Cincinnati-based The Almighty Get Down, just as their name suggests, bring the party wherever they play. On April 8th, they’ll grace the stage at the Ohio Theatre, performing along with The Overton Project and G-mac and The Soul Attack for the second annual Get On Up! Funk and Soul Review.
Fronted by lead singer Willy Morren, TAMGD brings an amalgamation of funk and soul combined with heavy guitar grooves and a brass section that serve up a distinct sound. “I love the collaboration,” says Morren. “In the past, I’ve brought some of the songs almost completely finished, but I prefer leaving holes for everyone to fill in.”
TAMGD came through Toledo twice last year, performing at the Village Idiot and for the Arts Commission’s Mix Curveball fundraiser. They’ve spent much of the last year writing and recording a follow up to their debut album People This Is…The Almighty Get Down. With a second album in the works, the band shows no signs of slowing down. “Our first album is quite eclectic sounding, but this album is more straight up funk and soul,” says Morren.
They’re entirely self-produced and self-recorded, which gives them the ability to make their albums sound just the way they want. And the same goes for their live show: “This whole thing is me following my heart, and it’s like that on stage too,” Morren explains. “We just go for it and have the best time on stage. That’s really the formula— to make the music you feel like making.”
Breathing Life Into the Neighborhood
The Ohio Theatre has a 500-seat capacity, though it’s unlikely that many will be sitting down for this show. The Get On Up! Funk and Soul Review is one of a series of events that are put on by the Ohio Theatre Committee. Over the last two years, there has been a substantial revitalization effort to bring Toledo’s oldest neighborhood theater back to life, and shows like this definitely add to the momentum.
“This place has the ability to occupy a unique niche in Toledo’s entertainment scene,” says Larry Meyer, a board member on the Ohio Theatre Committee. “It’s still kind of a diamond in the rough, but if you walk in, it’s a building with great bones and fantastic acoustics. It’s the oldest of Toledo’s neighborhood theaters, a dying breed.”
With an updated sound system and lighting, stage risers, and a movie screen, things are starting to heat up. “We’re also working in conjunction with The Arts Commission with their Creative Placemaking Initiative”, explains Meyer – promoting activities that are neighborhood-based. “Not only do we want to bring people down here for shows, we also want to serve people and be a resource in the neighborhood.”
Every solid headliner needs an electrifying opening act to whip the crowd into a frothing frenzy of drum and boogie-based beats. Fortunately, for the Get On Up! Funk and Soul Review, The Almighty Get Down have two:
GMac and the Soul Attack
This seven-piece soul crew has the sound to soothe what ails you. GMac brings the energy to the mic, while Johnny HiFi, Larry Entertainment, Scott Kretzer, Ben Wolkins, Bob Manley and Dan Mager fill out the sound that get the feet tapping.
The Overton Project
Featuring Duval Overton on bass, Ray Benson on percussion, Brandon Benson on drums, Steve Allen on keys, Jeff Williams on lead guitar and Carmen Miller on vocals, this band, also from Toledo, brings the house down on every performance. Their sound is influenced by such artists as James Brown, Mary J. Blige and Beyonce.
8-11pm. Saturday, April 8. $10/advance $15/door.
Ohio Theatre and Event Center
3114 LaGrange St. | 419-720-8952