Crown Room gets funky on Saturday night
It’s unlikely that any chairs will be set up in the Crown Room on Saturday night.
A couple of funk bands are set to perform a dancing doubleheader at the Crystal Bay Casino.
The New Mastersounds have performed throughout Europe and the United States, and the British band’s instrumental Red Room show last summer all- was reminisant of an old Meters gig.
And this is just the opening band.
Headlining will be San Diego’s On the One, with veteran Karl Denson guitarist Brian Jordan.
Here’s a look at the artists:
On The One
“On The One” is the four-piece vision of John Staten and Jesse Molloy, who spent more than two years touring the country with Carlos Washington and the Giant People.
Staten, the former drummer for Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Giant People, has teamed with sax aficionado Molloy, also of Giant People, to create On the One’s sound. They join guitarist Aaron Bleiweiss (Starshak) and bassist Matt Schumacher (Global Funk Council, SWYL). Already proven road dogs after logging more than 400 nationwide shows with Carlos Washington and Giant People, On the One is a result of their road proven friendship.
Staten drives On the One with hard-hitting hip-hop beats. Along with a never-ending mix of saxophone and groove-aligned bass, this raw blend of improvisational soul jazz and high-energy, floor-shaking funk unites all generations of music lovers. On the One will be on the road more than 250 nights this year.
On the One has emerged from San Diego’s musical pool, which includes the Greyboy All-Stars, Giant People, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Wise Monkey Orchestry, Robert Walter’s 20th Congress, Global Funk Council and the Album Leaf.
From more than seven years of playing guitar with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, to performing and recording with Grammy Award-winning artist Lauryn Hill, to numerous appearances with the house band on NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daly,” Jordan has proven that he can lay down the funk.
Jordan, who grew up in Southern California and got his first guitar at the age of 8, studied percussion in high school and taught himself bass. He went on to study classical and jazz music at UC-Santa Barbara.
Shortly after, he formed his first original music projects. One included an eclectic punk/alternative band, which Jordan co-founded with Robert Walter in San Diego. Jordan soon found himself traveling around the globe with different world music artists.
Jordan has shared the stage with James Brown, the Dave Mathews Band, the Allman Brothers, Fred Wesley, Bernie Worrell, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Bob Weir.
The New Mastersounds
In the late 1990s, guitarist and producer Eddie Roberts was running a club night in Leeds, England called “The Cooker.” When the Cooker moved into a new venue with a second floor in 1999, there was space and the opportunity to put a live band together to complement the DJ sets.
Simon, Allen and Eddie had played together in 1997 as the Mastersounds, though with a different bassist and no organ. Through friends and the intimate nature of the Leeds music scene, Pete Shand and Bob Birch joined, on bass and Hammond organ, respectively, and the New Mastersounds were born. Though it was raw and more of a boogaloo sound at first, it was powerful from the start. The first rehearsal was hot enough for Blow it Hard Records to release two limited-edition 7-inch singles in 2000.
As a band, and as individuals, New Mastersounds since has cocked up collaborations with an impressive array of musicians, DJs and producers, including: Lou Donaldson (Blue Note), Corinne Bailey Rae (EMI), Quantic (Tru Thoughts), Carleen Anderson (Young Disciples/Brand New Heavies), Keb Darge & Kenny Dope (Kay Dee Records), John Arnold (Ubiquity), Mr. Scruff (Ninja Tune), Snowboy (Ubiquity), Fred Everything (2020vision), Andy Smith (Portishead), James Taylor (JTQ), LSK (Faithless) and Karl Denson (Lenny Kravitz/Greyboy AllStars)
In 2006, as well as playing club gigs in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy, the band toured the United States and Japan. In August, they finished recording a fifth album, “102,” which features collaborations with sax and flute player Rob Lavers, who toured with the band.
In the same year, producer/guitarist Eddie Roberts had already released a live album in Japan, “Roughneck – Live in Paris,” and produced a studio album of his own arrangements of traditional Italian songs called “Trenta.”
The year 2007 started auspiciously – on their very first Jamcruise, the New Mastersounds were playing Meters tunes with George Porter Jr. sitting in – one highlight of a legendary three-hour set. On returning to the U.K., a capacity crowd greeted the band at London’s prestigious Jazz Cafe for the album launch of “102%.” The band also performed tunes from the new album for Mark Lamarr on BBC Radio Two.
At the end of January, Birch retired from the band to honor commitments at home. In February, Eddie, Simon and Pete ushered in another Leeds keyboard player, Joe Tatton, who had stepped in for Birch in the past.
Tatton’s real initiation took place in April, on the first trip to New Orleans, where the band played late-night at the House of Blues and the Blue Nile, and where Roberts stuck around the next week to sit in with the likes of Idris Muhammed, Lonnie Smith, Galactic, Papa Mali and the Greyboy Allstars.
Having thrilled audiences at the Wakarusa, Harmony, Gratefulfest and High Sierra music festivals, the NMS returned to the states at the end of July to play in Chicago’s Wicker Park and to open for the Headhunters.
The New Mastersounds regrouped in October for a two-week tour of France, during which they rediscovered the joy of the original four-piece sound: bass, drums, guitar and Hammond.
German label Legere Recordings released the compilation “An Introduction to the New Mastersounds” on CD and LP in May, while Milan-based Record Kicks was putting together an album of tunes remixed by a host of underground producers. “The New Mastersounds – Re:Mixed” came out Oct. 15.
Peter Wermelinger, author of the crate-diggers’ bible “The Funky & Groovy Music Lexicon,” places the 2001 New Mastersounds track “Turn This Thing Around” in his all-time top 10. The New Mastersounds are at the very top of an elite selection of acts that bring the true soul out of funk.
On the One with special guests Brian Jordan and the New Mastersounds
Where: Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room
When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12
Cover charge: $12 in advance, $15 on the day of the show
Phone: (775) 833-6333
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