A Night Of Funk & Soul: Matador! Soul Sounds Returns To Brooklyn Bowl

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Words by: Dianna Hank

Matador! Soul Sounds :: 03.17.18
Brooklyn Bowl :: New York City

On the night of St. Patrick’s Day, fans of funk, soul, and jazz were in luck as the musical equivalent of a pot of gold – a six-piece supergroup known as Matador! Soul Sounds – took the stage at Brooklyn Bowl.

While you may not be all that familiar with this relatively new group, it’s more than likely that you’ve seen each of its members perform with the plethora of other bands they are a part of. Matador! Soul Sounds was the brainchild of The New Mastersounds guitarist Eddie Roberts and Soulive drummer Alan Evans. Roberts and Evans based the concept of the band off of the idea behind Spanish bullfighting. Basically, while most people think that bullfighting comes down to a contest between one man versus one bull, it’s actually far more of a team effort by the matador and his cuadrilla, or team of assistants. With this concept in mind, the duo built up their “cuadrilla” by drafting vocalists Adryon de León and Kimberly Dawson, of Orgone and Pimps of Joytime respectively, as well as Jimmy Herring & The Invisible Whip bassist Kevin Scott and keyboardist Chris Spies to round out their crew.

After spending some time in the studio working on a slew of original material, Matador! Soul Sounds made their official world debut last September with a pair of shows at Ardmore Music Hall and Brooklyn Bowl. Fans lucky enough to catch their set during the music marathon known as Brooklyn Comes Alive were treated to almost two hours of super tight, funky originals and unparalleled energy exuding from the stage.

Saturday night’s show at Brooklyn Bowl was no different. The band took the stage after openers Muscle Tough had warmed up the crowd and everyone had their dancing shoes on, ready to go. Frontwomen Adryon de León and Kimberly Dawson, both rocking fierce jumpsuits, motioned to the crowd to come closer right before the band burst into their new album’s title track, “Get Ready.” With Dawson on tambourine and keyboardist Chris Spies taking his first of many fiery solos of the evening, the band hit the ground running before moving on to “Too Late” which would showcase de León and Dawson on vocals with synchronized dance moves. de León picked up the tambourine for “The State of Affairs” before Alan Evans took a solo before handing the spotlight off to Eddie Roberts and then Spies, once again.

“We’re very happy to bring Matador Soul Sounds back to Brooklyn Bowl. This is where it all started!” Roberts declared, before the band broke into the danceable “Anything For Your Love.” Next up, a super sexy and soulful cover of Soul Sister #1 Marva Whitney’s “What Do I Have To Do To Prove My Love To You” had de León skipping around stage after belting out some serious vocals. The women then left the stage as the men handed solos off to one another before leading into the aggressively funk-driven instrumental, “Mr. Handsome.” Roberts really shined on this one, with a very big and full sound coming out of his amps.

The women returned to the stage for the groovy “El Dorado” which had the audience “woo woo”-ing in response. Before the beautifully hopeful yet simultaneously disco funk “Now Is The Time,” Dawson took the mic and reminded the crowd that there’s a lot going on in the world right now but asked that we lay that aside, remember that we’re all in this together and implored us to reach out to our neighbor and share that love.

Slowing it down a bit with the sultry “Soulmaro,” bassist Kevin Scott took the spotlight for a solo before the very Batman-esque “Cee Cee.” The women then left the stage again as Roberts introduced the next tune as “what would be Chris’ spy music.” The aptly named “Theme for a Private Investigator” was profoundly funky and featured an impressive drums and keys breakdown. de León and Dawson returned to the stage once again for the incredibly catchy “Stingy Love” which featured each vocalist on solo verses before Roberts took a solo to close it out.

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Encoring with a song entitled “Covfefe,” band and audience members alike were smiling and laughing, knowing that no matter insanity what was going on outside the walls of Brooklyn Bowl, we all had just shared a seriously good time.

The band closes out their Northeast run on Wednesday at Ardmore Music Hall before they West via Chicago to close out their tour. In less than one year together, this band already delivers the level of tightness and precision you’d expect from a group that had been playing together for years. Matador! Soul Sounds have grabbed the bull by the horns and are not looking back.

Tour Dates for
Matador! Soul Sounds