Thursday, May 28, local Afrobeat-fusion band Hardproof winds up their killer May residency at Empire Control Room & Garage. Over the course of the residency this month, the group has played with several who’s who of Austin-based acts from different genres. This last show of the residency continues that formula with a performance from Austin Music Award winners Riders Against The Storm, but breaks away from the local with Washington, D.C. funksters The Funk Ark joining the festivities.
The Funk Ark could be the funky doppelganger to Austin’s Hardproof, as their music is also rooted in Afrobeat but infused with elements of jazz and funk. The group was formed by the band’s composer, pianist, and spokesperson, Will Rast (Antibalas, Thievery Corporation, Ocote Soul Sounds). They released their critically-acclaimed debut From The Rooftops in 2011 and and even tighter sophomore album, High Noon, in 2012 via Eighteenth Street Lounge Music (ESL Music). Currently the group is on tour in support of their latest release, 2014’s Man Is A Monster.
Finally, after three weeks I am tired of writing about Hardproof. If you seen them live yet, you’re missing out on seeing Austin’s best known purveyor of Afrobeat. Their membership is composed of (some) members from Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Ocote Soul Sounds, Echocentrics, The Calm Blue Sea and Cougar, but these guys are far past the label “side project.” This band holds its own. The group takes heavy horns and blends them with funky polyrhythms, tropical and mystical undertones. Not since Brooklyn’s Antibalas has a band taken Afrobeat rooted music to another level.
Empire Control Room is located at 606 E. 7th Street. Doors open at 8 p.m. 21+ welcome. Advance tickets are available for purchase online for $10 here. There will be a $12 cover charge at the door on the day of the show. Visit the Facebook event page here. Event presented by UTOPiAfest.
The Funk Ark
Riders Against The Storm