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Band Pop Funk


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"Anthony Campbell wins Today Show Talent Search"

'Everyone on the Today Show really liked him’
-Katie Couric - CBS Host

'Anthony has shot to stardom'
-The Stafford Weekly

'What a talent, a pure performer.'
-Daniel Ceo, the UMW Bullet

- Varios sources

"Third Stream Giants hark back to [the] big band jazz groups"

Third Stream Giants hark back to [the] big band jazz groups'
-Fredericksburg Online - Fredericksburg Online

"Third Stream Performance"

'I haven't heard anything like that before'
-Mike Zits, the Freelance-Star - -Mike Zits, the Freelance-Star

"Third Stream Giants Performances"

Amazing performer! Captivating ! Great entertainer and voice!
-Dana Ferrier, Dodd Auditorium - Free Lance-Star


Third Stream Giants have brought back "the funk." It's about time.

The up-and-coming octet plays funk and soul like the titans of old, with thick grooves and horn blasts aplenty. The band matches the soulful baritone of Anthony Campbell--the 2003 winner of the "Today" show's "Superstar" singing competition--with slickly executed horn licks and groove-oriented compositions, many of which are arranged by guitarist Matt Montoro. What results is a spirited collision of funk, soul and R&B that can adapt to various styles and genres.

The band will hand out fistfuls of funk at Washington's The Red and The Black this Sunday. Local fans who can't make the D.C. gig can burn off Thanksgiving calories with the Giants on Saturday, Nov. 29, at The Loft--or ring in the new year with them on Wednesday, Dec. 31, at Brock's Riverside Grill.

Their flexibility of styles means that, in addition to original compositions, the Giants can put their own spin on a wide range of songs.

"It's about playing the music that inspires us," said Montoro in a recent phone interview.

From Outkast to Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," they try to integrate "all different types of music" into their particular style of funk, said Montoro.

While the band started as a jazz-fusion group in 2006, this far more funky incarnation has been playing together only for about a year. The current lineup features Campbell on vocals, a three-man horn line, keys and a tight rhythm section--creating a sound that's more akin to the hip-shaking style of Morris Day and the Time than the jazz heroes Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

This fat sound and lineup carry over into the group's live shows, and while Montoro joked that they were not yet up to the Morris Day standard ("We're not at the point where we have uniforms or our choreography down pat"), the performance element of their shows is crucial, he said. "Going in, it's really just about connecting with the audience, whether we're playing in a large place or a small club where there might be 50 people out. We are definitely an audience-participation-type act." - Freelance-Star


What sets Third Stream Giants apart from your standard "let's get together and jam on some oldies" bar band is that they are unnervingly good. Their songs boast intricate and complex arrangements, and their players are more than capable of producing tight, well-crafted jams.

Montoro--who said that the band rehearses constantly to add new material to its set list--thinks it's the high-caliber musicians that draw people to their shows.

"Whatever style of music you listen to, I think most people can appreciate musicianship," he said.

With the recent rise of artists like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings rekindling the fires of funk and soul, it's almost hard to believe that a band as talented as Third Stream Giants has not broken out beyond being a regional band.

But since all the band members have day jobs (several are teachers, and Campbell works at the chamber of commerce) getting everyone together is logistically difficult, and the band won't release its first album until early next year.

The band has also suffered a loss--21-year-old Mike Smith, the original drummer, died in a car crash in July 2007. Montoro and Smith were good friends who had reconnected through the band, and Smith's loss compelled the group to do some "soul-searching" before moving forward.

"We had these big plans, and then tragedy struck," said Montoro. "I wish he was here and enjoying it with us."

In spite of the challenges, the Giants move forward--and Montoro is optimistic about what lies down the road.

"I see us being able to play at a lot of these great venues around here--The Birchmere, State Theatre--places that you can pull in a couple thousand people, but still have that intimate vibe," Montoro said. "I'd hate to lose that." - Cross Town Rival

"Third Stream Giants CD Release"

Third Stream Giants
“Cool Human”

From Gilbert and Sullivan, to Lennon and McCartney, to Hall and Oates—ever since people first started putting music and lyrics together, partnerships have played an essential role in the creative process. Often, the end product is a synthesis of two uniquely independent styles, personalities or temperaments; McCartney would write, “Things are getting better, better better,” only to have Lennon chime in, “Things couldn’t get much worse.”Third Stream Giants'

Such a creative collaboration seems to exist for eight-man local funk ensemble Third Stream Giants. The band is co-fronted by production whiz/guitarist Matt Montoro and singer Anthony Campbell, whom many still remember from 2003’s “Today” show superstar contest. While Montoro’s technical touch ensures that the band—brimming with talent—reaches its full potential on every riff, Campbell’s soulful vocals add the much needed human element into the equation.

The two frontmen mostly swap songs on the Giants’ 10-track début album, “Cool Human,” save for a couple of exceptions: Track seven, “Like This,” written by keyboardist Ben Hite, is actually a jazzy 52-second keys solo backed by noise-machine rain that segues directly into Campbell’s “Like That.” And the group does a reggaefied cover of Lennon’s “Imagine,” which, though clearly a crowd-pleaser, doesn’t loom as large as one might think against the Giants’ original work.

Montoro and Campbell also collaborate on two of the album’s standouts, “I Feel the Same” and “Gone.” Taken together, the two songs might seem polar opposites—yet both play to the band’s well-rounded capabilities. If one had to pick a quintessential Giants song, “I Feel the Same” would be a good candidate. Its up-tempo, Maroon-5ish beat, and energetic sax and horn blasts make it a great song to groove to, while also flaunting the band’s instrumental chops.

“Gone,” on the other hand, is a downbeat piano ballad that bridges the gap between R&B and country. Though funk may be the band’s modus operandi, “Gone” demonstrates how the Giants are able to use their broad range of musical knowledge and interests to run the gamut of genres.
Third Streeam Giants (photo by Marta Locklear)
Yet the album’s top honors go to a seemingly unassuming Campbell track toward the end of the album, “If I Were You.” The track is pure-and-simple pop-rock with a catchy—but not overly ostentatious—bass line and inviting harmonies. Ultimately, the song may exemplify what makes the Third Stream Giants tick when they’re at their best. While the band has the ability to turn on the skills at any given moment, its players also know when to sit back and just enjoy the ride.

The Giants will hold a CD release party tomorrow night at The Loft. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. Admission is $5 or $10 with CD. - Free Lance-Star / Ben Sellers


Cool Human 2009



Third Stream Giants are an incredible new funk/pop group from Virginia. The band, with 8 members and influences ranging from gospel to jazz to rock, brings a lineup very seldom seen in live music. Decidedly different than your typical quartet and with a style that just breathes talent and professionalism, the Giants entrance audiences from the moment they setup to the last note of the performance.
First, you may notice beautiful 4 part harmony vocals leading you into a song; next, the funky rhythm section with guitar, slap bass, keys and drums will start your body grooving, by the time the three-piece horn section starts accenting, you will officially be captivated. And then the vocals of Anthony Campbell begin…
Anthony won national fame as winner of NBC Today Show Superstar talent competition (Anthony beat out over 6000 other competitors to perform in front of millions of viewers at NYC’s Rockefeller Plaza) and chose the unique stylings of Third Stream Giants as his vehicle for the pursuit of original music. As if you needed more credentials than that, at first note, Anthony’s smooth baritone vocals will convince you that Third Stream Giants are definitely on their way to national recognition.
The Giants’ set features incredible originals that will have you singing along before the songs are through. Intricately crafted with professional arrangements and an undeniable groove, the Giants’ songs are moving into the hearts and minds of America. Peppered throughout the set are carefully chosen and cleverly re-arranged old school funk tunes and current and classic hits that will amaze the audience and force them out of their seats and into the groove. The Giants carefully design each show specifically to each audience ensuring that every performance is different and better than the next. This, the Giants’ amazing talent, and their entertaining stage presence keeps audiences coming back and continues to bring new fans into the fold.

Sounds Like: Maroon 5, John Mayer, Stevie Wonder, Weather Report, Earth, WInd, and Fire