Sol Roots Offers Twisted Covers Of Grateful Dead & Funkadelic From ‘Live At The Hamilton’
In February 2020, the Sol Roots band presented a set of earthy funk, deep blues, swampy rock and soul in front of a sold-out crowd in the heart of downtown Washington D.C. This performance was captured as their recent recording Live At The Hamilton. The lineup the night of the recording included Sol on vocals and guitar, along with deep pocket drummer Eddie Christmas (New Orleans Suspects, Jon Cleary, Anders Osborne), harmonica master Phil Wiggins (Cephas & Wiggins) and talented bassist Andreas Holmstrom. Among the release’s five tracks are creative and unique arrangements of the Grateful Dead’s “Sugaree” and Funkadelic’s “I Bet You.” Watch videos of both songs below.
The first psychedelic-influenced video showcases an imaginative re-shaping of the Grateful Dead classic, “Sugaree.” This version offers a spirited, energetic groove, punctuated by Sol’s funky take on the vocals, and powerful harmonica from Phil Wiggins. This rendition seems extra playful and fresh, featuring some beautiful interplay between Sol and Wiggins as they each take turns with the musical lead. Watch here:
The band provides a dynamic cover of a Funkadelic deep cut “I Bet You,” where Sol leaps to the front, offering some expressive vocals, and smoky, mesmerizing guitar. Phil Wiggins drops some choice way-back-yonder blues harmonica stylings, and Sol glides and dances across the frets in cascading runs of greasy tone. Eddie Christmas and Andreas Holmstrom provide a rock-solid hypnotic groove for the others to drift across. Watch here:
For most of his life, Sol has been involved with Music Maker Relief Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving roots and blues music. While working with Music Maker, Sol has backed up and recorded with many musical pioneers and legends, including blues luminary Taj Mahal on several occasions. Another recent Sol Roots video is an expressive reworking of the Taj Mahal tune, “Queen Bee.”
Watch the Sol Roots Trio featuring Holmstrom on bass and drummer Vic Chase perform “Queen Bee” from an outtake of a stripped-down raw livestream from Silver Spring, Maryland in June 2020:
These three videos showcase inventive interpretations drawn from the jam band, funk, and blues/roots genres, spotlighting some of the cultural areas from which Sol and the band draw inspiration, and find a common meeting ground.
[Sponsored content: Sol Roots is a JamBase client.]