DOWNRIGHT
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DOWNRIGHT

Birmingham, Alabama, United States

Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Rock Funk

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"DOWNRIGHT"

On Saturday, March 16 one of Baton Rouge’s newest venues Mud and Water presented a funky band called Downright. Downright, comprised of Matthew DeVine and Steve Lewis, is a funk rock band based between Birmingham, AL and Nashville, TN. The band uses multiple instruments including keyboard, guitar, bass, and harmonica. DeVine primarily plays the keyboard and mixes in guitar and bass, while Lewis plays mainly on guitar and switches occasionally to bass and harmonica. Though DeVine and Lewis make up the main band, they had special guest Yattie Westfield on drums for their show at Mud and Water.
Hearing this band on a CD or on the radio is a far different experience than hearing them perform live. While their recorded music certainly gives a funky southern feel that makes you tap your feet and bob your head, their live music makes you feel like you’ve stopped at a French Quarter club where they’ve got some band of awesome and grossly underrated musicians rocking out on their guitars.
There is no doubt about how much heart and soul these guys put into every note, a characteristic many musicians these days are lacking. One of the many interesting things about this band is that at every show they will throw in at least one never before performed song. Though the songs are rehearsed, DeVine and Lewis typically don’t decide which song they’ll surprise fans with in advance. The great thing about this is that even if you’ve seen them live a hundred times you will always hear something new.
At Mud and Water they covered a handful of songs such as Holiday Song by the Pixies, Debra by Beck, Life During Wartime by the Talking Heads, Baby Don’t You Do It by Marvin Gaye, and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.
Downright also has over 100 original songs and a new album coming out this year called “Lightheaded.” They performed some songs from “Lightheaded” at Mud and Water including My Style, Where Do You Get Off, Gonna Come Around, The Nap, and Pants On Backwards. Some older songs that they performed included Natty Bumppo, Hidden Agenda, Say Some Words, Wait For Him, and Nature Girl.
If you ever get a chance I highly recommend this band. Check out some of the above songs on YouTube or go to their site, www.downrightmusic.net. - KLSU 91.1 FM & Reveille


"Review: Downright"

On Saturday, March 16 one of Baton Rouge’s newest venues Mud and Water presented a funky band called Downright. Downright, comprised of Matthew DeVine and Steve Lewis, is a funk rock band based between Birmingham, AL and Nashville, TN. The band uses multiple instruments including keyboard, guitar, bass, and harmonica. DeVine primarily plays the keyboard and mixes in guitar and bass, while Lewis plays mainly on guitar and switches occasionally to bass and harmonica. Though DeVine and Lewis make up the main band, they had special guest Yattie Westfield on drums for their show at Mud and Water.

Hearing this band on a CD or on the radio is a far different experience than hearing them perform live. While their recorded music certainly gives a funky southern feel that makes you tap your feet and bob your head, their live music makes you feel like you’ve stopped at a French Quarter club where they’ve got some band of awesome and grossly underrated musicians rocking out on their guitars.

There is no doubt about how much heart and soul these guys put into every note, a characteristic many musicians these days are lacking. One of the many interesting things about this band is that at every show they will throw in at least one never before performed song. Though the songs are rehearsed, DeVine and Lewis typically don’t decide which song they’ll surprise fans with in advance. The great thing about this is that even if you’ve seen them live a hundred times you will always hear something new.

At Mud and Water they covered a handful of songs such as Holiday Song by the Pixies, Debra by Beck, Life During Wartime by the Talking Heads, Baby Don’t You Do It by Marvin Gaye, and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.

Downright also has over 100 original songs and a new album coming out this year called “Lightheaded.” They performed some songs from “Lightheaded” at Mud and Water including My Style, Where Do You Get Off, Gonna Come Around, The Nap, and Pants On Backwards. Some older songs that they performed included Natty Bumppo, Hidden Agenda, Say Some Words, Wait For Him, and Nature Girl.

If you ever get a chance I highly recommend this band. Check out some of the above songs on YouTube or go to their site, www.downrightmusic.net. - LSU Reveille / KLSU 91.1


"Downright to play at Green Bar Friday"

Downright to play at Green Bar Friday
CULTURE, MUSIC
BY FRANCIE JOHNSON
JANUARY 31, 2013

If Matthew DeVine of funk rock band Downright has learned anything about the music industry, it’s that the true measure of success is not preceded by a dollar sign.

“The reward is in the work itself,” DeVine said. “The reward is getting better at what you do, setting a standard and meeting it, reaching deeper to improve, taking a hard look at your weaknesses and coming to terms with them. Those are all the real reasons to do any art.”

Downright, comprised of DeVine and Steve Lewis, will headline at Green Bar this Friday. Both band members sing and play numerous instruments, including bass, guitar and keyboard.

Downright’s sound merges funk and rock, but the band members hope their audience will take away more from their music than just conventional genre descriptions.

“I want [people] to feel like dancing when they hear [our music],” DeVine said. “If they’re not dancing, I want them to be emotionally challenged by it. To feel something they were not expecting to feel at a given moment. Almost like sneaking in there and reminding them that they have feelings they’d forgotten.”

DeVine and Lewis view music as a means of self-discovery and self-liberation.

“We want to shake people out of complacency, and help them to experience moments together with us,” Lewis said.

(See also “Local bands go their own way”)

“Your own soul needs to be freer every day you live,” DeVine said. “Our souls are often the last thing on our minds. Our music, and really any good music in my opinion, should remind you that you have a soul and that it needs attention.”

This “liberation of soul” that is so deeply rooted within Downright’s music was one of the driving forces behind “Lightheaded,” the band’s newest album.

“’Lightheaded’ is a great production and the best collaborative songwriting in the band’s history,” Lewis said.

“Lightheaded,” Downright’s fourth full-length album, will be released in late spring of this year, but the band has been working on the album since summer 2011.

“’Lightheaded’ is different in that it’s something we’ve really taken our time with,” DeVine said. “Other albums we were more interested in getting them out by a certain date, which made them more urgent.”

While the band members enjoyed the recording process, they both look forward to performing their newest tracks live in front of a Tuscaloosa audience.

“I feel like [performing live] is much more forgiving [than recording]; much more give and take in the moment,” DeVine said. “Also, an audience drives you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. It’s more like a conversation.”

Wes Keith, the band’s manager, said Downright’s powerful live performances are part of what enticed him to work with the band.

“I experienced the magic groove that could take over a room and turn it inside out,” said Keith, who has been Downright’s manager since 2003.

For these two musicians, Tuscaloosa is more than just another name on a long list of tour destinations. DeVine and Lewis, both University of Alabama alumni, met in the music school here and formed Downright in 1999, the year they graduated.

“Tuscaloosa was a great environment to get the band started, always a lot of fun and an excitable crowd of enthusiastic music lovers,” Lewis said.

Not all college bands last after graduation, but 14 years later, Downright is still going strong.

“We had such a chemistry that there was never any doubt we would continue as a band,” Lewis said.

DeVine said the band’s early days writing and performing in Tuscaloosa provided Downright with a solid foundation to build on and remain an influence on Downright’s music to this day.

“There’s a lot of appreciation for the South here,” DeVine said. “When you appreciate where you are from, you can build on it. I think the south is a great region and the struggles of the last 75 years have produced some incredible music here. Embracing the region doesn’t mean condoning its problems, so Tuscaloosa was a great place to start out.”

Downright will perform at Green Bar on Friday, Feb. 1, along with opening acts Blackwater Thieves and Junior Spicy. The show starts at 10 p.m. and the cover charge is $5.

For more information on Downright, visit the band’s Facebook page or go to downrightmusic.net.

If You Go..

What: Downright (with opening acts Blackwater Theives and Junior Spicy)

Where: Green Bar, $5 cover

When: 10 p.m. - The Crimson White


"ARTIST SPOTLIGHT - Sophisticated Southern Rock? DOWNRIGHT has you covered!"

Artist Spotlight: DOWNRIGHT
January 10, 2013


Downright is as much an experience as it is a band.

Downright has been called everything from soulful to ferocious, and they cover all points in between.

A duo of musicians drawing from varied musical backgrounds, these boys surround themselves with a talented roster of musicians and take an audience for a musical trip into Downright country.

Their sound combines elements of funk, psychedelic rock, wild improv and soul music to create a unique blend that goes down smooth and always satisfies.

Various instrumental combinations are used at every Downright show, such as guitars, organs, string bass, electric pianos, theremin, drums, horns, you name it!

‘Like’ Downright on Facebook! Visit Downright on SonicBids! - TreeThugger.com - Ryan Getz


"Downright – Innovative Mix Of Music Styles With A Southern Feel"

Posted by: Indie Band Guru
Posted date: January 15, 2013

If you have been following this site at all you are well aware that one of my favorite things to find in new music is when a band is not afraid to meld together a whole bunch of styles into one innovative genre that they call their own. Going with the flow of what is popular music has never appealed to me. This is one of the reasons I was excited to get a hold of some music from our latest find Downright.

The musical duo of Matthew DeVine and Steve Lewis combine their talents using any instrument that they can get their hands on including guitars, organs, string bass, electric pianos, theremin, drums, and horns. Hailing from Tennessee and Alabama is very evident in their sound as it has certain down south, even mardi gras feel to it. There is funk, soul, psychedelic rock, and even new wave to be heard here. The energy extends into the crowd and I expect fans at a Downright live show to be taken on a trip within their own mind.

The band is preparing to release their 4th album Lightheaded in early 2013. They describe it as “Sophisticated soulful music for the modern connoisseur that that leads people to get up and dance or get down and make babies”. Each song is original and innovative in its use of tempo to keep the listener involved and focused on what is happening to their ears. There are flashes of Talking Heads and Sly Stone from track to track. What is truly amazing is the wall of sound that originates from just two talented men and their instruments. Downright is ready to expand their southern base and enter the playlists of real music lovers all over the country.

Go get your first taste of Downright at:

www.downrightmusic.net

http://www.reverbnation.com/downright - Indie Band Guru - Keith Pro


"The Birmingham Sessions: Downright"

Mary Colurso | mcolurso@al.com
January 28, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- When Matthew DeVine and Steve Lewis arrived at Bottletree Cafe on a recent afternoon, they were ready to party. The reason for celebration? A performance of "My Style," from their next record, "Lightheaded."

The two musicians, core members of Downright, say they're ready to unleash a funk-rock monster into the world. And they have a sense of humor about that. In our video for The Birmingham Sessions, you'll notice DeVine's falsetto, his dance moves and, of course, the fuzzy blue hat.

Humor is "always bubbling in there somewhere," Lewis says. "We've got plenty of serious, dark meat on this record, too."

Downright has been a band for about 13 years, making music that's inspired by the likes of Frank Zappa, James Brown, the Talking Heads and Earth, Wind & Fire.
This partnership has survived solo records, survival jobs, side projects and geographic shifts. (Lewis, for example, recently relocated to Nashville after several years in New York City.)

Downright's supporting personnel can stretch or shrink as each show or record requires. That can mean guitars, drums, bass, keyboards, strings or a mighty horn section.

Downright 012713 "My Style" started out as a country song, then morphed into a disco number. That's according to Steve Lewis, left, and Matthew DeVine of Downright. (Tamika Moore | tmoore@al.com)
"We like to do things in different styles," DeVine says. "We have what you might call a country song, and some 'Revolver'-esque. Beatles-type songs."

"Lightheaded" will be their fourth album on an indie label, following "Guerilla" (2007), "Hidden Agenda" (2002) and "Downright" (2000).

Downright, previously a staple on the regional nightclub scene, has made itself scarce of late. ("We've been on a low flame, because I was so far away," Lewis says.) That's about to change in 2013, as DeVine and Lewis amp up the concert schedule to spread the word about "Lightheaded."

Next up: a Feb. 1 show at The Green Bar in Tuscaloosa, plus a Feb. 8 appearance at Avondale Brewing Co. in Birmingham. Downright also has booked a March 30 date at the WorkPlay theater.

DeVine and Lewis have lofty goals for their originals, and in conversation with the Downright guys, you'll hear plenty of confidence.

"If you come to a Downright show, you're going to get hip to some really great music and have a good time," Lewis says. "If you listen to a Downright record, you'll get something that sticks with you forever."

All videos in The Birmingham Sessions are filmed at Bottletree, a concert venue in Avondale. Performances take place in two Airstream trailers in the backstage courtyard. - The Birmingham News and AL.com


"DOWNRIGHT Live"

"Downright makes music with a positive vibration that leads people to get up and dance or get down and make babies!!"

Ben Cannon - <A HREF="http://www.youtube.com/user/szmagazin2009" TARGET="_blank">SZ Magazin</A> - Munich, Germany


- Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazine


"A Place Called Downright"

"Downright creates a sonic tapestry that can't be beat; a blend of quirky pop/rock with old school funk and a dash of southern twang. Somewhere between Stax-era Memphis and the golden age of CBGB's is a little place called Downright."
<A HREF="http://www.timeout.com/newyork/music-nightlife" TARGET="_blank">Time Out New York</A> - New York, NY - Time Out New York/The Volume Blog


"DOWNRIGHT? DAMN RIGHT!"

DOWNRIGHT? DAMN RIGHT!
For those in search of more mature dealings in jazz, blues and funk, the Birmingham based Downright is ready to deliver with their latest self titled CD. Though the disc is already available in local stores, the group will officially unleash it at a CD release party to be held at 4th and 23rd. The disc highlights the group’s unique sound that incorporates New Orleans-flavored jazz with blues-styled lyrics and keyboards ranging from organs to piano. Able to contain the groove at either fast-tempo scat beats “Save a Little Piece” or more dreamy, mellow paces “Able”, the group presents a wide range of digable tunes on this one disc and the show will, surely, follow suit. Look for more about Downright in December’s Strip.
<a href="http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/" target="_blank">The Strip</a> – Tuscaloosa, AL – Chip Walton
- The Strip


"Summer Concert Series"

Summer Concert Series – DOWNRIGHT
Downright’s jazzy, art-pop sound should appeal to fans of bands like Medeski, Martin & Wood and Galactic. Line-up includes Steve Lewis on acoustic bass, electric bass and electric guitar, Matthew DeVine on keyboards, bass and guitar and guest. Having a band of multi-instrumentalist allows for a great deal of diversity – and a lot of moving around. Michael Glaser is the only stationary member on drums. Downright was formed on the campus of the University of Alabama as Matthew DeVine and Steve Lewis were both studying in the Music Department. While Downright is no stranger to improvisation, the band’s emphasis on writing and performing catchy songs. With all the wide experience of the band’s members allows for covers of everybody from Beastie Boys to Frank Zappa.
<a href="http://www.bhamweekly.com/" target="_blank">The Birmingham Weekly</a> – Birmingham, AL
- The Birmingham Weekly


"Album Review – DOWNRIGHT"

CD Review – DOWNRIGHT
Somewhere between Galactic and the Talking Heads lies Downright. You’ve probably seen these guys around town at 4th & 23rd or the Booth. They are the type of band I’d go see if I was dating a girl who liked to dance; they’ve got a booty shakin’ groove that is hard to listen to sitting still. But don’t be fooled, they’re much more than a mindless party band. They’ve got a real talent for song writing and clever lyrics. My favorite example on the CD is “Nature Girl.” I was just sitting around with a CD going in the background when I just happened to catch “I want a girl who wears her body hair natural.” I mean who doesn’t want a girl “who likes Bonanza?” “Suit of Armor”, a jazzy tune about a girl who won’t let anybody in her tight little world, is sure to remind you of someone you know. And don’t miss the crown jewel (at least in my humble opinion) “Able”. This slick mixture of cool jazz and pure pop is flawless and made me feel cooler just by listening to it. The more I listen to the CD the more I like it. It’s a funny and witty, but subtle. It had me singing “There’s a sky in my head” to the point of annoyance to my coworkers. It’s one of the best discs I’ve heard to come out of the local/regional scene in a while. Catch their live show ASAP!
<a href="http://www.theplanetweekly.com/" target="_blank">The Planet Weekly</a> – Tuscaloosa, AL – Reagan Rhone
- The Planet Weekly


"Out & About in Birmingham, Alabama USA"

Out & About in Birmingham, Alabama USA

So we ended up at Marty’s that night, light in our heads and dead on our feet. The past week was exhausting, endless barrage of music, business and alcohol. Too many gigs, too many obligations, and not enough sleep. But we’d heard such a buzz about this band DOWNRIGHT that we had to make the effort. We arrived about 11:00pm after a wonder dinner at Anthony’s, and settled in for a drink. The doorman informed us the band would start until midnight or so, “okay”, we’ll hang till midnight. Shortly thereafter, keyboards were burdened through the door, followed by guitars and basses and horns. Then, as if carried by wind, there were people. LOTS of people! Young People. Old People. Hippie People. Preppie People. Then the music began. We had chosen a seat in the seated area, at first we were alone, and then we weren’t! We had to fight to keep our place to sit. The once sparse population had exploded to a full house in what seemed like an instant.

Throughout the evening I had trouble deciding if DOWNRIGHT reminded me of Little Feat or the Beastie Boys. Did the drummer remind me of Don Henley or Levon Helm? The guitarist/bassist: Art Garfunkel or that guy that played guitar for Jackson Browne in the late 70’s? I just couldn’t get a grip on the style, I couldn’t “pigeon hole” the music. And that, my friends, was the really cool part. I get so weary of bands that maintain the same style, keep the same tone, walk the same line, night after night after night after night. It is so refreshing to hear someone have the nads to play something fun, something different, something that just rocks ass, just cuz it’s a good song.

Let me introduce the frontmen: Matthew DeVine Organ, Piano, Keyboard, Bass, Guitar, Drums and Vocals. Matthew is classically trained and has studied jazz and is well versed in the art of improvisation. Matthew also has a Master’s Degree in Composition from the University of Alabama. Steve Lewis Guitar, Acoustic and Electric Bass, Tuba, Vocals. Steve has received a B.A. in Jazz Performance from the University of Alabama and has received classical training on the upright bass. As it turns out, Steve also has a gift for fiction. (see page 16). From looking at these bios, you can verify that, as both Steve and Matt say “We’re the most over-educated band around.”

I had the opportunity to speak with Matthew DeVine on the phone the other day, and his enthusiasm for the band was difficult to quell. The band has been together for a few years now, and it seems there is already a DOWNRIGHT movement. Steve Lewis also shares the same enthusiasm for their music. They choose their material based on the beat, it has to be beat driven, so whether it’s the Beastie Boys, or more layered elaborate funk, DOWNRIGHT needs it to move.

The guys are working on a new CD. Unlike the first couple recordings, which were done in a “Live” format, (many songs were recorded in a single take), this one is more involved, lots of multi-tracking, lots of layering, lots of percussion to help drive the beat. And needless to say, will take more than a single afternoon.

Also in the works is a short film, a movie, if you will. The work is being performed by film students at the University, and is in various stages of production right now. The film combines live footage from some DOWNRIGHT shows and a variety of clips from the bands experiences. Some of these clips will be available on the website soon. www.downrightmusic.net

Well, for now the guys are gonna keep on doing what they’re doing. They’re looking to take the show on the road, but Birmingham is always home base.

The Snake Skin Magazine – Sven Jjorgensen
- The Snake Skin Magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Sophisticated Soulful Music For the Modern Connoisseur

Downright is as much an experience as it is a band. Downright has been called everything from soulful to ferocious, and they cover all points in between. A duo of musicians drawing from varied musical backgrounds, these boys surround themselves with a talented roster of musicians and take an audience for a musical trip into Downright country. Their sound combines elements of funk, psychedelic rock, wild improv and soul music to create a unique blend that goes down smooth and always satisfies. Various instrumental combinations are used at every Downright show, such as guitars, organs, string bass, electric pianos, theremin, drums, horns, you name it!

"Downright makes music with a positive vibration that leads people to get up and dance or get down and make babies!!"