The db’s & Solange Review

Veteran power pop band The dB’s are live in the Sound Opinions studio. Jim and Greg also review the new EP from Solange, and Greg adds a track to the Desert Island Jukebox.

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Guitarist and Ohio Players frontman Leroy Sugarfoot Bonner died of undisclosed causes this week at the age of 69. The group’s string of ‘70s albums for Westbound and Mercury Records, driven by Bonner’s lead vocals and electrifying double-neck guitar work, stands as one of the most impressive runs in funk history. Their distinct sound found new life in the in the late ‘80s and ‘90s as countless hip hop artists sampled the group’s work (a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover of Love Rollercoaster on the soundtrack for Beavis and Butthead Do America didn’t hurt either). Greg highlights Skin Tight as a prime example of Bonner’s musical legacy.

The db’s

This week the dB’s, one of power pop’s great underexposed bands, stops by the Sound Opinions studio for an interview and live set. The group came together in 1978 as part of New York City’s punk and new wave scene, and put out two classic, but minimally distributed albums before singer/guitarist Chris Stamey left the group. Two more low profile records followed before the group broke up in 1988. Now the original dB’s lineup is back with a new album, Falling Off the Sky. Jim used to frequently go see this band live in their earliest days, and it’s clear that they haven’t lost a step in their few decades off. During their visit, the band rips through three songs from Falling Off the Sky, and Stamey and co-frontman Peter Holsapple talk with Jim and Greg about their early days in North Carolina, their label woes in the ‘80s, and their decision to reunite not for a paycheck, but just because they were itching to play again.

True Solange

True

Beyonce has been making a lot of news, with her lip-syncing and Superbowling, but we’re more interested in kid sis Solange. She has a new extended EP out called True, and both Jim and Greg say it’s a perfect, mini release. She sounds nothing like Beyonce and has been embracing alt-R&B and indie rock-exactly what you expect from someone who dragged her brother-in-law to a Grizzly Bear show. Greg is excited to hear her expand her sound even more on a full-length album. And Jim compares True to the Scorcese flick After Hours. Solange gets a double Buy It.

Greg

Greg’s been in a Joni Mitchell phase, and is particularly smitten with the singer/songwriter’s 1976 release For the Roses. Between her folk phase and her avant-jazz phase, she released this record with the track You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio. Is it directed towards a romantic figure? Or a record company one? Add that question to the layers of sounds and influences from country to Latin to jazz, and you’ve got one wonderfully complicated song.

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