2016 was our busiest year to date. Starting in international waters with our fifth appearance on Jamcruise, we played a total of 114 shows in Germany, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and in 32 of the 50 US states. Our tune "Whistle Song" was used by AVVO in a nationwide TV and online ad campaign. We released our eleventh studio record, The Nashville Session (which also happens to be our fourth live record) and started work on our twelfth. On the side, Pete co-wrote and produced a new original album with drum legend Bernard Purdie, and Eddie made a record with Quantic. In New Orleans we played late-night tribute sets to the late, great Allen Toussaint, featuring Ivan Neville, Jon Cleary and Marc Broussard. Eddie performed in Foundation of Funk with Ziggy Modeliste and George Porter Jr of The Meters as well as leading a tribute to Grant Green called Green Is Beautiful, featuring members of the Greyboy All Stars and Soulive. We recorded a single with Brooklyn-based power-funk collective Turkuaz, and then went on tour with them for eight weeks, which was simultaneously exhausting and enormous fun.
2017 promises to be a lot less intense but no less exciting, with more studio writing and recording in February, a Colorado ski tour, more late-night shenanigans in New Orleans, and possible trips to Japan and Hawaii and Spain currently being discussed. Watch this space, or better still: sign up to our email list to stay informed.
The first phase of our mammouth co-headline US tour with Turkuaz went swimmingly last month. The shows were a lot of fun, and we enjoyed more and more inter-band musical collaborations as we all got to know each other. One highlight was playing to 1200+ people at the Ogden Theater in Denver (photo: Cary Walker), another was our outdoor show in St Pete, FL, where we last all saw each other. We're in Zürich, Switzerland this weekend for JazzNoJazz Festival, then we meet up with Turkuaz in San Diego on November 9th to find out what exactly the US has decided to subject itself to for the next four years. We either begin Phase Two of the Fall Tour or dash across to the relative safety of Mexico before the Wall goes up.
We've had no shortage of fun this festival season playing at Summercamp, Mountain Jam, Electric Forest, High Sierra, Fuji Rock (Japan), Valley Rock (Korea) and finishing up this weekend in Loveland, Colorado at Arise (photo of our main stage set courtesy of Sound & Silence). Huge thanks to Soulive's Alan Evans who filled in (literally and metaphorically) for Simon on drums on this very last run of the summer. And even huger thanks to everyone who came out to see us. We'll be back in October - dates are now up on our tour page. Stay funky, soulful and jazzy!
Our annual late-night shindig at the Joy Theater in New Orleans was a ton of fun - we played 6 hours of music over 2 nights, which included a special tribute to the late Allen Toussaint with our US horn section and special guests Ivan Neville, Eric Krasno, Marc Broussard and fellow Brit, Jon Cleary. The Saturday night show sold out and we played till 6am before heading to Igor's for breakfast Bloody Marys.
We're currently at home (in Leeds, Hollinsclough, Menorca and Denver) preparing to reunite in Chicago to start a run of shows which include sets at Rothbury Festival in Michigan (our first ever Michigan show!) and High Sierra Music Festival in Northern California (our first love, as far as festivals go - this will be our 5th appearance!)
(photo of NMS with Ivan Neville by Jeremy Scott)
We're back in UK resting up after a short but intense run of European shows. Thanks to all of you who came out to see us in Madrid, Zürich, Hamburg, London, and especially Leeds, where we played to 400 friends, family and fans at our favourite hometown venue, The Brudenell Social Club. The opening band, Little Violet, captivated the audience with their hip electro-swing sounds as the room began to fill up. Then our super-tight former horn section - Atholl, Malcolm and Jim - joined us for a career-spanning set, ending with an unplanned rendition of "It's All Right Now" as former NMS front-man Cleve Freckleton showed up to sing and play gospel tambourine. While we were in London we called in at the US embassy to get our visas approved for another year and will be back over there in April/May for a whole month of gigs, hitting Florida, NYC, New Orleans, Nashville, and many points in between.