The Freak Brothers have been entertaining audiences and winning awards with their unique blend of old school R&B, funk, hip-hop and a touch of ska for just about a decade. For all of those years, the one thing missing from their suitcase of tricks has been a CD of original music. Now that it’s finally here, there’s one word – from the first note of “Star God” to the last note of “Get On Out” – that comes to mind. That word is smooth.
Taking us back to the days when Earth Wind & Fire, The O’Jays and The Isley Brothers were in their prime, The Freak Brothers’ mixture of outstanding musicianship and spiritual grooves capture the era perfectly, while the addition of modern influences and production update their sound for the 21st century.
The opening track, “Star God,” is a perfect example of this and epitomizes the album as a whole. It starts with an electronic beat and some psychedelic keyboards, then it folds in some horns, a prominent bass line and some “cooler than you” vocals to create a song you’ll be singing in your head for days. It’s just what the doctor ordered.
“The Only One” continues the funky trek, while “Mr. Fantastic” takes it up a notch with its groovy vocals and backing horns. “Still in Love,” with its futuristic funk feel, and “Shut The Door,” complete with a dead-on Snoop Dogg rap, are the album’s best tracks, but depending on your mood, just about any of the songs on Volume 1 could replace those two at any time. The quality of the songs is high, and the musicianship is superior. There’s not anything that feels like filler material. Come to think of it, why would there be? When you’ve waited this long to record a CD, you might as well give it the best you’ve got.
The Freak Brothers hit this one out of the park. Volume 1 is undoubtedly one of the finest CD releases by a Fort Wayne area band in recent memory. Though complex, the songs don’t overwhelm the listener; rather, they flow perfectly from one to the next, keeping you engaged while revealing additional layers upon each listen.
Look up smooth in the dictionary and you probably won’t find a picture of The Freak Brothers beside it – but you should. Highly recommended.
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Josh Johnson — Comedy at Calhoun Street Soups, Salads & Spirits, Fort Wayne, 7 p.m., $10, (260) 456-7005
Vince Gill — Country at Embassy Theatre, Fort Wayne, 7 p.m., $39.50-$79.50, 424-5665
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Community Orchestra — Mussorsky's Pictures at an Exhibition at Auer Performance Hall, Rhinehart Music Center, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 7:30 p.m., $4-$7, 481-6555
Open Mic Night — Variety at Checkerz Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 7-10 p.m., no cover, 489-0286
Scratch N Sniff 2.0 w/1/4 Kit Kurt — Variety at Deer Park Irish Pub, Fort Wayne, 6:30-8 p.m., no cover, 432-8966
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Fort Wayne Karaoke — Karaoke at Latch String Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 483-5526
Fort Wayne Karaoke w/TJ — Variety at Office Tavern, Fort Wayne, 9 p.m., no cover, 478-5827
Three Rivers Karaoke w/Rob — at Wrigley Field Bar & Grill, Fort Wayne, 10 p.m., no cover, 485-1038
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41st SOCA Student Exhibition — Works from students currently enrolled at USF’s School of Creative Arts, daily thru April 30, Weatherhead Gallery, USF Rolland Art Center, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Fort Wayne Artist Guild Exhibitions — Works by Alice Siefert at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Jennifer Caudel at Allen County Retinal Surgeons, Anita Trick, Citizens Square (2nd and 3rd floors), Darlene Selzer Miller at The Einhaus Group for Women’s Health, Patricia Weiss at Heritage of Fort Wayne, Emily Jane Butler at Ophthalmology Consultants (Southwest), Linda Binek at Ophthalmology Consultants (North), Carolyn Stachera at Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne, John Kelty at ResCare Inc. Adult Day Service, Wiletta Blevins at Town House Retirement, Karen Bixler at Visiting Nurse Hospice and Barb Yoder and Karen Harvey at Will Jewelers, thru April 30, fortwayneartistguild.org.
Glass: A Medium in Art and Automobiles — Dale Chihuly blown glass and fiberglass auto, daily thru Sept. 8, Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, Auburn, $7.50-$12.50, 925-1444
Outdoor Sculpture Invitational — Fifteen outdoor sculptures from regional artists, daily thru April 30, School of Creative Arts campus, University of Saint Francis North Campus, Fort Wayne, 399-7999
Rhoda Gerig: The Hope of Eagles — Photographic images of eagles, daily thru June 4, Clark Gallery, Honeywell Center, Wabash, 563-1102
Spring 2017 BFA Exhibition — Exhibition of works by IPFW graduation seniors, daily thru May 3 , Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery, Main Library, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, 481-6709
Spring 2017 BFA Exhibition — Senior thesis projects from Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates Brenda Drayer (sculpture), Derek Hibbs (printmaking), Ellen Mensch (painting), Nathaniel Morris (sculpture) and Kyle Snodgrass (sculpture), daily thru May 7, Visual Arts Gallery, IPFW, Fort Wayne, 481-6709