“My favorites!! An explosive soul-n-roll, take-no-prisoners dance-off. This is the deal. The REAL deal. Mitch Ryder meets The MGs in the back alley of The Continental Club. It’s a high energy Detroit Texas rumble goin’ on!!” —Kevn Kinney (vocalist, Drivin N Cryin)
"...more proof that soul is alive and well here in Austin. Roxy Roca is a must hear for fans of bands like Brownout, T-Bird and The Breaks and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears." —Austin Vida
"I had the opportunity to catch and work with one of the best bands out here today. The name is Roxy Roca and they are super hot. If you see this band you will be hooked forever." —Bobby Rush
Follow ROXY ROCA on instagram at instagram.com/roxyrocamusic ( tour antics galore and so much more!)
Join ROXY ROCA at The Big Blues Bender 2016 in Las Vegas Nevada!
It’s hard to pick a favorite summer memory when you tour like we did these last few months. We spent countless hours under the sun driving from New York City, to the Rocky Mountains, out to the coast in electric LA. One of the perks to this gig is getting to see what is out there, feeling the heart beat of each city. Each place, city, and mountain town has its own vibration–it’s own feel. On this last run for the summer, we wrapped up our touring the only way we know how: with a bang! It was our pleasure and honor to finish the summer strong at the The Big Blues Bender 2016 in none other than the mothership, Las Vegas.
First of all we just want to extend a big,Texas-sized thank you to AJ Gross and all the folks at The Big Blues Bender! This event was a class act from top to bottom. We received a warm welcome from not only the staff, but the also the attendants and fellow artists of rhythm and blues.
We had the opportunity to share stage time and cling glasses with artist like Delbert McClinton, Keb Mo, Cyril Neville, Samantha Fish, Tab Benoit, Bobby Rush, and so many others! The entire festival culminated with the Tab Benoit led “swamp jam” on Sunday night. There were players from each band, drummers, guitar players, piano, organ, horn players, EVERYONE was getting on stage. Roxy Roca was represented extremely well first by Mike and Austin on trombone and trumpet for a few tunes, and then later our own Babis and Gabe took down the house on guitar and vocals, performing an extended version of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “I Pity the Fool” trading verses with none other than Bob Margolin. Believe me, anyone who was there is still talking about it (I’m getting chills just thinking of it).
It was an amazing event, and an amazing summer for Roxy Roca. Next up is the East Coast. You Ready?
Taye with the man behind it all AJ Gross
What’s up Las Vegas!
Band of brothers
Lets get this thing started
Ladies and gentlemen Magic Mike!
Grinding it out in the heat with RGB
Mike showing Austin how to dance
It’s hot y’all!
Put some bone on it!
In the moment
Just chillin’ backstage
Babis enjoying the whole Vegas experience
Erik and Babis keeping it funky
Babis and Cyril Neville
Roca Horns putting it to the test. Stage temperature 115.
Hey Roxy Rollers! Greetings from the open road. We just wrapped a great stint out in the western US and as we head to Jackson Mississippi we wanted to share a great interview that our very own drummer, Ryan Greenblatt aka RGB aka Da Funky Drummer aka Blatt aka Blatthew aka Blattadactyl aka Blattimus-Maximus, did with The Taos News.
Check out the article by click here or read the transcript below.
Thanks for keeping up with us! Come back for all things Roxy Roca.
Article By Ariana Kramer
Roxy Roca brings southern soul to Taos
Roxy Roca is an Austin-based, six-piece, southern soul band driven by a horn section and the powerful vocals of frontman Taye Cannon. Formed in 2010, the band has been described as “Dynamite Texas Soul” and is influenced by musicians such as James Brown, Al Green, Chubby Checker, Little Richard and Sly and the Family Stone.
On Tuesday (Sept. 13), Roxy Roca performs from 7-10 p.m. at Taos Mesa Brewing, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west. Cover charge is $5.
The name Roxy Roca comes from a grade school crush lead singer Taye Cannon had on African-American actress Roxie Albertha Roker. Roker played Helen Willis in the television sitcom “The Jeffersons.” In the show, Willis was married to a white man; they were the first interracial couple to be depicted on regular prime-time television. Her character – and the show – made a deep impression on Cannon, who grew up in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi.
“I remember thinking she was such a classy lady and thought it was so cool that she was married to one of the only white guys on the show,” Cannon wrote in a blog on Roxy Roca’s website. “I always thought it was so admirable how The Willises just let all the name calling and ridicule roll off their backs. They saw no color; they saw each other for who they were, and that was that. I later found out that the character was loosely based on the actress’s real life marriage and experiences…. I am very proud that my parents raised me in a household where racism was not tolerated, in a part of the country where color lines run deep. It is just something I have always been passionate about. That’s right – my first lesson in civil rights came through the television and Roxie Roker led the revolution.”
Roxie Roker is also the mother of musician Lenny Kravitz. Roker died in 1995. In order to honor her memory, Cannon named his band after her.
The band Roxy Roca is Taye Cannon (vocals), Erik Muench (bass, backing vocals), Babis Tyropolous (guitar), Austin Johanning (trumpet), P. Michael Hayes (trombone) and Ryan Greenblatt (drums, backing vocals). For their Taos show, Tyropolous will be replaced by Gem Martin on guitar.
Drummer Greenblatt said the band started out wanting to mimic the sounds of 1960s and 70s soul artists, using very specific equipment and trying not to sound “too modern.” Nowadays, Greenblatt said the band has loosened up the reins, and is keeping one foot in the past and one foot in the present, asking, “What would James Brown be doing if he was 28 now?”
The band has three recordings under their belt, and another in progress. “Basement Tapes Vol. 1” was recorded in 2014, and is only available for purchase at shows. Their Stag Records debut “Ain’t Nothin’ Fancy,” was released in February 2015 on vinyl, CD and download. It was recorded in the style of yesteryear’s music – live and straight to tape – at EAR Studio with producer Lars Goransson. The project took four days to complete. “Live at the Music Club” is the band’s newest album/CD/DVD package. Filmed by The Good Music Club in front of a packed-in audience at The Spider House Ballroom in Austin, Texas, it is available as a CD/DVD set or on 180-gram audiophile-quality white vinyl.
This past year, Roxy Roca has been busy recording some brand new tracks slated for release sometime in 2017.
“This new record was really collaborative,” said Greenblatt. “We wrote most of the songs in the couple of weeks leading up to recording.… The whole band would get together in my living room. The horn guys would have their instruments, and maybe the guitar players would have their guitars, but no amps, and I would have some brushes, maybe a snare drum. We would really pare down, put down our ideas, vocal melodies, make a little demo of that, go home for the night, listen back. And, then the next day we would go to a real studio space, with drums and everything set up to be loud and we’d work through the tune, and we did that back and forth for two weeks. It was really fruitful.”
By the end of their songwriting process, Roxy Roca had written 20 songs out of which they selected 12 for their new album.
Roxy Roca spends close to eight months of the year out on the road. When they are at home, they play at some of Austin’s most prominent clubs: The Continental Club, The Perish, Hotel Vegas.
Greenblatt said the band has a few messages they try to get across in their music. “One of the main ones, and it’s a song we do every once in a while, is ‘Happiness is a Choice.’ … Things might be tough but you’re not alone, and we can get through this,” he said.
Another is, “there’s only one race – the human race. Get rid of hate. We have a song called ‘Better Way.’ Taye kind of talks to the audience – if we band together and believe the truth that there is no race or division we can make a better world.”
Hey hey hey! This message is proudly brought to you by the funky drummer himself: RGB.
The band hanging at Niagara Falls on a day off.
I hope everyone has had a killer summer! We just finished up our five-week summer tour that had us as far northeast as Maine, as far west as Colorado, and just about everywhere in between. The tour was a great success. We made new fans and friends all along the way, and we even managed to sneak in a few fun activities between the playing.
Touring in a van affords us a front row seat to the majestic geography the US has to offer, and one of my favorite parts of touring is seeing the beautiful country in which we are so fortunate to live. Colorado always stands out as one of the most beautiful places we play, and this time we were lucky enough to play five shows there. This tour also took us to New Mexico and the high desert which, in my opinion, is just as beautiful as the lush greenery of Colorado.
Each day we have a show on tour, we “hurry up and wait” to play. That’s musician talk for the day to day grind that is traveling from one city to the next to load in and sound check hours before (some times 7-8 hours ahead) the band is expected to play.
Austin takes Babis for a ride before sound check in Owensboro, KY.
Each day we find new ways to pass the time before the big pay off, ie: playing the show, and activities range from working out or practicing our respective instruments to playing games like chess or cards and just overall goofing around. The camaraderie on this tour was amazing throughout, and made each day at the very least interesting. As you might imagine, spending 30+ days in confined quarters with 5-6 other guys can lead to some friction, but at the end of the day we all recognize how lucky we are to be able to do this for a living, and to have each other as bandmates.
We also want to say thanks to all over fans, friends, and family for your never ending support. We couldn’t do any of this with out you. Thank you!
Like the Beastie Boys said: “It’s called ‘Gratitude’, and that’s right!”
I am RGB, and I endorse this message.
Here are some more pictures from the tour. Enjoy!
Erik considers moving into this sarcophagus in Denver, CO.
Taye and Erik ponder the meaning of life, and why anyone wears a shirt ever in Steamboat Springs, CO.
A mural for deceased musicians at Knucklehead’s in Kansas City.
Babis and Taye hang out after our show in Evansville, IN.
RGB teaches his mustache how to play drums in Winter Park, CO.
Erik and Razor Sharp Johnson hang before the show in Boulder, CO.
Austin tunes up before our show in Steamboat Springs, CO.
Mike and Austin put on their serious faces in Aztec, NM.
Gabe and Erik are ready to ROCK in Kansas City
Hi my name is Erik, and I like to party!
Babis and Erik share a laugh before our show in Cleveland, OH.
The band says good bye to their excellent hosts in Cleveland, OH.
There are some clubs that radiate mojo. From the peeling paint to the cracks in the walls, Knuckleheads in Kansas City has that: a little biker, a little blues and a lot of soul. There is an understood respect for the musician’s life from the moment you load into the club with gestures of hospitality that cater to the direct needs of someone living in a van and sleeping on floors. Monday nights on the road can be a real game of roulette, but Kansas City came out in proud form for our showcase on July 25th.
It was my kind of night. The audience was attentive from the start. It was clear that they wanted to hear a story and be reborn on the dance floor. I’ve always felt like Monday night music seekers had that kind of curiosity. One of my favorite moments in the set is when we go into an instrumental number, and I have the honor of introducing the band one by one. The patrons of Knuckleheads shared in that delight with an uproar of enthusiasm as we grooved through roll call. From the intro to the final drum roll, it was clear that we had made some new friends in historic KC.
Hey everybody, Mike here. First and foremost, I want to say thank you for reading this, being interested in what we’re doing, and most importantly – supporting us as we continue to chase our dreams. ROXY ROCA is 10 days into our month(+) jaunt across the county. The first few days consisted of driving 1750 miles to New England where we met up with some family members and played three nights. Friday, July 8th had us in Manchester, CT at The Main Pub. It was a great first gig of the tour with many friends and family in attendance including a super fan we’re meeting up with in Boston later tonight. Saturday, July 9th we performed at Nectar’s in Burlington, Vermont. The gig was slamming as we performed two sets to a packed house full of deadheads, jammers, and music lovers. They danced all night and gave us their love and energy – as you should come to expect: we gave it right back. (Check out Nectar’s sometime when you’re up here.) Sunday evening we played an after party gig to the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA. The festival let out, the sun went down, and by the end of the night we had a beautiful room (The Arts Block) dancing.
[Side Note: As we pulled out of town we ran into Sam from Big Sam’s Funky Nation at a gas station in town – they had just performed earlier that day at the festival. Trombonist to Trombonist, we had a quick exchange at the Muscle Milk fridge, I insisted I purchase his beverages as it would make a good story. Props to Big Sam, he’s a class act.]
ROXY ROCA members have used the majority of the last three days to explore the concrete jungle known as New York City. This has only been my third time in the city, but first with this kind of time to explore. Many of us have friends and family in New York and it was fantastic to get an opportunity to spend some time with them. Love the Big Apple.
Which brings me to last night. It was the band’s second time but my first time at Rockwood Music Hall. What a place. Three intimate stages spread across multiple levels and rooms. This music factory played home to what will be a very memorable show for us. The friends and family we had all been spending time with the previous two days came out in force – AND THEN SOME! The intimate setting quickly filled up as our individual friends all became one and danced and grooved and jived and smiled during our intense 45 minute set. The staff was incredibly professional and helpful. I can’t wait to get back to Rockwood and New York City.
I write this from the middle seat of Otis Redvan. We just got back on the road, back on the drive. My feet are aching from the walking. Two of my brothers behind me are asleep already. My mind is tired from the grind. My soul is forever eager as we travel on to the next gig. We’re in Boston tonight as we perform night 2 of 5 in a row. Wednesday – Sunday. Once again, thank you for reading, thank you for your support and love. We couldn’t do it without all of you.