“Rising Stars of Funk & Soul”
Tropicalia, Washington D.C.
Earlier this month at Tropicalia I got a dose of jazz, soul, and funk that was long overdue from the newly formed Backbeat Underground. The group blends the old & the new drawing on influences ranging from James Brown to Soulive to the Meters to The NewMastersounds.
The set started off with ‘Aquafresh’ led by Satya Thallam’s sax work. ‘Yeah, You’re Right’ & ‘Twomp’ showcased Andrew Clark’s Hammond B-3 and electric pianos chops. Shortly thereafter, the group took off on ‘Crash Burn Learn w/Summertime Outro ‘, giving the crowd nothing but unprecedented musicianship. It quickly became clear this would be one of the best sets from an opening act in recent memory.
Wedeles’s guitar tone remnescient, of John Scofield & Eric Krasno, was held down by Gerald Pierce’s funk groove bass walks on ‘Get off The Tracks’ & ‘The Takeback”. Dave Berger & Tim Ward delivered exceptional percussive elements to the sound giving the 6 piece act room for improvisation. A special treat of the D.C. scene is collaboration, that Friday night was no exception, with underground M.C. phenomena Flex Mathews joining the group for a ‘Steppin with Red Clay’ Interlude and an exceptional ‘Turkey Grease’ (See Video Above Watch in 1080HD).
In all, it was a night filled with definitive musicianship with Backbeat reminding us that in an era of a lackluster mainstream music, live music lives, and as a matter of fact, it thrives in D.C.
Backbeat Underground w/ Flex Mathews