The New Mastersounds

The New Mastersounds (10:00 PM)

Jeff Hershey & The Heartbeats (9:00 PM)

Wed, July 6, 2011

8:00 pm


This event is all ages

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The New Mastersounds - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
The New Mastersounds
In the late 1990's, guitarist and producer Eddie Roberts was running a club night in Leeds 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 were added on bass and Hammond 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. Their first rehearsal was hot enough for Blow it Hard Records to release on two limited-edition 7" singles in 2000.

As a band, and as individuals, they have since collaborated or jammed 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), Lack of Afro (Freestyle), Page McConnell (Phish), Karl Denson (Lenny Kravitz / Greyboy AllStars), Melvin Sparks (Blue Note Records), George Porter Jr (The Meters), Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker (JB's), and Art Neville (Neville Brothers, The Meters)

In 2006, as well as playing club gigs in France, Spain, Belgium and Italy, the band toured the USA & Japan. In August they finished recording their fifth album, 102% (released on One Note Records in 2007). The album features collaborations with sax and flute player Rob Lavers who performed as a guest with the band on several subsequent live tours. 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.

2007 started auspiciously - on their very first Jamcruise (an American funk festival on the high seas) the NMS were playing Meters tunes with George Porter Jr sitting in - just one of the highlights of a legendary 3-hour set. On their return to the UK the band were greeted by a capacity crowd at London's prestigious Jazz Cafe venue, for the album launch of 102%. They also performed tunes from the new album for Mark Lamarr on BBC Radio Two. At the end of January, organist Bob Birch reluctantly retired from the band due to commitments at home. In February Eddie, Simon and Pete ushered in another Leeds keyboard player, Joe Tatton, who had depped for Bob in the past, as well as working with UK soul star Corinne Bailey Rae and funk renegades The Haggis Horns. Joe's real initiation took place in April with the band's first trip to New Orleans during which they played late night at the House of Blues and the Blue Nile and where Eddie stuck around for the following week to sit in with the likes of Idris Muhammed, Lonnie Smith, Galactic, Papa Mali and The Greyboy Allstars. Having thrilled audiences at Wakarusa, Harmony, Gratefulfest and High Sierra music festivals, the NMS returned to the US at the end of July - to Chicago, to play Wicker Park and to open for The Headhunters.
After a well-earned break, the NMS regrouped in October for a 2 week tour of France during which they rediscovered the joy of the original 4-piece NMS sound: bass, drums, guitar and Hammond.

On the record front, German label Legere Recordings released their compilation An Introduction to The New Mastersounds on CD and LP back in May, while Milan-based label Record Kicks was putting together an album of NMS tunes remixed by a host of talented underground funk and beats producers. "The New Mastersounds - Re::Mixed" was released on CD, LP and itunes on October 15th.

As an example of the respect this band commands, Peter Wermelinger - DJ, collector, and author of the crate-diggers' bible The Funky & Groovy Music Lexicon - places the 2001 NMS track 'Turn This Thing Around' in his all-time top-ten tunes, along with the likes of Eddie Harris, Funkadelic, and Herbie Hancock. The New Mastersounds are at the very top of an elite selection of acts that bring the true soul out of funk.
Jeff Hershey & The Heartbeats - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Jeff Hershey & The Heartbeats
In a time when popular music has been stripped and deprived of any real passion, one of the purest and honest of all genres, soul music, has been seemingly forgotten about. Now a footnote to music history, and long ago left for dead commercially, what was once the music of the working class has longed for a new champion. Now an unlikely band in an unlikely place has taken on the cause and is ready, “to bring soul music back to the people”.

Jeff Hershey was born in the early 1980s and raised in Oxnard, California and has long been a staple of the Ventura County music scene. From his roots in metal and punk with the bands, Black Opal and Hybrid Moments, to his time in the ground breaking punk rock band, No Motiv, who toured the country and released several albums on Vagrant Records, Hershey always gravitated to music that was passionate and energetic, regardless the genre.

It wasn’t until No Motiv went on an extended hiatus in 2005 that Hershey turned his secret passion for soul music into his main priority and released a single, “Baby Please (Don’t Let Me Go)” b/w “When Our Eyes First Met” in 2008. Though he played all the instruments and handled vocal duties on the 2 song vinyl release, he knew that to properly bring soul music back to the people, he’d need a red hot band that was up to the challenge.

He then went on a Blues Brothers worthy quest to find the perfect players and in the process assembled a who’s who of Ventura County’s finest. Bassist, Sam Bolle, who also plays with surf guitar master, Dick Dale and punk legends, Fear and Agent Orange, drummer, Tony Cicero who played drums with punk pioneers, Saccharine Trust, sought after session and live guitarist, Joe Baugh, and a horn section of Kyle O’Donnell and Ashley Jarmack, became the Heartbeats and Hershey’s vision of a classic soul band reincarnated in present day had become a reality.

Once together, the band proceeded to take the local music scene by storm with their raucous live performances that found crowds packing venues dancing and singing along to the impassioned front man who summons the ghosts of Sam Cooke and James Brown with just a touch of his punk rock roots in the mix. A Jeff Hershey and the Heartbeats show quickly gained the reputation as the place to be and the VC Reporter hailed the band as “simply one of the best live bands to ever come from the area”.

Now in 2011, after overwhelming demand, Hershey and company are set to release their debut album, Soul Music Volume 1. Recorded at the legendary Pow Wow Fun Room in Los Angeles with Pete Curry of Los Straightjackets manning the board and using only vintage recording equipment recorded onto analog tape while the musicians played live using no headphones, the record sounds as if it was recorded decades ago and recently unearthed as a lost treasure from a bygone era.

Whether it be feel good anthems like the hook filled grooves of “Good Times” and “Push On Through” to the rip roaring intensity of “Wearing Me Out” and “Knock You Down” or the hauntingly gorgeous ballad, “Honesty Road”, it’s a 10 song journey back in time and encompasses all the heart and passion that Hershey has been pouring into the project for the past 5 years and his whole career as a musician.

“Soul music is the people’s music”, explains Hershey. “All we’re trying to do is bring it back to the people, one song, one show, one record, one tour at a time. We made our bones on our live show and it was important to us to capture that raw intensity and also the sonic integrity of those classic soul records. No gimmicks, no tricks. We’re happy that the response has been so positive. This is the music I was born to play and the band I’ve always wanted to front.”

With the record already receiving glowing reviews, it seems that the world will soon know what Ventura County has been lucky enough to know already, that if Jeff Hershey and the Heartbeats have any say in the matter, soul music isn’t going out with a fight.
Venue Information:
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069

All lineups and times subject to change