Sunday, February 03, 2008


GETTIN' FUNK-AY on Saturday, February 2, 2008

We finally got a really good "local" show on a Saturday night when the Greyboy Allstars, one of our top 10 touring bands, played in nearby Oxford!

With a style kind of like a jam-jazz version of James Brown's music, the Greyboys built a large following in the late 90s before taking an extended hiatus and developing a number of side projects. In recent years they've been back together for some sporadic gigs. Now they've just put out their first album in nearly 10 years, and they're finally back to touring all over the country.

Saxman and vocalist Karl Denson still has his legendary killer chops to light a fire under the rear, and guitarist Elgin Park's creative jazz-funk licks still melt the mind. The only change in the band has been new drummer Aaron Redfield, who did an excellent job keeping the grooves deep and the hips a-shakin'.

Organist Robert Walter is the other creative genius in the band, writing at least half the songs and always stimulating the ears with his clever fills and mind-bending solos.

Here's what was on the setlist that Rob snagged off the stage after the show:

What Happened to TV?
Back in the Game
Cramp Your Style
Get Down
Jack Rabbit
Nautilus (a Bob James cover)
Sunday School
Still Waiting

We're pretty sure they played all those songs, plus a cover of Grant Green's "Jan Jan" at the end of the set. Who knows, though, since the only designated driver was Josh. We think we'll find out soon, since there were several tapers with mic stands recording the show.

Check out some of Greyboy Allstars music at their Myspace page.

The show was at our favorite venue anywhere in the mid-south, Proud Larry's, only 45 minutes from our house. With its small size, it's easy to enjoy an intimate performance with excellent sightlines and perfect sound. (It's also easy to get close-up photos of the band, though it would be nice if there were a little more light on stage, since we don't believe in blinding the musicians with flashbulbs.) In the photo above, the band is playing back in the corner, and the front door of the venue is just beyond the right edge of the picture. The fact that these days a lot of people around these parts don't even know who Greyboy Allstars are was nice too, since it never got too crowded and we had plenty of room to get our groove on.

We managed to round up a crew of good friends Josh, Bonnie and Paul, most of whom had never seen the Greyboy Allstars before. They were so glad we talked them into it, since they were fully impressed with the show.

Carley and Bonnie having a real good time!

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