POOLSIDE CD NOTES:
When it comes to California, diversity is the name of the game. This diversity is reflected in its people, by means of race, religion, nationality, and pretty much everything else you can imagine. In turn, this cultural mix gives us an interesting variety of cuisine and music to choose and it is, from. And it is, precisely, this very rich environment that gave birth to Spellbound, a wonderful band created by friends Paul Thomas and Bobby Moon, two very talented and creative musicians taht really give a new meaning to the word eclectic. Poolside Fiesta, their latest successful recording to date, reinforces that concept. Successful, by the way, encompasses such descriptions as spicy, delicious, captivating, charming, energetic, remarkable, and more.
Listening to Poolside Fiesta, something becomes evident along the way: you can feel that this Paul and Bobby's homage to the music of their teen years, when they forged their friendship. We can clearly appreciate the influence of funk and sixties rock in their work. The result, of course, is a highly enjoyable and danceable recording - a trait of Spellbound's since its inception.Poolside Fiesta certainly has a little bit for everybody. For example, there are guajira/boogaloos, with the tracks Soul Kitchen (a 1967 tune from Los Angeles' very own, The Doors) and the exciting Strange Boogaloo. There is also plenty of funk, represented by Hot Sauce, Spellbound's tribute to the recently departed Godfather of Soul, James Brown; the funky-dico-flavored Freak 'N' You; and the band's precious version of Jesse Winchester's Rhumba Man.Then, we get a dose of delicious sensual arrangements - the ones to hold your loved one very tight - such as Four O'Clock In The Morning, and their treatment of John Sebastian's I Don't Want Nobody Else. Of course, some Caribbean-flavored samba is also featured, like La Voz del Amor, and some spicy salsa (spiked with techno-rock), with Tite Curet's classic La Esencia del Guaguancó.
What else can I say? This is as eclectic as it can get, and should please most tastes. Bobby and Paul couldn't choose a better title for this wonderful CD. Hell, how can this not be? With their regular band, comprised of trombonist Mike Daigeau, master percussionist Rudy Mangual, the wondeful voice of newcomer Sonora, plus very special guests, such as experienced saxaphonist Michael James Turre, veteran band leader and tresero Johnny Polanco, awesome bongocero Papo Rodríguez, and the musical support of Candi Sosa, the result had to be phenomenal!
If I ever have the opportunity to hire one band to play at a party, Spellbound would be my first choice. However, in its absence, Poolside Fiesta will have to do. Just listen and you'll know why.
Eric E. González
Los Angeles, California, January, 2007
POOLSIDE PRESS BIO:
Los Angeles' long-running independent musical act Spellbound will meet you poolside with new CD.
Are they still here? Spellbound? A tiny blip on the Big-Time Music Radar that rarely gigs or makes any money to speak of? Releasing another CD? Are they insane or just insanely stubborn?
They didn't put any thought into it, and it certainly wasn't planned. Nonetheless, with a new recording "Poolside Fiesta," here they are, Spellbound: A Caucasian multi-instrumentalist who composes with a Korean-American lyricist, who shares bi-lingual vocal duties with exotic females, whom, in turn, are backed by Latin percussionists, and even a brother from another planet who plays trombone.
Founder Paul Thomas, the aforementioned Caucasian instrumentalist, recently reflected:
"Years ago when starting this band, I felt certain the world was ready to accept a multi-racial group with performers of different ages and genders. I know now that I was wrong, but we're having way too much $*#**&% fun to stop now!"
What kind of sound does Spellbound make? A soulful pastiche of urban pulses and tropical breezes, incorporating 1960's Rock, '70's Funk, and a little turn-of-the-millenium techno. Of course! But there's more, for what would a story be without twists & turns.
One of the twists was co-founder/vocalist Bobby Moon. His ego, to be more precise. Left unchecked as a lad, it had swelled to epic proportions by his adulthood. After being left to his own devices during pre-adolescence, young Moon was forced to take taxi cabs alone through the mean streets of Beverly Hills in search of the meaning of life. Movie houses were an early passion.
"Willy Wonka, Jaws, King Kong (1978 - with Jessica Lange -classic!), these were my inspiration for lyrics that later resurfaced in Spellbound material."
And this new collection of songs entitled "Poolside Fiesta?"
"It came from long discussions with all the devoted fans and dancers who make up our audience,regarding the proposed direction of a new CD," says Thomas, "After speaking with both of them, it was discovered that they especially enjoyed the 1960's influence in Spellbound's music, so we emphasized that aspect."
Another different aspect of "Poolside Fiesta" is the inclusion of four songs originally written by other artists. Bobby Moon elaborates:
"Paul and I love good songs...everybody loves a good song, and there were a few that we loved so much we had to cover them! We've gotten to the point where our interperative skills have developed enough, as well as our confidence levels, that we can deliver some fun arrangements of other peoples' material."
"Poolside Fiesta" is the band's sixth nationally-distributed CD
LATIN BEAT MAGAZINE REVIEW (April 2007 - Volume 17/Number 3)
SPELLBOUND "Poolside Fiesta"
Los Angeles homies Paul Thomas and bobby Moon, leaders of the Latin funk group Spellbound, are back with their latest production, Poolside Fiesta. A spicy reperatoir of mostly original scores (their ninth recording) displays the diversity and maturity of this Los Angeles-based outfit, showcasing the talents of multi-instrumentalist/composer Paul Thomas and vocalist/lyricist Bobby Moon. The poolside fiesta gets underway with Spellbound's rendition of The Doors' 1967 classic hit song Soul Kitchen (arranged as a guajira/boogaloo). The boys get real funky on the track Si, Señora, featuring the guest vocals of Sonora. It's back to the sounds of the 1960s boogaloo on the selection Strange Boogaloo, and funks reigns supreme on the track Hot Sauce (a tribute to the recently departed "Godfather of Soul," James Brown, in the first music video from this production). An instant salsa party can be experienced via Spellbound's rendition of the classic Tite Curet Alonso composition La Escencia del Guaguancó (with a swinging techno-rock arrangement). Everyone will shake their hips to the contagious dance beat of Freak 'N' You. Rounding out the Spellbound sound are Mike Daigeau (trombone), Rudy Mangual (percussion), and Michael James Turré (sax). Guest musicians in this recording include Johnny Polanco (tres guitar), Papo Rodríguez (bongó), Candi Sosa (percussion) and Sonora (vocals).
(Review by: Gil Rivera)
SpellBound “Poolside Fiesta” (Selfish Recordings)
De verdad que hay que quitarse el sombrero ante Bobby Moon y Paul Thomas. Estos dos músicos californianos no paran de crear y producir buena música. Con “Poolside Fiesta”, su más reciente producción, ellos vuelven a darnos otra dosis generosa de música representativa de un estado tan mixto y diverso como California. Y esta es música para gozar y bailar. Doce son los temas que componen este trabajo, y en el mismo Paul y Bobby reflejan su admiración por los ritmos de sus años de estudiantes, cuando forjaron su amistad. Este es un compacto variado y con música para casi todos los gustos. Tenemos, por ejemplo, guajira / boogaloos, con los números “Soul Kitchen”, popularizada años atrás por el grupo angelino The Doors, y el excitante “Strange Boogaloo”. Además se nos brinda el ritmo contagioso del funk, con “Hot Sauce”, dedicada a la memoria del recientemente fallecido padrino el soul, James Brown, así como también “Freak ‘N’ You”. Siguiendo esa línea, está su versión de “Rhumba man”, tema de Jessie Winchester. Por otros lado, se nos brindan algunos arreglos sensuales, para bailar apretado con tu pareja, con las piezas “Four in the morning” y “I Don’t want nobody else”, tema de antaño de John Sebastian. Por último, Spellbound nos deleita con su versión del clásico de Tite Curet, “La Esencia del Guaguancó”, con la participación de Johnny Polanco (tres), Papo Rodríguez (bongo) y Rudy Mangual (conga; sí, el mismísimo editor de la revista Latin Beat). “Poolside Fiesta” también cuenta con la participación de músicos del calibre, como Mike Daigeau (trombón), Michael James Turre (sax), y Candi Sosa (apoyo vocal).
- Herencia Latina.Com (Reseñas de CD Mes de junio de 2007)