The Savants Of Soul
Thankfully, that’s exactly what Gainesville’s The Savants of Soul are bringing, with a little electric flair.
The idea to form the Savants came to drummer Alex Klausner late in 2010, when he found himself listening to a lot of 1960s and soul inspired jams, like the Supremes and the Raveonettes. He thought it would be awesome to get some of his friends together from other bands to do their own rendition of soul-style jams, incorporating their punk and ska influences with the catchy Motown sound.
Klausner hooked up with guitarist Brandon Stern and bassist John Gray Shermyen and got right to it, but it took a while for everything to fall into place.
In their nascent existence, the Savants have been through a number of line-up changes and additions, but they’ve stumbled onto something good. What started as a three-piece is now a full octuplet, featuring a lead and back up singers, trumpet, saxophone, keys and everything else. But what do you expect from a group of kids who come from the mega-band worlds of punk and ska?
Of course, this blending of backgrounds and styles just leads the Savants of Soul to creating their own, unique style.
“It’s a weird one,” Klausner said. “It really is like soul-punk. The elements of punk are there, which comes from us being us. We’re trying to write Motown music, but it just comes out in this soul punky way.”
With a steady line-up in place, including singer Justin McKenzie who Klausner said “brings so much swag to the band, it’s ridiculous,” the group has begun rocking shows in Gainesville, debuting officially back on September 30. So far, Klausner said the response has been awesome.
“We want to really try to get the crowd going,” he said of their live performances. “Don’t just sit there and watch us … participate. We had the whole crowd dancing along at our first show, and that was really great.”
The Savants of Soul are playing their next show Thursday, Nov. 10, headlining an evening at Gainesville’s punk-and-video-game-loving establishment 1982. They have a lot of fun, as evidenced by this video taken during their debut performance. If you’re in town, you should catch the early show before heading out for your downtown night-life reveling. And enjoy these tracks!
Emmanuel by The Savants of Soul
You’re All Mine by The Savants of Soul