Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Soul - Menahan Street Band

I was really excited when I caught wind of Make the Road By Walking, the debut album from the Menahan Street Band. It's a super-group collaboration of musicians from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, El Michels Affair, Antibalas and the Budos Band, brought together by the leadership of musician/producer Thomas Brenneck (whose work includes Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, the Budos Band, and Amy Winehouse). Their name comes from the fact that it was recorded in Brenneck's bedroom of his Menahan St. apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn (home of Daptone Records).

The album is an instrumental affair along similar lines to the groups these musicians come from, but the ultimate product is a breed of its own. There's no afro-beat from the Antibalas connection and no hip-hop from the El Michels Affair, resulting in a feel that's closest to the Daptone contributors. While there are healthy heaps of horns here, unlike the Budos Band they work more with the other instruments instead of trying to steal the show. Also, the flow of the album is a little mroe soulfully smooth, with less of the funk influences evident on some of the other Daptone products, and even some island feel here and there with some vibes added.

While there's a heavy connection here to Daptone Records, the album is actually the fledgling offering from Dunham Records, a new division of the Brooklyn based soul giant. Below you'll find the title track from the album which was sampled by Jay-Z in his hit Roc Boys (and the Winner is…) last year. The second track is the album closer, the band's take on a classic track from the original Rocky movie. The third cut from the band is The Telephone Song, the vocal version of Tired of Fighting, the second song from the record. Enjoy, and then check out the rest of the album.

Menahan Street Band - Make The Road By Walking : Make the Road By Walking

Menahan Street Band - Going The Distance (original from Rocky) : Make the Road By Walking

and a bonus cut from a collaboration the band did with Charles Bradley:

Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band - The Telephone Song : The Telephone Song 7"

Visit their label Dunham Records and become their friend on MySpace.


El Michels Affair - El Pueblo Unido : Sounding Out The City

Antibalas - Colonial Mentality (live Fela Kuti cover) : Live at Club Soda - Montreal, QUE - 3.29.03

The Budos Band - Chicago Falcon (The Washington Sq. Lads Remix) : Scion CD Sampler Vol.19 - Daptone Records Remixed

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