Mama K & the Shades, the self-described “one of a kind party experience”, are an 11-member musical group from Austin, well known for their one-of-a-kind take on funk, soul, R&B, and jazz. Now, all eyes are on them, as their album “Honey Made” – released physically in February of last year and digitally last November – continues to make waves in the scene, even now in March 2017.

Listen to Mama K & the Shades’ new album “Honey Made” now, via Spotify:

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Mama K & the Shades are well-known for opening for big name artists, like George Clinton, P-Funk, and the Sierra Leone All Stars. The 11-member outfit also took the spotlight at this year’s SXSW Festival during its March 15 and March 18 dates.

Mama K & the Shades debuted back in the summer of 2014, and since then have gotten the attention of several local funk and party scenes. Mama K, aka Kelsey Garcia, is the “Mama” and leader of the 11-member outfit. The big band always bring their energy, funk, and groove to every single one of their live performances. Watching their lives, you just can’t help but shake it, as you watch Mama K and the crew rock it on stage.

Mama K & the Shades play Funk, Soul, and Jazz, and they’ve been up there and named alongside the Tedeschi Trucks Band, George Clinton and P Funk, The Motet, and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings.

The big band’s latest album, “Honey Made”, brims with a diverse range of sounds that will get you grooving to the beat in no time. It’s packed with Mama K & the Shades’ signature touches and their artful brand of jazz, funk, R&B, and soul.

Mama K & The Shades go on a roll as they open their “Honey Made” album with “Too Wide”. The song takes you on a musical adventure from the get-go – jam-packed, fun, and awesome. Mama K takes the spotlight and goes all out as she sings with her husky voice. The Shades bring on the guitar solo, thrilling percussion, and more jazz and funk.

Up next is “Main Squeeze”, that switches it up with that retro vibe and makes a deep impact with its fast-paced beats that ooze soul-searching and passion. Transition to “The Shades”: you’ll feel like being transported to a chill lounge that’s brimming with pure jazz and soul. Mama K takes a step back in “Good Things”, as vocalist Willie Barnes goes all in and keeps the fun going. The big band’s style of R&B and funk instantly turns the place into a classy party, and take it up a notch with blues that shine and a soulful vibe that quickly stands out.

Midway through the record is “Like A Fool“. This is definitely a love song, but not by much, as it paints the picture of lover’s quarrel that sends the hearts flying all over the place. The way the guitars highlight the vocals make the jazz and blues in this track even more intense. Roll to “Midnight Train”, a cool jazz-song-meets-sax-solo track, and right after it is the smooth sailing “Baby Got Away”. Cue to the Spanish feel special “Love Machine”, then “Stank”, a curious song that talks about smells, and up next, the teeming with soul and funk “Nnedi’s Song”.

The final track, “Hot”, is an epic closing track that plays for a stunning full 11 minutes. The song starts off slow, and gets loaded with brass on the way to a super funky sensation. It’s definitely a great choice for the last number, and sets the second listening session up to be something that’s truly exciting to look forward to.

All in all, “Honey Made” delivers lots of amazing music from Mama K & The Shades, and it’s a record that shines as one of the best on the big band’s discography. People who love funk, jazz, soul, and R&B should definitely check “Honey Made” out.

Get Mama K & The Shades’ new album “Honey Made” on iTunes now, or get the album on Bandcamp.

Track list:

  1. Too Wide
  2. Main Squeeze
  3. The Shades
  4. Good Things
  5. Like A Fool
  6. Midnight Train
  7. Baby Got Away
  8. Love Machine
  9. Stank
  10. Nnedi’s Song
  11. Hot

Lots of artists joined the crew to produce “Honey Made”, each with their own instruments: Mama K – Kelsey Garcia – and Willie Barnes took the spotlight as Vocalists; Johnny Storbeck rocked the Guitar; David Thacker got on the Keyboards; Lee Braverman on the Bass; Chris Barnes rolled with the Drums; Wesley Gonzales on the Percussion; Joseph Morrow rolls with the Trumpet and Flugelhorn; Dustin Hunter’s on the Tenor and Baritone Sax; and Donald McDaniel gets on the Trombone. The album was produced at the Yellow Dog Studios in Wimberly, Texas – with Dave Perceful recording and mixing, Ginny Deere as the 2nd engineer, and Adam J. Odor in charge of Mastering.

Mama K & The Shades are also highly active in the events scene, with several high-profile gigs: so far, they opened for George Clinton and P-Funk, the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, The Motet, Roxy Roca, and Lee Fields. The big band from Austin were also featured for performing in the 2015 Wakarusa Festival, the 2016 Texas Reds Festival, and the 2016 Old Pecan Street Festival, and were honored as the March 2016 Artist of the Month by The Austin American Statesman.

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