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EP Release: Old Stereo, What It’s All About

By Terry Steeves on June 10, 2015

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Local four-piece Old Stereo are making a name for themselves among aficionados of soulful music in Ottawa.  Their music offers a mix of retro soul and R&B with serious driving funk grooves, layered with tight and catchy rhythms that give their material a modern edge. Formed in 2011, the band created a buzz at Bluesfest last year, and have enjoyed a steadily growing momentum ever since. This Saturday, June 13, they will be holding an EP Release Party at Café Dekcuf, in celebration of their second release, What It’s All About, with a promise of a free copy to all who attend.

Right out of the gate, the title track comes alive, with the vibrant and changing rhythms of drummer Michel Delage, and the wonderful warm bass tones of Andrew Bryant front and center. The unmistakeable influences of James Brown, Stevie Wonder, and Prince are ever-present in their music. The electrifying Michael Jackson-flavoured vocals of lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, Phil Dunac, round out their sound.

 Their newest single, “Angel”, has more of the vintage charm of 50’s/60’s Soul/Jazz/R&B mix, further enhanced with the addition of big brass tones by Richard Page on sax, and Ed Lister on trumpet. They, along with Clayton Connell on keys, will be present at the EP release show, to intensify the music into a mammoth wall of sound. Saturday’s show will also include material from their first EP, Crossed The Line (2012), along with various creative covers and cleverly assembled mash-ups.

 I spoke with guitarist and songwriter, Shaun Desjardins, who shared with me the band’s passion for  live performance:

 “We love to see people getting up, dancing and moving. It’s the fun part of playing live. To see them react in a positive way, getting right up in front of the stage, especially at some of the smaller venues…you feel like you’re part of the party. When everybody goes home sweaty and tired at the end of the night, it’s mission accomplished.”

At their Jazz Fest show on Thursday, June 25th, the band plans to do a stripped-down acoustic mini set within their performance:

“We want to be dynamic by coming out, guns blazing, then get down and intimate with the crowd, introduce ourselves, etc. We have songs that would work well that way.”

Old Stereo have taken many of their vintage Soul, R&B, Jazz, and Motown influences, and churned them into a refreshing brew of solid, dance-inducing brilliance that is uniquely their own. Come experience it for yourself, get lost in the music, and see “what it’s all about”…

Old Stereo’s EP Release Party, with special guest Renée Landry,  is Saturday, June 13th, at 8:30 pm, at Café Dekcuf (221 Rideau St.). Old Stereo will also be playing the Ottawa Jazz Festival, Thursday, June 25th, at 12:00 pm, at the Laurier Ave. Music Stage, Marion Dewar Plaza.

 

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