For the past year or so, I've been watching the Denver music scene explode! From the dynamic afro-beat sounds of Atomga to the breakout grooves of Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats to the Indie sounds of The Kissing Party, Colorado's front range has become one of the country's rising music hot spots.
Things have only become more groovalicious with the recent release of the outstanding new album, MataMata, from Denver’s electro-funk collective, Tnertle (on Super Best Records). The man behind the curtain (and behind the bass) is Trent Campbell. Campbell composed all the tracks on the new album and his expert production takes us on a musical, cross-genre, adventure moving seamlessly across classic funk, laid back chill, electro-swing, neo-soul and more. Campbell always keeps things interesting and this well-produced collection hits all the right notes. These eleven tracks have quickly become my go-to soundtrack for many late night gatherings.
The dynamic title track, MataMata, channels the best grooves of Thievery Corporation, while the sample-laden, Dance All Night, showcases Lily Fangz' fine hip-hop vocals over a tight horn arrangement. Back-to-back, these two tracks combine for one of the best one-two punches from any album released in 2015.
Tnertle knows how to groove. Check out the driving "Beautiful Mind" featuring Ray Salazar holding his own over the funky, horn-laden beats. As the band's press release accurately points out, "Tnertle has evolved into an 8-piece collective with every musician holding an intricate piece of the musical puzzle. Leah Concialdi uses her arranging background to utilize a musical sound palate of baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone, and electronic wind instrument (EWI) to fill out Campbell’s melodies in the live setting." On this album, the amazingly talented, multi-instrumental Concialdi (who also plays on Nathaniel Rateliff's recent chart-busting album) is joined by her ATOMGA band mate, Alice Hansen, on trumpet to give the group a full-ranged, dynamic horn section. The horns are really what makes this album so special. Whether adding punch to the instrumental track "Menertle" or swing to the oh-so-fun "Hector Schwing," Concialdi and crew stand out from the crowd.
Definitely look for them live this winter if you are in the Denver area. Tnertle is a band to watch.
Give Tnertle a listen. You won't be sorry!
The great Natalie Cole died today. She leaves behind a legacy of beautiful vocals that are captured in this playlist. RIP Natalie.
A look back at those we lost this year. This playlist honors the musicians and artists who passed away during 2015, including B.B. King, Ben E. King, Percy Sledge, Allen Toussaint and many others.
New Orleans piano great, Allen Toussaint, died this week at age 77. He was still performing right up to the time of his death. His influential New Orleans R&B sound echoes through the city's music scene to this day.
If you like the new, solid gold sounds of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings then you'll love this mix of uptempo groovers.
If you like the retro soul sounds of Amy Winehouse (or if you are looking to expand your Amy collection after viewing the fantastic new film "Amy") here's the playlist for you.
The latest in my series of "If You Like.." playlists is First Aid Kit. If you like the layered and laid-back vibe of this great band, you'll love this playlist.
The latest in my series of "If You Like.." playlists is Marvin Gaye. If you like the soulful sounds of this late, great artist, you'll love this playlist.
If you like Mumford & Sons, then you'll love this playlist of hand-curated songs that are just perfect for fans of that band. Look for more in our "If You Like..." series coming soon.
Next in my series of "If You Like.." playlists is Nick Drake. If you like the brooding sounds of this late, great artist, you'll love this playlist.