PREVIEW : West End Blend
West End Blend is an 8-member funk and soul army that forces you to dance at instrument-point. Hailing from the West End of Hartford, Connecticut, the band blends a familiarity of classic funk and soul with an upbeat swing of their own, churning the dance floor into a frenzy. West End Blend has been gathering crowds in the North East since releasing their debut album “Rewind” in 2015 and they will be heading to North Carolina for 4 shows this month touring in support of their Oct 30th, 2017 release “Attitude”.
Frontwoman Erica T. Bryan is a tower of power on vocals, and the band alongside her are as tight as a studio wrecking crew of days gone by, yet freely add funk to the soulful soup bubbling on stage. The rhythm section of Sam Horan (drums) and Tom Sullivan (bass), the horns of John Mundy (trombone) and Mike Bafundo (trumpet), the guitars of Jesse Combs and Mike Dipanfilo, and Paulie Philippone on keys orchestrate the spot-on sound behind the powerful voice. This band could have gotten radio play in the 70’s. That is the beauty of the funk and soul of our time-it harkens the past, preserving an American treasure along the way, but brings in other influences and spins, taking the sound into the future.
West End Blend has played stages with CHARLES BRADLEY, TURKUAZ, members of SNARKY PUPPY AND LETTUCE, KUNG FU, THE NTH POWER and other players that are a part of the “modern” funk and soul scene. Some of this new funk and soul has been absorbed by the “jam band” scene, while others have ended up on the Daptone Records or the Big Crown Records side of things. Just a public service announcement: you do not have to like “jam bands” in order to like West End Blend, Lettuce or The Nth Power. You just have to have the need to grind your hips and shake your soul. If you want more sweat, shimmy, and sin in your life, listen to more funk and soul music, and dance like it’s 1974. You gotta get up to get down. People in the jam band scene have supported bands like West End Blend simply because they like to dance, and they appreciate the improvisation by funk and soul bands playing festival stages. Please do not let an association with jam bands prevent you from seeing more funk and soul. This music is for EVERYONE, from hippies to hipsters and from indie to irie. If you have ever gotten down to the sounds of Aretha Franklin, WAR, The Meters, The Ohio Players, Diana Ross, Al Green, or even Eryka Badyu or Amy Winehouse, then you will pick up what West End Blend is putting down.
West End Blend will be playing at:
11/9 - Asheville, NC - The One Stop at Asheville Music Hall - MORE INFO
11/10 - Greenville, NC - Cross Bones Tavern - MORE INFO
11/11 - Wilmington, NC - The Whiskey - MORE INFO
11/16 - Charlotte, NC - Heist Brewery - MORE INFO
Watch and Listen: