Matador! Soul Sounds & The Runnikine 3.24.18

The Fox Theatre
Boulder CO

Words & photos by Blake Barit (Direct Attention)

Living in Colorado, we’re all very lucky to have a hutch on the side of the national musical superhighway that is the Denver/Boulder metro area and its surrounding boroughs. Nationally touring, high profile acts are as numerous as they are eclectic and the various venues that work to accommodate them have become nightly destinations for the hordes of ravenous musical devotees needing to fulfill their weekly boogie quotas. The Fox Theater in Boulder is such a place. Being in the middle of my fifth year as an east coast transplant, one of my favorite things about this area has been all of the brand new, home grown, and truly inspired music that comes right through my backyard. Tonight, that brand new, home grown, and truly inspired music is that of Matador! Soul Sounds, a new collaborative effort from Eddie Roberts and Alan Evans.

Local staple, The RunniKine, started things off with a spirited step. Eric Luba, Jon McCartan, and Pikachu (Will Trask) set the stage for a night of non-stop movement and laughter with a loose yet very compelling opening set. Combining the auditory sound of Stevie Wonder and a bit of tongue-in-cheek exploratory vaudevillian brio, the band is frequently seen in the first position, eager to lead off any night’s proceedings.

The main act of the evening, Matador! Soul Sounds, are a cadre of musicians that do not want to be called a super-group. Born from the shared vision of Roberts and Evans, the band is an amalgamation of members of Soulive, Pimps of Joytime, The New Mastersounds, and Jimmy Herring Band. As vocalist Kim Dawson said from the stage, “We are a group of musicians who came together to write new original music and share it with you all.”

Share they did. For such a young band (their debut album, Get Ready dropped March 12th) the interconnectivity of their playing and willingness to divvy up the spotlight is quite extraordinary. Alan Evans and Eddie Roberts represent the leaders of the band, getting funked up all night on the drums and lead guitar respectively. The vocal section was incredible and shined brightly throughout, made up of Pimps of Joytime alum Kimberly Dawson and Orgone diva Adryon de León. Kevin Scott provided ample low end from the bass position, while Chris Spies provided his keyboard not only as an instrument but as a place of congregation during peak output for the “banderilleros.”

The band gave off the youthful exuberance of a seasoned outfit with lots of dates under their belt. Charging through their inaugural tour, they give off an aura of confidence and tenacity, ready to prove something that they don’t need to because they are already levelling up. Destined to be a live funk music juggernaut for years to come, this cuadrilla is certainly taking the bull by the horns… and making it bend to their will with sabers of funk, soul, and jazz. Toro! Toro!

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