Windsor has long been known for it’s bone crunching metal scene, it’s quirky indie pop waves, and it’s fascination for sweaty rock and roll. Even it’s hip-hop scene – although seemingly unnoticed in comparison to the more amplified six-string brethren – gets its fair share of combatants from the 519. But considering Windsor’s connection – both physically and lovingly – with Detroit, it’s a wonder Windsor never ventured deeper into the soul side. I mean, we’re practically Motown’s little brother. Bands like the Spy’s were practically (and literally) weaned on Detroit punk rock like the Stooges and the MC5 (Spy’s guitarist Dale “Elad” D’Amore jamming with MC5’s Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith was a launching moment of The Spy’s). So why did no one in Windsor draw from the soulful side of Motown like Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye or Diana Ross? Huladog has come close, but they’re closer akin to some of the jazzier side of funk and soul, while MicLordz & Sauce Funky‘s powerfunk is more akin with Rage Against The Machine‘s “Renegades of Funk” than Afrika Bambaataa‘s.
Well, this Saturday, we’ll get a glimpse of a new combo outfit made of some local veterans who hope to do just that. Emulating some of the sweet soul and bop that made Motown world famous as well as some of the funk that moved generations of hips and bootys, The Swillingtones are making their live debut this coming Saturday night at The Dominion House Tavern (3140 Sandwich St.) on the West Side in Olde Sandwich Towne.
Lead by the powerful voice of Aaron Stanton (whose been more known lately for his gig behind the drums for Kenneth MacLeod & The Distinguished Gentlemen), The Swillingtones have chosen well as far as finding themselves a golden throated crooner. With a voice as silky as Marvin’s, Stanton (who also toiled in the ’90s as a member of Ruckus) could melt the pants of a statue of Mother Theresa. Scott LeGrand and Dan Carpino flesh out the stringed instruments that dance in the sexy funky pocket filled by veteran drummer Damien Zakoor (The Vaudevillianaires, The Tyres, The Golden Hands Before God, Eric Welton Band, Stephen Hedley & The Busstop Minute Band). The smoothness of the band’s chemistry is due to the fact that they’ve all played together in various combinations over the years – Stanton and LeGrand were both in Ruckus, as well as Blue Hawaii with Stephen Hedley back in the ’90s (pre-Busstop Minute Band); alongside Zakoor they were in The Serious Problems. Carpino previously hooked up with Stanton and LeGrand in a band called Winx Wonx. Years of musical brotherhood has lead them to this sweet soul system of a bring-it-down.
If you’re looking for something a little funkier this weekend, why not take a trip to the West End and see if you’ve still got that money maker your mama gave ya and give ‘er a little shake. What’s the worst that could happen? You just might have a little fun…
The Swillingtones, The Dominion House (3140 Sandwich St.), Saturday April 23, 9pm