Chicago rock, funk and soul coming to Park City
March 8, 2011
Everybody loves a beat, said Lubriphonic guitarist Giles Corey.
"It starts with the drums and the bass and when you add a horn section, look out," Corey told The Park Record during a phone call from the band’s van somewhere between Tallahassee, Fla., and Savannah, Ga. "Funk is a lively type of music, and if people say they don’t know or like the music, nine times out of 10, they’re going to groove to it when we play it for them live."
Still, funk wasn’t Corey’s first choice of music while developing as a guitarist. Since he lived in Chicago, Ill., he was, naturally, attracted to the blues.
"I was influenced by Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Albert King, and all the Chicago Blues stuff," he said. "I started out playing in Chicago blues clubs."
Throughout his years playing the circuit, which include performing behind people such as Koko Taylor and Otis Rush, Corey developed a need to break out of the mold.
"I had been playing blues for so long and found the genre didn’t have a lot of room for experimentation," he said. "When you’re young and have played music for a long time, you don’t want to adhere to all the strict rules surrounding what you can do."
Recommended Stories For You
To break out of the rut, Corey teamed with drummer Richard King and formed the funk-soul band Lubriphonic.
They eventually recruited trumpeter Ron Haynes, bassist Pennal Johnson, saxophonist Garrick Patten, trombonist Norman Palm and keyboardist Andrew Toombs to solidify the lineup.
In developing it’s true style, Lubriphonic did things in reverse order than a lot of musicians and bands, Corey said.
"Other bands will come up with a concept and say they’re going to be a metal band or a country band," he said. "We didn’t do that. We found the people we wanted to play with. Then we played whatever we felt and asked ourselves, ‘Now what do we call this?’
"We settled it by saying our music lies somewhere between blues, funk and rock," Corey said. "We call it Led Zeppelin meets James Brown."
First and foremost Corey and the boys wanted to make sure the music was fun and danceable.
"We wanted to do something outside the box, but we also knew we were still going to be influenced by blues music," he said
With that in mind, Corey said they made it a priority to keep the lyrics upbeat.
"A lot of time when people write songs they have a tendency to throw all their baggage onto everyone because they have that creative outlet," he said. "That’s not what we wanted do. We didn’t want to turn our songs into grief sessions."
Also, the band decided to turn their gigs into events, instead of jams. To do this, Corey reflected on past experiences to create a captivating show.
"Sometimes you see bands that don’t have a concept of what a show is," he said. "They’ll go up and stare at their shoes and take a bunch of time between songs to set up their sound and effects pedals.
"Playing behind people like Otis Rush and Koko Taylor as a side band is how I learned how to play a professional show," he said. "You can learn from people who are among the best at what they do. The most satisfying thing we know is being able to play our own show and music, and carry on what we’ve learned from the people we’ve worked for."
Trying to capture that live energy on CDs has been another challenge for Lubriphonic. So when the band decided to record the new CD "The Gig Is On," there wasn’t any doubt it would have to be played live in the studio.
"We’ve been playing all the songs on the CD live while on tour, anyway," Corey said. "So when we went into the studio, we had the arrangements and everything fleshed out. We just went in and played them like we would if we were playing a gig."
Adding a little New Orleans spice to the recordings was guest keyboardist Ivan Neville, son of the Grammy Award-winning Aaron Neville of the Neville Brothers.
"Ivan sat in with us during Chicago’s Bluesfest last year," Corey said. "Our manager met him at a jazz festival when we were in New Orleans and he sat in with us at a recording studio the next day. It couldn’t have run any smoother."
Lubriphonic will bring it’s Chicago funk, soul and rock to Downstairs, 625 Main Street, on March 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 and available at http://www.ticketcake.com . Call (435) 226-5340 for table reservations.