Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!

It's been a good year for the Slacks! 8th anniversary of our residency at The Cantab. (The Boston Herald says we are the best Thursday residency in town!) Lots of weddings in seven states. Two inspiring benefit gigs. Mardi Gras at the C Note. And one of our own-- drummer Ted Sullivan, married his beautiful wife, Jean Rogean.

Thanks to our fans and partners for all your great support. We wish all of you a great New Year's Eve and a prosperous 2014. Don't forget to dance!

And join us tonight at the Cantab!

Soulful regards from all of us,

Tracy Fontes
Jeremy Valadez
Mike Reavey
Michael Duke
Slick Rick
Ben Ricker
Ted Sullivan
Curtis Jerome Haynes

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Everyday Will be Like a Holiday

Every year we like to post the great  William Bell singing "Everyday Will be Like a Holiday," which was released as a single on Stax records in November, 1967. However, this year, Warner Music Group has blocked access to the video on YouTube!

Not to worry! Dig this great 1969 rendition by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires. Byron Lee, who died in 2008, was a major player in the Jamaican music industry, as a performing artist (since 1950), a promoter, and as the owner of Dynamic Sounds Recording Company, perhaps the best and most popular studio in the Carribean back in the day (Toots and the Maytalls, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones). The 14-member Dragonaires are often cited as one of Jamaica's earliest ska bands, although many would say their success was largely due to Lee's business and political connections, and not so much to their pioneering music. They've released over 60 albums, and The Dragonaire's, without Lee, continue to perform today. (Website here.)

The Dragonaire's version of  "...Holiday" is actually a pretty straight and faithful rendition of the Stax version. Sweet sounds. Check it out!

Trivia: Byron Lee and the Dragonaires played as the hotel house band in James Bond's Dr. No.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from The Chicken Slacks!!

Thanks to all our fans for the great support this year!

Sam and Dave say it best: here's a great live version of "I Thank You," with an awesome eight-piece horn section and a fat Hammond B-3 organ.

Have a great holiday season!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Year's Eve at The Cantab Lounge!

New Year's Eve at The Cantab is always a great party!

Music starts at 9:30. Free champagne toast at midnight. See you there.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween, the Red Sox...

Great day in Boston! Congrats to the Red Sox! Been quite a year.

AND...come on down to the Cantab tonight to celebrate Halloween!! Costumes encouraged.

To get you in the mood, dig this early footage of Screamin' Jay Hawkins performing "I Put a Spell on You."

Monday, September 16, 2013

This Thursday!

The Eighth Annual celebration of our residency at The Cantab Lounge is this Thursday, September 19! Please join us for a romping good time, featuring Brother Wayne spinning classic vinyl, special musical guests, giveaways, prizes, and your favorite classic funk and soul band, The Chicken Slacks.

Thanks to our fans for such great support over the years, and thanks to Steve and Fitzi at The Cantab for keeping us around!

See you at The Cantab Lounge, this Thursday night, 9:30 - 1:30 AM! 738 Massachusetts Ave., (Central Square), Cambridge, MA. (617) 354 2685

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

8th Anniversary Circus!!!

Proud to announce our 8th Anniversary Circus at The Cantab Lounge, an annual celebration of a beautiful residency and of all who have supported us for so many fun years! Special guests, giveaways, always a good time.

Come see us Thursday, September 19,  9:30 - 1:30 AM.  Details to follow!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Busy busy busy

Nine weddings in the next eight weeks!

Here are a couple pics from Diana and Scott's wedding this June at the Flag Hill Winery in Lee, NH. Thanks to Marina DeMarco at Geneve Hoffman Photography!

Tracy, Rick, Mike.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cantab is the place to be on Thursdays, says the Herald

Thanks to our friend, journalist Jed Gottlieb, for including the Chicken Slacks on his list of must-see club residencies in an article for the Boston Herald. He give The Chicken Slacks the nod for Thursdays!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sometimes we go to our own weddings

Congratulations to our drummer Ted Sullivan and his new bride, Jess Rogean! We wish you many years of health and prosperity.

Saturday, August 3, Barnstable, MA     

Thursday, June 27, 2013

"That's the Way Love Is"

Remembering Bobby Blue Bland, one of the all time great soul-blues artists, who passed away last Sunday.

Here's his 1963 hit "That's the Way Love Is," which reached #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard Hit R&B Singles. Classic soul.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

This is great news

One of the all-time classic pop/funk albums has been re-issued! "Inspiration Information," a 1974 masterpiece by Shuggie Otis, has been released with a companion album, "Wings of Love," a compilation of 14 unreleased cuts.

Shuggie, son of the famous band leader and producer Johnny Otis, made his initial splash at the age of 15 as a blues guitarist, appearing on Al Kooper's 1969 Kooper Session. In 1970, B.B. King called Shuggie "his favorite new guitarist."

"Inspiration Information," a trippy, jazzy ride that still sounds contemporary, was Shuggie's third and final album for Epic Records, taking three years to complete. Shuggie wrote and arranged all the music and played all the instruments except horns and strings. The album hit #181 on the Billboard Top 200, and Shuggie has not released an official new project since.

Check it out!

Also-- check out "Strawberry Letter #23," released in 1977 by The Brothers Johnson. You may remember this cut from its extended play on Quentin Tarentino's film "Jackie Brown". Shuggie wrote the song and plays guitar on the track. The song went to #1 on the Soul Singles chart.

Check this out from NPR. Shuggie is touring to support the new release! He'll be at Scullers Jazz Club, in Alston, MA, for two shows on August 7.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

More funky treasures from our Music Director

Every Thursday, our Music Director, emcee, and sax player Jeremy Valadez posts a new deep gem on our Facebook timeline, featuring obscure, and sometimes not-so-obscure, cuts from the vault.

Check out some of his recent offerings of classic funk:

Does Your Mama Know, by Rudy Love and The Love Family. Bass-driven funk with awesome group vocals.

I'd Be Nowhere Today, by The Nu People. Rare psychedelic funk! Can't find any info on these guys at all, anywhere. Any help out there? Maybe Brother Wayne knows.

Funky Pants, by Oceanliners. Guitar-driven funk instrumental with a complex, interweaving horn arrangement. Oceanliners went on to become The Sunshine Band, of K.C. and The Sunshine Band fame.

Color Blind, by Frankie Beverly's Raw Soul. Message song with an incredible groove, reminiscent of Sly and the Family Stone. What color is harmony?

Firewalker, by Jungle Fire. A contemporary cut from a great San Diego band! Bass-heavy dance floor instrumental with a Latin feel. Nice sax solo starts at 1:15. Check out their Facebook page.

See you at The Cantab!

Sweet T and Jeremy gettin' it right.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thanks to Ben and Ted

It's been a year since Ben Ricker (keys) and Ted Sullivan (drums) joined the band, and they've been awesome. Thanks, guys, for your hard work. Here's looking to many more years together!



Friday, April 26, 2013

Greetings from California

One year since moving to Sacramento, and all is well! I continue to book the band, thanks to the internet and thanks to Jeremy, our esteemed Music Director, who does a great job when face-to-face is required. I'm missing The Cantab, after playing every Thursday for six years.

Just spent a weekend with Slacks founding member Justin Berthiume, who moved to San Francisco in 2009. Justin is thriving as a science teacher at a San Francisco charter school, and was in Sacramento to attend a two-day conference on environmental research and policy.

He's still living on Haight Street, in an apartment once famously occupied by The Grateful Dead. The place is the last stop on one of San Francisco's tourist bus routes, and the question Justin is asked the most is "how much rent do you pay?"

Here's a shot of Justin, directing from his drummer's chair, during a memorable gig at the funky 169 Bar in NYC.

Looks like I'll be in Boston at the end of August. See you at The Cantab!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our home town

We're proud of Boston for its courage in the face of the Marathon tragedy. Saw this a couple nights ago-- Colbert sets a great tone in this monologue to open his show.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring time

Well, gee, not much new to report-- everything chugging along just fine. Cantab is packed every Thursday night. Summer calendar is getting full.

So how about this to celebrate the start of spring: how about you put some new life into those dance moves of yours?

The Boogaloo, the Funky Chicken, the Mashed Potato...here's how to move like James Brown.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

For Fat Tuesday-- three versions of the Mardi Gras classic, composed and first recorded in 1949 by Professor Long Hair:

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Professor Long Hair.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Fats Domino.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. LIVE!

                                        The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Mardi Gras!

Coming up: our fourth annual Mardi Gras party at one of the great venues, The C Note in Hull, MA!