot stomping action ala The Isley Brothers’ “Shout”.
I’ve been listening to J-Boogie’s latest CD too- letting my inner headwrap hippie get blissed out. “Patchouli Soul” perhaps? Like I said, I’ve been a fan of his jazzy-retro-conscious sound for years, and I’m glad he’s still doing it, despite the total lack of play that this sound gets (at least in NY). And can anyone complain when Mr. Vigs gets on the talkbox? J-Boogie’s got a handful of really hot remixes floating around right now as well, but you’ll have to ask your local DJ for the connect since he’s specifically requested “no sharing”.