Music Review: Disaster Relief – ‘Disaster Relief’ Delivers Funky Heat

Disaster Relief grew out of weekly jam sessions in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The band got together with the goal of writing and recording one new song every week. Eventually, they had an album’s worth of tracks, which they recently dropped. It’s called Disaster Relief because the music is designed to save us from disaster.

The band is made up of Brennan Andes (bass), Rob Avsharian (drums), Dan Bennett (baritone sax), Tim Haldeman (tenor sax), Ross Huff (trumpet), Darrin James (guitar, organ), and Molly Jones (tenor sax). Their sound encompasses funk, jazz-funk, Afro-beat, and soul-jazz.

With nine tracks of funkified, upbeat instrumental music, Disaster Relief runs the gamut from Memphis soul music to James Brown-flavored funk.

The best songs on the album include the opening track, “Downtown F#@karound,” a funky jazz number with braying horns backing up the neighing saxophones. “Dorian DeLorian” features a pulsing groove, along with a quavering organ that shimmers with surging energy. This is delicious soul-funk, innovative and brisk. And the sax positively rips it up.

“September Skunk” opens with discordant layers of horns drifting and oozing until the syncopated beat enters and the tune takes off on a funked-out journey. The tight horns dominate as the organ quails in the background. Tremolo guitars set the stage for “October, Who’s Sober?” There’s a definite James Brown relish to this tune. The horns squeeze out raucous, funky colors tiered one over the other, a sonic mishmash of tones lumped together in a bubbling cauldron of pure funkiness.

If you’re into buoyant funk riddled with soul and jazz aromas, then Disaster Relief is where the trends intersect. There’s nothing sterile about this music; this is all-out funk played with fervent passion and oodles of sonic heat.

Follow Disaster Relief on, Twitter, Facebook, and Bandcamp.


Randall Radic @@groupatoldpink

Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

Comments are closed.

Recent Posts

Theater Review (NYC): ‘A View from the Bridge’ by Arthur Miller at the Waterfront Museum

Brave New World Repertory Theatre revives Arthur Miller's story of illegal immigrants and masculine pride at the historic Waterfront Museum…

17 hours ago

Board Game Review: ‘Roll for Adventure’

This fun little dice adventure with gorgeous art and a 30-45 minute play time is easy to fit into a…

17 hours ago

Theater Review (NYC Off-Broadway): ‘Fern Hill’ by Michael Tucker

Michael Tucker's new play takes a refreshing look at aging and avoids old-people stereotypes, with drama, laughs, and a star-studded…

3 days ago

Music Review: On Clara Schumann’s 200th, Lara Downes Plays the Schumanns and More on CD and in Concert

More than a fine pianist, Lara Downes is a cultural curator of top rank, illuminating the tradition of female composers…

5 days ago

A Live Set Underscores Paul Young’s Excellence

A live set from pop/soul singer Paul Young, plus the soundtrack from the Springsteen-inspired 'Blinded by the Light' and CDs…

5 days ago