For the 2017 edition of Brooklyn Comes Alive, Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds and Alan Evans of Soulive debuted their new band called Matador! Soul Sounds. Having missed the first two years of Brooklyn Comes Alive, Roberts was a surefire candidate to appear in 2017. When contacted by the organizers of the event to build a super jam, he responded that he didn’t have a super jam nor a side project in mind that he wanted to perform with; rather, Roberts informed Brooklyn Comes Alive that, at this year’s event, he wanted to debut his new band to the world.
Matador! Soul Sounds is Roberts’ collaboration with Soulive’s Alan Evans. The band formed out of a short tour with The New Mastersounds where Evans filled in on drums, and he and Roberts formed a deep musical connection. After recruiting Chris Spies on keys, Kevin Scott on bass, and Kimberly Dawson from Pimps Of Joytime and Adryon de León of Orgone on vocals, Matador! Soul Sounds hit the studio and recorded an album that will be released in 2018.
While the record was still a work-in-progress back in September, Matador! had enough material to fill up a set, and the group planned to debut this previously unheard material to the world at Brooklyn Comes Alive. In the lead up to BCA 2017, Roberts discussed Matador! Soul Sounds with L4LM, explaining that the band is “drenched in funk” and that “everybody is part of the music. That is the vision for it.” Funk fans everywhere were excited to hear what the new band had to offer once they unleashed their new music.
When the band hit the stage for the first time at Brooklyn Comes Alive (following a surprise warm-up show at the Ardmore Music Hall the night before), Roberts, Evans, and company blessed the Brooklyn Bowl audience with their unique brand of power-funk. Roberts’s guitar skills were on full display as he anchored the band with his funky, rhythmic playing. Alan Evans was the king of the pocket, pushing the band forward with his locked-in grooves and tight hits. Chris Spies was excellent on the organ, playfully setting the tone, while Kevin Scott held the low-end down on his bass. Dawson and de León were a breath of fresh air, infusing these funky songs with a soulful vibe that elevated the music to another stratosphere.
Matador! Soul Sounds’ musical prowess was on full display throughout their performance at Brooklyn Comes Alive, and the audience responded with endless enthusiasm, clearly loving the new project. The band had a few standout moments, like their performance of the uptempo speed-funk track “Get Ready”—the lead single from Matador! Soul Sounds that was also released as a special, limited-edition vinyl at Brooklyn Comes Alive—and the James-Brown-esque instrumental number “Mr. Handsome”.
Below, check out a video of “Mr. Handsome” from the band’s set at Brooklyn Comes Alive. While this song doesn’t feature vocalists Dawson and de León, it showcases the musical foursome of Matador! Soul Sounds, and everything they do best: infectious funk music that makes you want to dance.
For fans of Eddie Roberts, Don’t miss The New Mastersounds at their special post-Phish late night show on New Year’s Eve at Irving Plaza in New York City. Click here for more information, or here to purchase tickets.