Arts | NW Life | Music
Prince Tribute: Farnell Newton and the Othership Connection / Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme
The Star Theatre
13 NW 6th Ave
April 21, 2017, 8 p.m.
Soul’d Out Festival proudly presented Prince as part of our festival in 2013, performing two crazy shows at Roseland Theater on the night of April 21. Prince Rogers Nelson left this earthly plane exactly 3 years later on April 21, 2016. So it is with great honor that we present our official tribute to Prince–featuring an all-star lineup of NW musicians–on April 21, 2017.
Farnell Newton and the Othership Connection
Trumpeter Farnell Newton is one of the most versatile musicians & educators in the Northwest, playing straight ahead jazz, smooth jazz, Latin music, soul, hip hop, funk and more. When he is not teaching at Portland State University’s Jazz Department or working with his youth jazz group, PDX Jazz Project, he is touring, recording, and sharing the stage with Skerik, Lettuce, Slightly Stoopid, Karl Denson, Galactic, Nigel Hall, sax man Mike Phillips , the DooDooFunk All-Stars, & many more.
Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme
ELDRIDGE GRAVY & THE COURT SUPREME is a funk juggernaut. Backed by the hot, gritty orchestration of the 13 member Court Supreme, front man Eldridge Gravy easily works dance floors to a fever pitch with his full-bore performance and smooth rapport with the audience.
In 2013, the group is releasing their third album, GRAVY’S IN YOUR AREA, over a two night engagement at the Tractor Tavern on Nov 29-30. GRAVY’S IN YOUR AREA (recorded by Mell Dettmer at Avast! Studios) dials down the sweet and soulful side and cranks the nasty funk way up. Soaring string arrangements by Eyvind Kang and talkbox by Elliot Eide add disco and electro funk flavors into the mix, giving GRAVY’S IN YOUR AREA a 250% wider sonic palette and 375% higher dance-ability than their previous releases.
Over the past few years EG&tCS have headlined practically every prestigious venue in Seattle and Portland, including Crocodile, Neumos, Tractor Tavern, Showbox, Doug Fir Lounge, and Star Theater. They have also ruthlessly funked thousands of festivalgoers at Bumbershoot, the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, and July 4th at Gasworks Park.
The band, like so many of its members, is the product of a wonderful accident. Early in 2006, in what was supposed to be a one-off event, an instrumental band teamed up with a guest singer to learn some James Brown and Parliament covers for a moving-out party. The next morning, the house was torn up; shattered glass all over the floor, tables were broken, and the landlord was on his way for the final walk-through. In the wake of this carnage, ELDRIDGE GRAVY & THE COURT SUPREME was born.
The group quickly picked up horns, keys, backup singers, and is presently 14 men and women strong. Their sound is a viscous blend of the covers they cut their teeth on; Sly & the Family Stone, Funkadelic, and James Brown are certainly touchstones, for their sound, but Eldridge Gravy has a distinct sound and persona that’s unmistakably their own. While Eldridge Gravy fit in with the recent soul revival heralded by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, they have also played alongside hip hop crews, balkan brass groups, and scuzzy bar rock bands. Their high energy, tight arrangements, and massive stage presence have the power to convince any crowd that funk ain’t dead.
In May 2009, the band released its first album, US IS WHAT TIME IT IS to a sold-out Tractor Tavern. Recorded at Avast! Studios and mastered by Mell Dettmer, the album is a taut collection of hook-filled psychedelic soul and funk that calls to mind Sly’s “Stand!” and The Temptations, circa 1969. In 2010, the band released its first vinyl single, EXCEPTIONAL—within months it began to enjoy regular play among the DJs of Seattle’s celebrated Emerald City Soul Club, who rarely play anything released after 1976. In 2011, the group released its second full-length album, PARTY HARD, at The Crocodile. PARTY HARD finds the Seattle ensemble delving further into the raw soul and funk sounds they explored on their debut album.