Thirty One Flavors and Then Some blog:
The Saxon Pub on south Lamar is a legendary Austin live music venue. Hosting such performers as Bob Schnieder, Sunny Sweeney and Monte Montgomery, the self proclaimed “best listening room in Austin” really proved it last night when at 12:35am the Bus Stop Stallions took hold of the tiny wood planked stage and refused to let it go until 2am.
An eight piece ensemble band described on their website as music “to put people’s heads in the clouds while their dancin’ feet stay on the ground” the Bus Stop Stallions are poised and ready to bring their new funk soul rock fusion to a much larger audience. Complete with horns, keyboards, and bass the band has a soulful funky sound that can easily be described as the positive result of a street brawl between George Clinton & P-Funk, Sly and the Family Stone with a few punches thrown in by the godfather of soul himself, Mr. James Brown. Last night they blasted the Saxon Pub with a solid wall of sound that made it impossible for the crowd to stay in their seats.
The non-verbal communication between bassist Bill Normandin and drummer known only as Rsi kept the undercurrent beat tight, freeing keyboardist Zack Knox and guitarist Jon Shea up to get a little funky crazy while still managing to tie the band’s sound up into a neat little package just begging to be ripped open and apart by Steve, Tom and Sara on the trumpet, trombone, and tenor Saxophone respectively. Adding a smokey, gravelly, bluesy baritone and lyrics that are at once filled with playfulness and want is Chris Vartessian rounding out the octet on vocals letting the crowd know that this band not only serious about its music but serious about its fun and revelry as well.
Even though they have only been performing together for little over two years, the Bus Stop Stallions have the tight cohesive sound and unabashed stage presence of a band that has bee doing this for decades. The band’s personality shines particularly bright when they are performing the bluesy “It Ain’t Easy” and the spaced out trippy psychedelic funk of “Itchy Scratchy Fever” . Giving plenty of room for each member to showcase their considerable talent in not to short and not to long solos.
If funk and soul have any hope of leaking back into the main stream of popular music the Bus Stop Stallions may just be its best shot. In the mean time this is a band that is ready to be seen and heard.