In a city known as the Live Music Capital of the World, it can be challenging to stand out from the droves of truly talented musicians.
Unless you’re Soul Track Mind.
In celebration of their sixth anniversary, the funky guys of Soul Track Mind threw an even funkier party on—where else?—Sixth Street last Saturday night. The Parish dubbed the evening a “modern soulful night,” a perfect characterization of the dancey throwback affair packed with topnotch opening acts and surprise guests.
A Soulful Start
I was bummed to miss Taylor Baker, who got the show started around 8 PM. She’s a relatively new face on the Austin music circuit, but her songwriting skills, soulful voice, and mad guitar and banjo skills have already begun to garner some major attention. Check out her fresh indie-folk here.
I made it to the Parish just as Erin Ivey took the stage. Full disclosure: I consider Erin Ivey to be my music spirit animal, so her set was one of my favorite parts of the evening. I’ve seen her several times over the years, and each time she delivers a truly earnest and enchanting performance.
The variety of her set was even broader than usual and included slightly jazzier renditions of “Rest Your Head” from Whisper of the Moon and “Amelia” (a tribute to Amelia Earhart) from Dreamy Weather. The highlight was definitely the last song: a Bobby Brown cover with local rapper D.O.S., which perfectly accented the eclectic yet cohesive set. Erin and her band’s performance was a perfectly soulful prelude to the disco explosion that was about to occur.
A Funky Finish
During a short break before the last set, I toyed with the idea of heading home a little early. But as the polyester-clad, horn-toting guys from Soul Track Mind came onto the stage, there was no way I could miss seeing what these guys had to offer.
First of all, their energy is unlike any other Austin band I’ve ever witnessed. In a cream colored vest and light blue polyester shirt, Donovan Keith, the lead singer, backs up his 1970s look with a sound that simultaneously honors influences like Bobby Womack, while coming across as inventive and uncontrived. Tambourine in hand, Donovan led the band through a set full of soul, blues, funk, and R&B, all the while dancing with complete abandon.
With a guitarist, saxophonist, trumpeter, drummer, and bassist (who played every single set that evening), Soul Track Mind puts out a rich sound that goes well beyond what many bands produce with a novelty horn section. Every single one of these guys is a legitimately talented musician. The funky flair is just an added bonus.
Some of my favorite songs of the set included “Long Shot Lady,” “Rebound Man,” a retro rendition of “Stand By Me,” and a super-fly cover of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”
Check out Soul Track Mind’s ’60s and ’70s sounds here, and be sure to pick up their self-titled album on vinyl. You can even get a preview of their upcoming album planned for September release.
Happy anniversary, Soul Track Mind. I’m looking forward to more.
Have you seen Soul Track Mind in concert?