KRAZ // TELESCOPE
A long lens zeroes in on a nondescript Brooklyn brownstone. The exterior hardly beckons a second glance. What really matters happens behind closed doors.
Inside, the paths of its denizens intersect and bisect by virtue of proximity, infatuation, lust, need, and desire. We listen to the story unfold on Telescope, which is Eric Krasno's first release under the moniker KRAZ. The Soulive and Lettuce co-founder, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning songwriter-producer weaves together three separate storylines of a starstruck fading prom queen Gina, former-rocker-turned-new-dad Nick and his wife Charlotte, and the ex-con who inherited the joint Ramon. Touchstones of Krasno’s own dynamic career compose a soundtrack of nocturnal alternative, nimble instrumentation, bluesy riffing, and urban attitude. Much like the characters themselves, the music exists at a crossroads.
“It’s a cross-section of the different worlds I’ve lived in—from producing hip-hop records for guys like 50 Cent to performing with The Grateful Dead,” he affirms. “I always hoped to eventually combine everything. I also wanted to write from these different perspectives. This was the first time I could. I moved to Los Angeles at the end of making Telescope, but this is my ode to Brooklyn. Some of the songs are based on true experiences and real people. Others are embellished. There’s definitely some of me in the songs too.”
Despite its nature as a final swan song to the brownstone apartment he called home for most of his adult life, the DNA for Telescope gestated during Krasno’s childhood. Fascinated by concept opuses such as David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and The Who’s Tommy, he kicked around the idea of telling such a tale someday. In the end, the puzzle finds Eric Krasno at his most whole as a creative.
For nearly two decades, Eric Krasno has been an omnipresent figure in popular music. We've heard his virtuosic, innovative guitar playing with Soulive and Lettuce (both of which he co-founded), seen him onstage supporting the likes of the Rolling Stones and The Roots, watched him take home multiple GRAMMY Awards, and benefited from his deft, behind-the-scenes work as a producer and songwriter for everyone from Norah Jones, Tedeschi Trucks, and 50 Cent to Talib Kweli, Aaron Neville, and Allen Stone. Krasno's rousing new solo album, 'Blood From A Stone,' reveals a previously unknown and utterly compelling side of his artistry, though, inviting us to bear witness as he both literally and metaphorically finds his voice.
Soul provider Nigel Hall is in many ways an artist who needs no introduction. An in-demand sideman, he’s built a mighty foundation of funk over the years onstage and in the studio with collaborators including the Warren Haynes Band, Jon Cleary, Soulive, Oteil Burbridge and Roosevelt Collier, Ledisi, the Soul Rebels, Lettuce and countless others. Legions of fans are already well in the know about Hall’s copious keyboard chops and powerful vocal style. But even to them, his Feel Music/Round Hill debut solo album will be a revelation – a confirmation that Hall has stepped out front and center into a creative space to call his own.
The London Souls
The London Souls’ unique reinterpretation of classic hard-hitting rock and roll formulae recalls elements of the past with an ever-present boundless energy, fit to cement their place in the future. Tash and Chris have been nothing short of a best-kept secret among New York City concertgoers since the bands formation in 2008, building a fervent and dynamic fan base leveraged by their ever sustained reputation for consistently well-rehearsed and impassioned, explosive live performances. The band’s celebrated sound and spirit draws significant influence from the driving force of British rock pioneers Cream and Led Zeppelin to billowing and bouncing funk and soul, to the layered harmonies and memorable hooks of The Beatles and The Hollies, to the contemporary psychedelia of My Morning Jacket among many more.