(Photo above courtesy of Parallel 44)
Parallel 44 Presents is very excited to present our good friends Polyrhythmics with special guests Kelly Finnigan & The Atonements will be throwing down some serious Funk/Soul goodness for us on Saturday, November 17. Doors open at 8:30pm, the show starts at 9pm.
Rich with bold brass and hypnotic percussion, Polyrhythmics’ latest album, Caldera, showcases the instrumental eight-piece’s impossibly tight grooves and virtuosic musicianship as they tear through a singular blend of funk, soul, psychedelic rock, R&B, progressive jazz, and Afrobeat. Calling to mind everything from Antibalas and the Dap-Kings to The Meters and Fela Kuti, it’s without a doubt their strongest work to date, merging the infectious power of their live show with a sleek and nuanced studio sophistication.
Named for the smoldering crater left after a volcanic eruption, Caldera was written during a band retreat to rural Oregon, where Polyrhythmics embraced truly collaborative songwriting for the first time during a marathon session in the shadow of Mt. Hood (itself an active volcano). The resulting album is a blistering declaration from a band that’s progressed beyond the sum of its influences to come fully into its own. From the downtempo, Afrobeat trance of Stargazer to the triumphantly anthemic, high-octane pump-up funk of Marshmallow Man, Caldera is instrumental music at its best: emotional, evocative, mesmerizing. On Cactus Blossoms, Polyrhythmics craft an eerie, retro gem straight out of a 70’s film score, while the trippy effects and wah-wah guitar of Goldie’s Road suggest a psychedelic journey (or perhaps a bad trip), and the shuffling Vodka For My Goat draws on Stax soul while hinting at BB King’s merger of the blues and jazz. It’s an eclectic collection, tied together by the melding of eight distinct musical voices coming together as a cohesive whole.
The record follows the Seattle band’s stellar third album, Octagon, which earned them tour dates around the country along with plenty of critical acclaim. The Stranger dubbed Polyrhythmics a group to watch, hailing their “sophisticated slinkiness and expressive brassiness,” while WNCW praised their “modern afro-psycho-beat blend,” and the Seattle Times dubbed them “funk maestros.” The band was invited to perform live on influential Seattle NPR station KEXP, shared bills with everyone from Snarky Puppy to Booker T, and played massive festival stages including Bumbershoot, High Sierra, and Vancouver International Jazz Fest.
Ben Bloom – Guitars
Grant Schroff – Drums
Nathan Spicer – Keys
Lalo Bello – Percussion
Karl Olson – Percussion
Jason Gray – Bass
Scott Morning – Trumpet
Elijah Clark – Trombone
Art Brown – Sax and Flute
About Kelly Finnigan
The birth of the soul music revival offered a potent dose of authenticity to an industry watered down by fabricated pop stars. These artists, orchestrated behind the scenes by vinyl collectors turned label heads poured their hearts out on stage and on records, and audiences responded in kind. But what the movement has been missing thus far is an auteur, a visionary that writes, records, performs and produces his own material. Enter Kelly Finnigan.
The California born singer, songwriter, musician, engineer, arranger & producer known as the psych soul band Monophonics front man and co-producer will release his first solo album, The Tales People Tell (Colemine Records), in the winter of 2019. The ten-song collection is raw and gritty, tender and emotive, lush and symphonic. With Finnigan guiding these songs from their conception at Transistor Sound Studio all the way to the record pressing plant, the new release provides the singular voice missing from soul music.
He might be invoking a golden era of soul music, but Finnigan captures a timelessness that transcends the “retro” label so often cast on music with a gritty aesthetic. Partnering with Terry Cole of rising label Colemine Records was a key part of his upcoming LP —he’s been involved in over a dozen Colemine releases as an engineer, producer, songwriter, instrumentalist and singer. There may not be another album that synthesizes the current soul movement better.
Finnigan plans to tour in 2019 behind the album release.