From the blue and smoky rooms of the Black Diamond club on Beale Street to the open-air plazas of Lincoln Center in New York , the Gamble Brothers Band has etched new milestones in their career.
In July of 2003 they beat out 1,200 bands to win the Independent Musicians World Series in Nashville and $35,000 in prizes. On the heels of that, they were invited to perform in New York at the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, marking another major accomplishment.
In September 2003 they released their latest CD, “Back to the Bottom”, on the independent label Archer Records. The CD immediately created a buzz among industry insiders who heard pre-release mixes.
They've come a long way since their beginnings in January 2001. That's when Al Gamble and his brother, Chad , formed the band that soon took Memphis by surprise with their blend of New Orleans funk and Memphis soul. Al plays keyboard and handles lead vocals, while Chad is on drums. In May of that year they recruited tenor saxophonist, Art Edmaiston. The group's most recent addition is bassist, Blake Rhea formerly of CYC, who joined the group at the end of 2003, replacing original bassist Will Lowrimore.
Each band member comes from the area stretching between Memphis and Muscle Shoals, Ala. , a region known for its rich musical heritage.
"All four of us have been heavily influenced by the Memphis and New Orleans music of the '60s and '70s," said Al. "This music has also influenced our songwriting. Part of what we're doing is paying tribute to those soul acts.
"The band immediately started writing songs and, in a few months, was in the studio recording the group's debut album, 10 Lbs. of Hum. The Gamble Brothers Band was also nominated as Memphis ' best band that year at the Memphis Premier Players Awards, a National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences event. In May 2003, the Gamble Brothers Band signed with Archer Records to record “Back to the Bottom”, produced by Memphian Ross Rice.
"These are crackerjack musicians creating a very authentic brand of music," said Ward Archer, president of the independent label. "The project was recorded mostly live, and the resulting mixes are filled with energy."
What's next for the Gamble Brothers Band? "We want to take it to the highest level," Al explained. "We want to keep doing what we're doing, continue on a creative path, and let the music tell us where to go."
The Gamble Brothers Band is signed with the Intrepid Artists International agency, which is keeping them busy on a national “Back to the Bottom” tour.