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Hard Proof Afrobeat - out on Hard Proof Music

Hard Proof Afrobeat
Hard Proof - Hard Proof
(CD/Digital) Hard Proof Music, 2010-10-06

It seems like we're never finished digging in the current Austin music scene. You might have read the interview we did last month with Joseph Woullard, sax and flute player in garage act Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears, afrobeat combo Hard Proof Afrobeat and afrolatin funksters Ocote Soul Sounds. Joseph kindly sent us a copy of his 2010 self-titled CD and debut album Hard Proof, which he described in the interview as something that "developed out of a little jazz combo thing that he used to do on Sundays with Stephen Bidwell, Derek Phelps, and Michael Faircloth. It quickly grew to about 10-12 members at times, and is currently a 9-piece instrumental group. Although horn-driven Afrobeat is their primary influence, they also draw much inspiration from Ethiopian and other sub-Saharan musical styles." The album is a deep-grooving grower, blending african grooves with jazz and funk, with our favorites picking up the tempo on No Consideration, Buffalo, Bailiwick or Lion Of Mali. Hard Proof are currently working on their second album with production by Adrian Quesada (Brownout, Grupo Fantasma, Echocentrics, Ocote Soul Sounds, etc.), who's on the forefront of all things afrogroovy from the US this year with new albums from The Funk Ark and Brownout… Don't know when this 2nd album is scheduled for but the wait has officialy begun!

Hard Proof Afrobeat
Hard Proof - Hard Proof
(CD/Digital) Hard Proof Music, 2010-10-06

Hard Proof - Mahout by jgwoulla

Hard Proof - Jimma by afrobeatblog

Tracklisting :
01. Soft Bullets 00:28
02. Raw Raw 03:52
03. Move In 05:41
04. Mahout 02:59
05. M.E.N.D. 00:48
06. No Consideration 04:54
07. Brother 00:55
08. Buffalo 03:43
09. Stolen Goods 04:46
10. Bailiwick 03:46
11. Alloy 1:58
12. Jima 5:11
13. Lion Of Mali 6:31
14. Superman 5:19
15. Buzz Biz 3:20

Links :
Hard Proof : official | bandcamp | facebook | myspace | sonicbids | soundcloud | twitter | youtube

Biography :
The Austin-based nine-piece collective of musicians known as Hard Proof are the sole purveyors of African funk in the state of Texas. They don’t just play Afrobeat per se, but funk and jazz music from and inspired by the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.

The band started almost on a dare, and a proclamation that they would convene every Sunday morning until an album had been written. After about a year a lineup had materialized featuring members of Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, The Calm Blue Sea, Cougar, Ocote Soul Sounds, the Echocentrics, and several other notable Austin acts.

In addition to quickly building a strong reputation of kinetic and incendiary live shows, the band recorded a 4 song demo in November of 2008 at East Austin’s Cacophony Studio. Fall of 2010 saw the release of their 15 song debut garnering a rare 3.5 star review in the Austin Chronicle: "From the dark psychedelic marauding of "Stolen Goods" to the Ethiopique groove of "Jimma," Hard Proof crafts moody instrumentals that lean more toward Budos Band than Antibalas. A rumbling baritone sax churns the hypnotizing crawl of "Mahout," while the brass (which splits time with Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears) blows hard on "No Consideration" and freaks out on "M.E.N.D." The best of the band's brooding grooves border prove Afrobeat is alive in Austin. This debut is Hard Proof."

While the album was well received, there seems to be universal agreement that their live shows are something not to be missed. Austin taste-maker Laurie Gallardo of KUT radio may have put it best: "This local nine-piece ensemble always puts on an electrifying live show, an absolute blowout of non-stop percussion action and blasting brass, bringing the best of both worlds to the stage by mixing classic styles and plenty of their personal panache to own the show."

As if they weren’t busy enough between Hard Proof and their other bands, the Hard Proof Horns have found work as sidemen with such notables as Spoon, Broken Social Scene, the Walkmen, the Dave Matthews Band, Band of Horses and others.

Plans for Hard Proof in 2012 include hitting the road to play select festivals, and to track some vinyl-only singles with Grupo Fantasma’s Adrian Quesada producing for a Spring release. Hard Proof is primed to bring their singular take on sub-Saharan funk to bigger stages in Austin and the world at large.

Band Members :
Stephen Bidwell - Drums

Derek Phelps - Trumpet, Percussion., Flugelhorn

Jason Frey - Tenor Saxophone and percussion

Joseph Woullard - flute, Baritone Saxophone, and percussion

Tommy Spampinato - Percussion

Tony Cruz - Congas

Aaron Sleator - Guitar

Joe Sokolik - Bass

Gerardo Larios - Guitar, keyboards



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