Material: Jules Galli’s approach to soul and funk music isn’t necessarily unique in that it incorporates elements of contemporary indie rock and dance music, but it sure is exciting. The thrill is in the dichotomy; Galli’s voice is classically R&B. The guy charms the crowd at the Hotel Café with every vocal inflection.This music wouldn’t sound out of place on alternative radio. On social media, Galli mentions that Jamiroquai and Maroon 5 are influences, and that makes sense. Fans of the Revivalists would like this stuff too, so strong are the rock & soul tunes.
Musicianship: Galli has assembled a tremendous group of musicians to back him, not one of them filling space unnecessarily. Lead guitarist Bugarin loves to let his instrument shriek and wail, while he pulls all of the correct and corresponding rock star faces. The rhythm section is appropriately tight, and guest spots by sax man Joseph Schmeltzer and captivating singer India Carney are a real treat. The hidden gem is violinist Koi Anunta, who pulls all manner of weird and wonderful sounds from her instrument, offering something a little out of the ordinary for an ensemble of this kind. But, as one would expect, it’s the unit that’s important, and these guys purr together, like a classic car after a tune-up. The overall sound is so full, almost Spector-esque, that one could be forgiven for thinking that we were listening to a studio recording. Kudos to the Hotel Cafe sound-man for that too.
Performance: Galli, in particular, leaves every inch of himself, including a hat or two, on the stage. He writhes and pulsates through every song, his face betraying the fact that he’s feeling every note. Alright, now and again, he goes a little too “full-on” Michael Jackson and threatens to dip into Corey Feldman territory, but he pulls himself back just in the nick of time.
Summary: This blend of rock, pop and R&B is so very marketable right now, mainly because the potential audience is so vast. This could be played to mainstream and underground crowds, not to mention to fans of all of the aforementioned genres. Frankly, the talent is there, and the songs are awesome. All Galli and his band need now is a bit of luck.
The Players: Jules Galli, vocals; Koi Anunta, violin; Oscar Bugarin, electric guitar; David Henning, bass; Marshall Thompson, keyboards; Josh Herbst, drums; Al Keith, percussion; Andre Cotman, sax.
Photos by Brett Callwood