Monday, December 11, 2017

The GroovaLottos and The Soul, Funk & Blues Legacy

A powerhouse soul-funk-blues band reflects on the swelling rise of their movement as the landscape of urban music changes.

In the book The Death of Rhythm & Blues, by Nelson George, (1987) the end of Black music audiences as tastemakers was predicted and has sadly come to pass. It was in the late 1950s when Black American musical genres, Gospel, Blues, Rhythm & Blues (also called Jump Blues), and Jazz re-converged into a sound called Soul music. Soul music would also incorporate the instruments, rhythms, and nuances of Afro-Caribbean music as well. As a music form that incubated and blossomed during the civil rights movement; the lyrics and social content of the music was reflective of the Black experience. As with all African American musical forms, Soul music became globally influential.

However, around the beginning of the new millennium, the influence of the Black audiences on the shaping the Black aesthetic began to wain, to the extent that the "tastemaker" status that Black audiences once held is now seen as non-existent by many. Much of this is due to the rapid disappearance of small, local and regional live music venues that catered to mostly Black audiences; often introducing audiences to new music and artists.

Slowly, these venues began to make the switch to either using a DJ or a cover band, leaving artists and bands that focused on original music to seek audiences and gigs elsewhere. Black music audiences now have their artists, music, and trends pre-packaged for them, removing the organic effect of audience finding artists and artists finding audiences.

For The GroovaLottos who have always prided themselves on treating soul, funk and blues like traditions and not commodities; the search for venues and audiences led to them following the Indie Band and Jam Band route, playing to mostly white audiences. Curiously, while the styles and trends of Black music have shifted, the band's debut album, "Ask Yo' Mama" was still nominated for a Grammy in the "Best R&B Album" category.

Playing on over 200 radio stations and streaming shows throughout the USA and Canada, charting on Jam Band and RMR Charts, and receiving 4 Grammy nominations in Pop and R&B; The GroovaLottos are now being seen and recognized by Grown & Sexy Black audiences.

Join The GroovaLottos for their Pre-Grammy Kick-Off performance at the Coffeehouse Soul Sessions on January 20, 2018 at the Dedham Square Coffeehouse, 565 High St, Dedham, MA. Show starts at 8PM

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