Deep, raw funk. Stax-style Southern soul. Uplifting Motown-channeling anthems. Atlanta’s Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics are the heirs to the thrones of the old-school masters. But they’re much more than just a group of revivalists trying to create a period piece. Powerhouse singer Velle and her band will settle for nothing less than bringing these classic sounds glimmering into the now with a fresh new modern sheen.
Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics have made a name for themselves captivating audiences with their stirring live performances. They’re a world-class modern soul revue topped off with the cherry of Velle’s sultry voice, as she deftly toggles between sweetly crooned R&B tunes and expertly belted barn-burning get-downs that can instantly jolt a roomful of wallflowers into a wild dance party.
It’s this inviting and accessible bravado that has scored the band critical acclaim from outlets such as The New York Daily News, MTV, Paste and more. And in addition to their critical success, at a time when record sales are at an all-time industry low, the independent, DIY-minded Velle and the Soulphonics sold a quarter-million downloads of their single “My Dear” on iTunes, landing them in the top 30 on Billboard’s Heatseeker charts and at a stunning #4 on the iTunes R&B charts when their debut album It’s About Time was released in 2012. The group has shared bills with megastars and indie press darlings alike, including Erykah Badu, The XX, Goodie Mob, Gary Clark Jr., Animal Collective, Feist and Kendrick Lamar.
And they continue to blaze a trail into the hearts of music fans with their new single “Tried on a Smile,” which premiered via CNNgo. Their next single, “Broken Woman,” will be released in the summer of 2016 and their sophomore LP, “State of All Things,” is slated for a fall 2016 release.
Hailing from Norfolk, VA, Major and the Monbacks have created their own blend of rock n roll, merging retro 60’s rock n roll, psychedelic twang, soaring three-part harmonies, and the high energy and horn laden grit of southern soul. With three songwriters all switching between lead and backing vocal duties, as well as a full 8-piece ensemble that includes a lively horn section and a powerful rhythm section comprised of both a drummer and full time percussion player, the Monbacks have honed a very powerful sound. The band’s debut full length album, available now, has given the band a chance to finally capture the energy and tenacity of their live performances and translate that to a full studio release.
Twin brothers Neal and Cole Friedman founded what became Major and the Monbacks during high school in Norfolk, VA in 2008, teaming up with classmates Michael Adkins, Harry Slater, and Tyler West to form the core group that has driven the continued evolution and success of the band over the last 7 years. Beginning as late night jam sessions in Neal’s bedroom in 2008, the Monbacks transitioned from high school garage band into traveling college band, and finally, after college, into a full time east coast touring band, embarking on a 5 month, 100+ date tour in 2014 that took the band 20,000 miles along the East Coast from Vermont down to Alabama. The band will be hitting the road in mid-April 2015 on a 5-month tour of the Eastern United States in support of their upcoming album.
Lee grew up in Summerville, SC and picked up his dad’s guitar in the ninth grade. He learned to play by ear, wearing out several tapes and the rewind button on his boombox. By college, he finally owned a cd player and dove into the world of jazz guitar. After reading Charlie Parker’s autobiography and learning that the saxophonist practiced eight hours a day for two years, he figured he could get the same results with four hours a day for four years. Mildly successful with this formula, he graduated with a degree in jazz guitar performance from the University of South Carolina. He then moved back to Charleston where, within a year of graduating, he became the youngest adjunct professor of jazz guitar at the College of Charleston. During his six years there, he played in several groups, including a gypsy swing band, several jazz ensembles and a touring rock band. He has played the Austin City Limits Festival, recorded with jazz guitar legend, Joe Beck, and toured with indie rockers, Band of Horses. He has been featured in Jazz Times, Spin magazine and The New York Times. He currently resides in Charleston after a year spent teaching, playing and freezing his southern bones in New York City. Lee has released four albums; his latest, ‘nonfiction’, is his most ambitious project to date. It features Jeff Sipe (The Black Crowes, Leftover Salmon) John Ellis (Charlie Hunter, Norah Jones) and many other fantastic musicians who helped him bring this music to life. When not playing, teaching or writing music, Lee plays competitive-level table tennis, the shakuhachi flute, and occasionally sits in silence.
Nicholaus Neptune is not a man – he is an event, an end unto itself, something to behold. He is the future. He is, all-in-all, the Forger and Wielder of Good Times. If you know, then you know; if you don’t, then perhaps you will one day.
Nick Neptune makes the good times happen – period. How, you may ask? By any means necessary. He plays the hot tracks, he gets it started, he keeps it going, he drops it low, he brings it back up, and does it all over again. You don’t dance, you say? Haha, we’ll see…
Human Resources (HЯ) is a new-wave dance rock band from Charleston, South Carolina. The band utilizes a contemporary approach to writing and producing its music, incorporating new tones and technologies to create accessible songs that are deeply engrained with dance and heavy groove sensibilities.
As the flagship project of Charleston based record label, Coast Records, the individual members of HЯ frequently lend their services, both as producers and session players, to a wide variety of musical acts in the area, an effort that has resulted in a comprehensive understanding of both the conceptualization and execution of a complete musical product. While the sound is instantly accessible, the band’s emphasis on layered, textural grooves allows listeners the opportunity to find new moments of excitement within each experience.
Human Resources’ live shows further reflect the band’s eye for concise and professional production. In addition to varying set lists, song manipulation, and intricate segues, each show also contains unique lighting and visual elements.