Robert Walter’s 20th Congress have announced the first leg of U.S. tour dates to support their new album, Get Thy Bearings, available June 25 from The Royal Potato Family. The tour hits Colorado for five nights in August before heading to the West Coast in September for eight shows running from Los Angeles to Seattle. It’s been a busy year for the revered organist who in addition to his work with the 20th Congress has recorded and toured extensively with The Greyboy Allstars, the seminal funk-jazz ensemble he helped found almost two decades ago. With both the Greyboys and the 20th Congress, Walter was at the forefront of the groove music renaissance of the early ’90s and has continued to push the tradition forward, while simultaneously evolving its sound for a new generation of fans.
Get Thy Bearings marks the first new studio recording in ten years from Robert Walter’s 20th Congress. The nine-tracks are drenched in the vintage old school soul, funk and jazz vibe of Walter’s heroes like Big John Patton and Bill Doggett, but it also reflects his recent work scoring films such as Bridesmaids, Jeff Who Lives at Home, Walk Hard and Bad Teacher. There’s a conceptual depth to the songwriting that draws on elements of narrative and character development, lending a cinematic color to the proceedings. The tracks range from the Sly Stone-style soul vamp of “Little Business” to the slow-burning “Inversion Layer.” The greasy funk of “Don’t Chin the Dog” shifts from delicate shuffle to horn-drenched boogaloo, playing out like the soundtrack to a long lost blaxploitation film from the ’70s. Things get eerie on “Up From the Skies,” a Jimi Hendrix cover rendered nearly unrecognizable in washes of electric Miles. Similarly, the album’s title track is a shrewd reworking of the 1968 Donovan tune that Walter first discovered on compilation of sample-friendly breakbeats, full of fuzz guitar and a mercurial organ solo.
Listen to “Hunk” the first single from the new album here!
ROBERT WALTER’S 20th CONGRESS tour dates:
August 3 | Jackson Hole Live | Jackson Hole, WY
August 13 | Gerald Ford Amphitheatre | Vail, CO
August 14 | Barkley Ballroom | Frisco, CO
August 15 | Snowmass Village | Snowmass, CO
August 16 | Cervantes Otherside | Denver, CO
August 17 | Fox Theatre | Boulder, CO
September 5 | The Mint | Los Angeles, CA
September 6 | Boom Boom Room | San Francisco, CA
September 7 | Boom Boom Room | San Francisco, CA
September 8 | Sweetwater | Mill Valley, CA
September 10 | Jambalaya | Arcata, CA
September 12 | Liquid | Bend, OR
September 13 | Doug Fir | Portland, OR
September 14 | The Tractor, Seattle, WA
November 15-16 | Bear Creek Music Festival | Live Oak, FL
January 4-9 | Jamcruise | Miami, FL