The trio laid down the tracks over four days at Alans fully-equipped state-of-the-art Playonbrother Studios in Western Mass. Come Together was the easiest because thats a song weve been playing together for a couple years live, Neal said. The rest were chosen based on how well they lent themselves to Soulives sound and instrumentation. There were definitely a lot of songs that got whittled out because they just didnt translate without the lyrics.
Guitarist Eric Krasno deals out the licks and riffs with classy finesse, using his fluid finger skills to mimic the melodies and emotion of the vocals. Alan holds down the rhythms, strong and steady, and Neal picks up some of the melodic slack and fills out the low end bass parts when necessary on Hammond B3, bass keys and clavinet. Songs like "Eleanor Rigby find Krasno handling the lyrical parts on guitar, and Neal filling in the string sections with both hands on keys; Alans relentless backbeat infuses While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with a sense of urgency thats fleshed out and given color via Krasnos wah wah guitar licks and Neals soaring Hammond organ notes; and Revolution is transformed into an upbeat, hip-shaking retrofied funk number with all three musicians bringing an entirely new vibe to the song.
The three musicians formed Soulive in 1999 in Buffalo, NY, and over the next decade, they slowly and steadily built up a sustainable career, carving out a niche for themselves in the jazz jam circuit, collaborating with artists ranging from John Scofield to Chaka Khan, and nurturing a loyal following with constant touring, exposure via big festivals like Monterey Jazz Festival and Bonnaroo, and opening for the likes of Dave Matthews Band, The Roots, and even The Rolling Stones, which has brought Soulive on tour an impressive five times.
All the while, theyve put out a steady stream of recordings, first independently, then with major label support, and then, in 2009, right around their 10-year anniversary, the trio went independent once again, this time on their own terms with their own fledgling indie record label, Royal Family Records. It comes down to having control of our content and the timetable and management of our own careers and about the music we get out to people and how we get it out to people. And theres really no better way than having your own label to do that.
Soulive headlines the Clearwater Jazz Holiday this Sat., Oct. 16. The 31st Annual event is held Oct. 14-17 at Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. Admission is free and all ages are welcome. The complete schedule is as follows:
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14
Jarred Armstrong (5- 6 p.m.), Little Feat (6:30-8 p.m.), and Dr John & The Lower 911 (8:30-10 p.m.)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15:
The Organic Trio (5-6:30 p.m.), Kyle Wolverton (7-8:30 p.m.), and Norman Browns Storming Jazz with Brenda Russell & Jessy J (9-11 p.m.)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16:
O Som Do Jazz & Helios Jazz Orchestra (2:30-4 p.m.), Sean Chambers & Friends (4:30-5:30 p.m.), Level 10 (6-7 p.m.), Tizer featuring Lao Tizer, Chieli Minucci & Karen Briggs (7:30-8:45 p.m.), *Soulive (9:15-10:45 p.m.), and FIREWORKS! (10:45 p.m.).
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17:
Ruth Eckerd Hall/Clearwater Jazz Holiday Youth Jazz Band feat. Eric Darius (2:30-3:30 p.m.), Mark Barrios (4:30-5:30 p.m.), Jonathan Fritzen (6-7:30 p.m.), and Eric Darius feat. Lalah Hathaway (8-10 p.m.)