This week, talkbox wizard Swatkins, best known for his work as the keyboardist for Allen Stone, released a brand new single, “Gotta Give It Away (If You’re Gonna Keep It)”, via Color Red. The track is slathered with layers of Vintage East Bay Grease and wields an all-star lineup featuring Michaelangelo Carubba (Turkuaz), Craig Brodhead (Turkuaz), Michael Elson (Excellent Gentlemen), André Zapata (Allen Stone), Moorea Masa (Moorea Masa & The Mood), Jans Ingber (formerly of The Motet) and the horns from Huntertones (Jon Lampley, Chris Ott, and Dan White).
While routing through Denver this January, Swatkins and company were invited into the Color Red studio (founded by Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds) to lay down a track. Swatkins had the freshly half-baked track in his mind and showed the group his late-night demo, which elicited grunts of approval. From there, the band members crafted the rhythm tracks together in a ground-up collaborative effort. Carubba incessantly wore metronomic headphones throughout the day to lock in the pocket on drums. Zapata translated the demo’s Moog bassline flawlessly on the low end. Brodhead displayed effortless chemistry interlocking his phased rhythm guitar with Swatkins’ wah clavinet. Elson added icing on the cake, lacing the track with a shimmering layer of gospel organ. Swatkins and Masa honed goosebump-inducing vocals on the spot as the rhythm section recorded live.
After tracking at Color Red, the tune was sent to the horn-led group The Huntertones for Jon Lampley (trumpet), Chris Ott (trombone), and Dan White (saxophones) to lay down some funky swagger while Jans Ingber (formerly of The Motet) peppered it up with percussion and Swatkins locked it down with a Moog solo over the bridge and his signature talkbox stylings on the outro.
The end result is a soulful, feel-good magnum opus imparting the belief in the power of generosity to overcome material greed. As Swatkins explains about the finished product, “It has immediately become one of the band’s favorite tunes to play live, and was birthed right there in the Color Red basement by a haggard group of altitudinal musician buds.”
You can listen to the resulting studio track below:
Swatkins – “Gotta Give It Away (If You’re Gonna Keep It)”
The release of “Gotta Give It Away (It You’re Gonna Keep It)” comes ahead of Swatkins & The Positive Agenda‘s upcoming four-night stint opening for Turkuaz at the first-ever Colorado edition of the band’s The Ball Drop New Year’s celebration. The Colorado run will take Swatkins & The Positive Agenda and Turkuaz to Fort Collins on December 27th, Frisco on December 28th and 29th, and Boulder on December 31st.
For a full list of upcoming Swatkins & The Positive Agenda tour dates, head here.