Whatever it is, it’s got to be funky
“Break it down, on the one.”
— James Brown, before the start on hundreds of his songs
One The One is an instrumental funk band in the jam band scene.
But drummer John Staten has a different take.
“I call it simply soul music,” Staten said. “It falls into a lot of categories but it all comes from the soul, a lot of heart.”
In the tradition of the godfather of soul, San Diego’s One The One is the hardest working band in the business. It has played more than 250 shows since being formed in July 2006. Early this summer, On The One headlined Lake of the Sky, a benefit concert with more than 10 bands at Tahoe Vista.
Staten also has played with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, a project which still has future plans and even played a wedding a week ago. He earlier played with Denson and trumpeter Carlos Washington and Giant People.
While Staten and another Giant People alum Andy Irvine set the foundation with the rhythm section, frontman Jesse Molloy brings the funk with the saxophone, usually heading out on improvisational journeys accompanied with guitarist Aaron Bleiweiss.
“Jesse listens to a lot of Maceo (Parker, James Brown’s sax player), a lot of Kenny Garrett, a lot of (John) Coltrane,” Staten said. “We do stretch out a lot of our songs.”
The music is all about dancing.
“That’s pretty much my focus,” Staten said. “Especially if the women are dancing, that means the dudes will fall in right behind – hopefully behind them but sometimes they get in front.”
In the works for a year, a studio album, “Love Addiction,” is expected to be released in mid-September.
In a break from its traditional sound, a couple MCs (MC Soul I and Alfred Howard) are featured on a hip-hop remix of the title song. Guest guitarist Charlie Hitchcock, formerly of Particle also will appear on the album.
“My main thing is recording albums – that’s what I want to do,” Staten said. “That seems to be how the big boys do it. They won’t even tour unless they have a new album. My thing is to keep writing new music and if the band keeps growing, I think we’ll be OK.”
The live shows have brought fast notoriety to the group which will bring its funk to Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room on Friday and Stateline’s Tahoe Underground on Saturday.
Now, break it down, on the one …