Seth Kauffman
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Seth Kauffman

| INDIE

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Band Alternative Rock

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Oct
27
Seth Kauffman @ French Broad Brewery

Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Oct
12
Seth Kauffman @ The Basement

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Oct
08
Seth Kauffman @ The Knockout

San Francisco, California, USA

San Francisco, California, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Seth Kauffman—a one-man funk bandit from North Carolina—plays a good game, strumming and pummeling all instruments in a lo-fi Studio One/Stax studio environment of his own devising while howling to his rootsy inner groove on Ting. It works a lot of the time. And without sounding like the Black Keys. Other times Kauffman’s weird beats and tuneless, blurry vocals don’t nail their intended target.

As a drummer, Kauffman’s rhythms resemble Todd Rundgren’s circa Something/Anything. That’s a compliment, by the way. But the rickety Latin-y mess “Somente Seja De,” with its tortured violins and twangy bar guitars, is disarmingly silly. Still, an off-kilter goofball’s groove lends the Hawaiian slack key/country swing ballad “Meadowlark” greater joy than imaginable. The cowbell-heavy thwack lent to the dirty Delta funk tunes “Black Biscuit” and “Jug Hustler Blues” gives each an askew vibe that Jack White would kill to call his own. At its best, Kauffman’s album is pretty charming. At its worst, it’s just a ting.

By A. D. Amorosi - Harp magazine


There are always various secrets that go into good BBQ. Sometimes you can guess what it is, sometimes you can't-but there's always that certain something you can't quite put your finger on that makes it all work. Such is the case with North Carolina's Seth Kauffman, an artist who slow cooks his soul-rock to tender, lo-fi perfection with a mélange of styles-a hint of Hawaiian here, a dash of Memphis soul there, a pinch of early reggae to finish it off. Kauffman is the only chef in the kitchen, writing, producing, recording and playing all the instruments on his solo debut Ting. As a result, it sometimes goes stale with monotony-"I'm a Martyr" or "Biarritz Blues"-but more often than not it feels fresh with Kauffman's rough cooing over dusty gems like the Wailers-tinged "Detroit Sunrise," the muffled-Beck of "Cold Out Here" or the tropical "Meadowlark." Tasty stuff. Josh Baron - Relix magazine


Seth Kauffman is one of those musicians who simply defies description. That’s because he tends to blur the boundaries, like an artist who paints outside the lines because he’s not content to merely do what’s expected. Kauffman’s plays all of the instruments on these lo-fi attempts, while keeping the music frayed around the edges - a loose, lethargic shuffle that incorporates elements of delta blues, R&B, ska, and samba without being keyed to any specific niche. Despite that disparity, the approach works well, especially when it comes to the heads-down determination that guides the plodding “Get Your Love Stole” or the tipsy stagger of “Burden To My King” and “Cold Out There.” With his vocals buried deep in the mix, the songs sometimes appear as an afterthought, the sparse arrangements threatening to implode at almost any moment. Nevertheless, even with the incongruence, there are enough unlikely elements circulating through the sound to keep things intriguing and each subsequent listen reveals new layers of the material. Although it’s obvious that Kauffman’s offbeat antics won’t find favor with everyone, the more open-minded may find it to be just their TING. -Lee Zimmerman - Amplifier


North Carolina native Seth Kauffman plays genre
hop-scotch with a debut album sporting a playful
pastiche of Motown bump, Latin rhythms and bluesy,
lo-fi funk, all done with a conspicuous tip of the hat
to free-appropriation grandmaster Beck. Kauffman’s
seamless arrangements and awareness of textural
subtleties underscore his classical training, despite
the attempts to come across as down-home authentic.
Still, the attention to form gives this hip, educated
white boy a stylish glide to his stride as he articulates
the blues for other hip, educated white boys. (MF) - CMJ New Music Report


File this one under "Been Around the World, Made My Own Album Too." Roots-soul singer reminisces about his travels to Jamaica and Africa (to study field recordings) and the Swiss Alps (to, uh, snowboard) on his maiden LP voyage, handling all the instruments, plus production and engineering, by himself. Don't miss the hidden pre-track, "Thick," at the beginning of the record (start playing song 1 and scroll backward) and the one tucked at the end, "Juicy." - MTV.com (MTV News)


The Chapel Hill, NC-based Seth Kauffman first came on the indie rock scene in the late '90s as a member of the roots soul group the Choosy Beggars. Lo-fi, ramshackle, and raw, the Beggars were everything Kauffman loved, but his musical life wasn't always this unrefined. Classical violin lessons began at the age of four, but when he took up the guitar at the age of 15, the blues came into his life, as did a love of groove. Clueing into the feeling of the music he was coming to love, Kauffman "de-learned" his classical training and began to attack numerous new instruments. With Bryan Cates he formed the Choosy Beggars, playing countless shows and releasing four albums. Outside of the band he was taking solo adventures to the African bush, the Swiss Alps, and Jamaica, enjoying the rhythms each journey offered. Back home, he combined ska, mento, blues, Latin jazz, and blues and began recording an album he classified as "lo-fi North Carolina funk." Writing, producing, and playing every instrument, Kauffman gave listeners their first taste in February of 2006 when he released the Powder EP exclusively through iTunes. Beck, G. Love, Tom Waits, the Wailers, the White Stripes, and others were names used to help describe his sound, but each only touched upon one small facet of this complex yet pure music. A month later he made his full-length debut on the Hightone label with Ting, named after a grapefruit soda Kauffman enjoyed while in Jamaica.
by David Jeffries - All Music Guide


Seth Kauffman's Ting (Hightone) sounds for all the world like a sampler drawn from the Numero Group archives, bringing together the label's regional R&B collections, island-hopping exotica, and lost roots records. But it's actually the work of one North Carolina music theorist who's apparently run out of junk shops to rummage through for funky old 45s, and has decided to make tomorrow's curios today… A- - The Onion


This charmingly lo-fi record by this North Carolinian and former Choosy Beggar, current Real Mother Seth Kauffman nearly defies categorization. On the fuzzy lead cut, "Get Your Love Stole," it comes on like a bizarre rethink of '60s soul, a strange echo of Motown's heyday, replete with ooh-ooh-oohs and ringing guitar hook. Call it Basement Tapes soul, for a cut or two anyway. Elsewhere, there’s goofy, unreconstructed Hooker-esque blues (“Jug Hustler Blues”) and actual Dylan/Band-style Basement Tapes on the distorted “Cold Out Here.” All in all, a fine, if densely enigmatic, field recording for the 21st century. –Charlie Sands

Mini review on promo CD sleeve:

20. Seth Kauffman, “Get Your Love Stole,” from Ting (Hightone Records). Described as “early Wailers meets Motown meets Beck in the Delta,” this solo debut by the former Choosy Beggar is like a latter day soul/R&B Basement Tapes, a curiously eclectic yet startlingly fresh sonic invention. www.hightone.com - Pop Culture Press


Editor's Review

Taking a break from the Choosy Beggars, North Carolina's Kauffman has assembled what sounds like a tight, little band. In fact, that's him on every instrument, from vocals to tambourines. Eschewing checks and balances can be dangerous territory for a rock musician, but on "Ting" Kauffman has indulged right, jamming on juicy, old soul and gospel licks like they were '60s Brit-rock. - C-net's Download.com


An early review of Ting complimented the "funky rock band" assembled by Seth Kauffman. Nothing against Kauffman, a founding member of the soul-rocking Choosey Beggars, but the recruiting was easy. He is the band here, playing everything from guitars, organ, and upright bass to violin, agogo bells, and llama toenails; he even provides his own falsetto background vocals. And just as he looked no farther than his bathroom mirror for bandmates, he traveled no farther than the next room over for a studio. So be forewarned: the sound quality of this truly homegrown, self-produced and - engineered effort falls somewhere between lo-fi and no-fi-by design as much as circumstance. That Kauffman is able to build from this rudimentary base and create 13 songs that bring to mind Motown, Marley, a couple Mayfields, and Mississippi (often at least two of those in the same cut) is a credit to his skill and righteously restless nature. Most noteworthy are "Get Your Love Stole" and "I'm a Martyr," which capture late '60s soul in both title and vibe, and "Burden to My King," which quite possibly invents garage-gospel-reggae. - No Depression


Discography

Ting -HighTone Records 3/21/06
Powder -HighTone Records (iTunes only)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

TING, the first album showcasing Seth Kauffman's unique "lo-fi North Carolina funk" sound, achieves a complex creative depth and emotional appeal that is lacking in most modern rock music. Lo-fi, intelligent, and dripping with soul, TING spans beyond your average rock album with all original songs interwoven with a sort of "early Wailers meets Motown meets Beck in the Delta" sound. A pioneer for funky invention, Seth forged beyond his previous roots-soul band the Choosy Beggars, to play all the instruments, write, produce, and engineer this entire record himself. "A concept I like to integrate to give a more descriptive texture to a piece is attaching the wrong type of style-approach for a song," says Seth. "For instance: doing a blues piece like I was a latin-jazz guy, soul piece like an old gospel guy; whatever I feel is the most cosmically or painfully honest, and paints the most soul-correct picture." Approaches like this combined with his deliberately rudimentary recording techniques, work appropriately together to take the listener to this new, funky realm.