Milwaukee-based, neo-soul-and-funk-indie-powerhouse Kings Go Forth blow into DC - blow doors off the Rock and Roll Hotel
Kings Go Forth
Soul has been on a bit of a run the last couple of years. Sharon Jones, Mavis Staples, Black Joe Lewis, Eli Reed - the list goes on and on. But Kings Go Forth brings something different to the table; they bring rhythm and funk in a way that I've not yet heard in our current neo-soul revival. In case you're uninformed, Kings Go Forth is a roughly 10-piece band hailing from the great state of Wisconsin. They've been around since 2007, but didn't release an LP until spring of 2010. On their debut, The Outsiders are Back, the arrangements include guitars, bass, trapset, percussion, trumpet, trombone, vocals, and keys, and the sound is akin to a Chicago/Detroit, 1970's/80's mashup.
Kings Go Forth
And these aren't just studio musicians. Their sound translated incredibly well to the stage, with nearly all voices from the record represented. The power and clarity of the horns was spectacular; the organ-piping Leslie was warm and inviting; the lead vocals provided by Black Wolf (possibly the most badass name I've heard in years) and Danny Fernandez (a lawyer who can get down with the best of them) were invigorating. They are truly talented, and without equivocation, I will see them again, and I will bring friends.
The Mighty Heard
Openers and local funkers The Mighty Heard were enjoyable as well. While the relentless reminders that good local music does exist from lead vocalist and co-frontman Terry T. got a little hackneyed, the band was tight, well-rehearsed, and just plain fun. They had good energy and crowd participation, and were able to get a usually-stuffy DC crowd to cut loose, if only a little. Look for these guys at the Velvet Lounge in March.