The Neighborhood Theater
Charlotte, North Carolina
April 11, 2008
Touring in support of their relatively new album What Happened to TV, the Greyboy Allstars brought their funk to 400 Charlotteans for a seriously energetic show.
One got the feeling from the album and from this show, these guys are together for the sheer enjoyment of playing. More than anything, these guys are following the soul, r& b, and funk of Motown sound from the late 1960’s.
Karl Denson may not be the hardest working man in show business, but could be the second. He doesn’t just play – he throws himself into the song like a cliff diver on crack. He played the tenor sax most often, but also picked up the flute and various percussion instruments over the course of the night. Elgin Park (aka Mike Andrews) played a Gibson hollow body to start but seemed to move to a Fender for the rocking numbers. Robert Walters waited for the second set to break out, spending most of the evening on the Hammond B3.
The show started, like greyhounds busting out of the gate. The Allstars apparently didn’t need to warm up, get into the groove, or settle into it. Cranking up a Robert Parker cover, "Barefootin" you wouldn’t know it wasn’t 1966. Park started off seated as usual, but didn’t stay that way for long, jumping up to meet the energy from Denson.
The Allstars’ soulful funk sound was authentic, and the audience danced as though the floor was superheated. Later in the first set they unleashed a jamming version of the Beatle’s "Taxman," and the first set ended with a soulful version of "Walk on By."
The second set arrived with even more force. Walters moved from his backing position to tear into "Wynder K Frog," named after the famed Hammond B3 player, and eventually the band made their way through a stellar set to the encore, "Quanico," a serious jam from their 1997 release.
All in all, the Greyboy Allstars played their blend of 60’s soul with great intensity and a variety of styles. Each band member is a master of his instrument, and added up, the result is five men who have a great time and take the audience along for the ride.
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