by Chadbyrne Dickens

The Main Squeeze is a quickly-ascending funkadelic, guitar-driven outfit adept at a myriad of genres including soul and jam music that again showcased the none-too-subtle abundance of talent within the voice of lead singer Corey Frye.  Adding additional fuel with Frye are a strong set of young musicians including Max Newman (guitar), Smiley (keys), Reuben Gingrich (drums) Jeremiah Hunt (bass) Michael Emmert (sax), Alphonso Horne, (trumpet) and Jake Kenowitz (trombone).  Together, on Thanksgiving Eve, they lived up to the expectations that playing the hallowed hall of BB King’s expects through a non-stop barrage of kinetic energy and confidence beyond their years.

Stevie Wonder would be proud of the band’s cover of “Sir Duke” with the horns, adding a powerful dimension to an outfit already adequately buoyed by Frye’s angelic voice and demanding stage presence.  Frye was able to be constantly pouncing upon the stage or getting jiggy with it, complete with inviting smile, despite his large frame and sweat emanating from his brow like Niagara Falls.  The consummate professional band carried on into a delightful, “Dr. Funk” after Frye demanded “Everyone better dance to this one!”  It was an up-tempo tune paying homage to the other funk acts who have obviously paved the way for The Squeeze.  The band gyrated and jammed straight for over two hours belting out, “Give it to Me” and “Mama Told Me” to a crowd, some of which were “Squeezeheads”, that relished every note and knew all the words by heart.  Now, it takes resolve to pull off a cover of a Grateful Dead song, especially at BB King’s AND when it is one of their most popular.  However, with a slightly different speed and with Frye smiling and delivering the end of each stanza with his trademark altered inflection, “Eyes of the World” proved to be the crowd pleaser of the evening and one Jerome himself would be proud of.

The Main Squeeze exuded a contagious flavor of soul and rock that is sweet and tasty to the senses.  With further experience and maturity, one will hopefully see them reach the potential within their grasp and an opportunity to catch more of their energetic romps into funk land and like Equifunk this summer – hopefully at a venue with a crowd more adept to understanding the style of the band and the deliciousness of nuance delivered through Frye’s voice.  If you believe in the music first, then I hope to see you there!

Set list:  Mixed up, In a Funk, Jungle, Grow, Sir Duke*, Devil Was An Angel*, Dr. Funk*, Ebaneezer*, Give It To Me*, Mama Told Me*, I’ll Take Another, Last Call, I Don’t Know What You Came to Do, Afro Pick, Change is Gonna Come, Trouble, Encore- Where Do We Go, Eyes of the World, Whipping Post

*with horns

Check out a video of “Jungle” from the BB King’s show: