Download: Mixtape: Standout Bay Area Funk, Soul, and R&B Artists (Podcast #409)
This episode first appeared on KQED.org.
The legacy of groups like Sly & the Family Stone and Tower of Power may loom large, but the the Bay Area has a wealth of emerging local funk, soul, and R&B acts that draw from a wide variety of sounds to craft exciting works. To be sure, you can hear influences of Bay Area classics in bands like the ascendant Con Brio, now bringing their energetic live sets to festivals around the world, and Monophonics, a group crafting music layered in atmosphere, but both offer uniquely engaging spins on psychedelic soul.
In this mixtape, we collect a dozen great local funk, soul, and R&B artists. Fans of hip hop-influenced R&B should enjoy Xiomara and William Robert; we would have added Rayana Jay too if she hadn’t already appeared in our last mix. For retro-futuristic boogie and synth funk, check out tracks from Otis McDonald and The Pendletons, the latter a duo containing one-half of the recent soul group Myron & E.
Sounds from beyond the Bay Area inform several of the acts included in this tape. Atta Kid displays a clear love for New Orleans funk, while southern soul influences the retro-R&B of California Honeydrops. Notably, this collection also offers two local performers, Meklit and Sun Hop Fat, incorporating Ethio-jazz, which mixes Ethiopian scales and instruments with American funk and jazz, into their music.
Listen to the mixtape to learn more about all twelve artists.
About the Bands
Midtown Social – “It’s Alright”
Atta Kid – “TOP Doff”
Xiomara – “You Don’t Know Jack”
Monophonics – “Lying Eyes”
The Pendletons – “Gotta Get Out (feat. Jimetta Rose and I, CED)”
Con Brio – “Liftoff”
Sal’s Greenhouse – “Junky Booty”
Meklit – “Supernova”
William Robert – “Texas”
Otis McDonald – “It was a great Summer”
Sun Hop Fat – “Netsanet”
California Honeydrops – “When It Was Wrong”