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Seen at Music Frees All Fest: EMEFE

EMEFE commands a huge presence with 11 members on stage and just about every instrument you can remember from Middle School Band in full sparkling representation. Javier Ramos spared no time getting the audience involved and made you feel like you were right at home listening to a group of friends - spectacularly talented friends - perform in your living room.

Bassist Doug Berns drives the band, closely resembling gritty 60s vocalist Joe Cocker with a curly millennial afro and intrinsic, spiritual bass lines, leading the band's melodic grooves from center stage with his eyes closed, mouthing every sound he so carefully delivers from his instrument. Doug’s idiosyncratic movements somehow conduct the band to rise and fall, sonically and physically, stringing together group dance moves as they drop it to the floor.

EMEFE’s spectacular instrumentation, arrangements and communal vocal style harkens back to seminal influence Fela Kuti and the Afrobeat movement he pioneered. Their warm sound and soothing fluidity were a perfect compliment to the warm sticky temperatures and beading sweaty bodies that moved around all night until EMEFE ended their set with a groovy bang. – Ed Guardaro


Music Frees All returns on 07.19 with Antibalas, EMEFE, Cuddle Magic, Xenia Rubinos and more

After two solid years, Music Frees All will return to NYC for it’s third time with some great and diverse sounding locals, including Deli favorites EMEFE (pictured and streaming), Cuddle Magic and Xenia Rubinos amongst the 21 artists performing. This year's festival will span 3 days and 4 venues - including The Bell House, Bowery Electric and Rockwood Music Hall - kicking off on Friday July 19 until the following Sunday. The festival’s proceeds will go in part to the Scotty Hard Trust, which raises funds for legendary producer Scott Harding. Festival founder Miles Arntzen of Antibalas – also performing - says Scotty, “is the center of an important and warm community of musicians that we are happy to know and work with. This concert is our chance to say thank you!” - Ed Guardaro

The Stepkids, HEAVy, Emefe, Pitchblack Brass Band & more to play Brooklyn's Funk Fest (11.28 to 12.01)

For those seeking some warm vibes as we march on towards winter, the guys over at Heard have put together another one of their fun events: Brooklyn's first Funk Fest, for which have been lined up an exciting cast of -mostly local- funk/afrobeat-based acts spread over four days. Where? At Paper Box, Meadow Street. Yup, the one with the hole-in-the-wall taco guy.

Headlining this series of shows - which will kick off on November 28th, ending on December 1st -  are The Stepkids, featured on the cover of The Deli's 2011 CMJ issue, sharing the top of the bill with local soul/r'n'b band HEAVy, and playing alongside Emefe, Zozo Afrobeat, Sophistafunk, Pitchblack Brass Band, Night Of The Living Funk (the names alone are a definite giveaway!) & many more. Full details regarding line-up, tickets etc. can be found on the event's website - stay tuned, as a couple of surprise guests should be announced early next week!

Town Hall and Flearoy celebrate release party on 04.15

Double release on Sunday April 15 at The Studio at Webster Hall for two promising folky NYC bands, Flearoy and Town Hall.

Town Hall (top picture) describe themselves as an "adventurous indie pop band", although their music betrays a strong folk component, with frequent jazzy tinges. In the past few months they released a weekly, DIY cover video of songs like "Always On Time" by Ashanti & Ja Rule and "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World. This past January, they released their EP "Sticky Notes & Paper Scraps" and recently released their first official music video, "Good Boy".


Flearoy's Americana carries influences ranging from Booker T & the MG's to the Beatles to Destiny's Child (whom they recently covered in a tribute set in December). The band has earned an always welcome reputation for their raucous and fun live shows, but can also be moving in an intimate kind of way, since they master the art of the country ballad.


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