Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photos/Video: Hard Proof Afrobeat at Momo's [Feb. 16]

Tuesday was World Music Night at Momo's, a weekly residency that showcases local bands performing everything from Latin funk to Eastern European gypsy folk to Indian sitar music. Tuesday's lineup included the traditional afrobeat of Hard Proof Afrobeat. Click the photo to the left to see my photo album from this show on Facebook. The photos are also on MySpace.

Hard Proof Afrobeat is led by the same horn section that helps make Black Joe Lewis' live show so damn funky. When they're not spreading the gospel of old-school dirty American funk with Black Joe, Hard Proof pays homage to afrobeat, a funk-influenced 1970s musical movement spawned by Nigerian musical genius Fela Kuti. It's good to see an Austin band getting down with afrobeat, given what a complex yet fun style of music it is. My verdict on Hard Proof Afrobeat: I enjoyed this band, though I wasn't blown away by any means. I think afrobeat suffers when it doesn't have a vocalist. Instrumental afrobeat just lacks the power. I think of Fela's best songs, and they included group chants and scathing politically charged lyrics. Musically, this band is fine. But it's not the full afrobeat experience. In the video above, Hard Proof performs a cover of Fela's early classic "My Lady Frustration."

File Under: Hard Proof Afrobeat, Momo's


Anonymous said...

I have met the band and one of them told me that they sometimes feature vocalists and one day they may add one permanently but for now they are still growing and doing fine without one. What i love about this band is the song writing and how they are all pro level musicians. They are lucky to have an instrumental band that keeps peoples interest. I saw them at Stubbs in Austin last New Years and they rocked the crowd everybody seemed to be dancing.


potenta said...

i've heard they're great!!

wonderfull atmosfere and everything :)

Anonymous said...

I've seen this band several times, they are one of my favorite bands to watch live. Their funky beats and creative rhythms have my friends and me dancing all night. You can tell that every musician that plays in this band is a professional musician who has studied music. They are also in other bands like Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Ghandaia, and Ocote Soul Sounds. Their talent extends far beyond the normal level of talent most musicians I've seen play in this town. They don't need no stinkin' vocalist! Their unique sound would be ruined if all the attention was on a vocalist.