This past Saturday was night two of the Nooky Jones Album Release Party, with PHO as the opener. Nooky Jones has been making their rounds around the area playing festivals and shows, gaining quite a bit of momentum before releasing their first self titled album this past Friday. That being said, If a album release party lasts two days, you know it’s a good album.
The second evening began with PHO, A instrumental band whose dancy upbeat rhythms pushed the boundaries of funk. Complete with horns, synthesizers and auto-wah’s, PHO gives us a new take on the experiments of late 70’s funk. The song Hennepin of off 2015’s Cash It captures the famed Minneapolis Sound perfectly. So much so that the band gained the attention of Prince before his passing. PHO’s latest album Two Hit the shelves this past May, and the band got the crowd up and dancing quickly, and reminding the crowd with their grooves that the Minneapolis Sound is alive and well.
The stage at the Icehouse is about the same size of a Icehouse, but had no trouble packing the 7 piece PHO and 6 piece Nooky Jones. Donned in suits and sunglasses, Nooky Jones is as every bit as smooth as PHO is funky. Adding purple and blue lights, and filling the room with a touch of fog, frontman Cameron Kinghorn slowed things down a little, and commanded the room with his music. Highlights included the crowd singing along to one of his all time favorite songs, People Get Ready. Cameron’s falsetto seemed to draw applause every time, while pianist Kevin Gastonguay’s gentle touch on the keys sounded superb alongside the jazzy soul the band poured out to the audience. At times dreamy, jazzy and sexy, Nooky Jones captivated the audience as they always do. Its great to see that they’re at the point in their career where the audience can recognize the opening notes of Sweet Wine, drawing out a huge smile from Kinghorn.
Go get both of these band’s CD’s. Seriously.