Sly-Chi
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Sly-Chi

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF

Portland, Maine, United States | SELF
Band R&B Soul

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Apr
03
Sly-Chi @ Brian Boru Public House

Portland, Maine, United States

Portland, Maine, United States

Mar
27
Sly-Chi @ The Phoenix

Newry, Maine, United States

Newry, Maine, United States

Mar
21
Sly-Chi @ Easy Day

South Portland, Maine, United States

South Portland, Maine, United States

Music

Press


“…They've clearly learned a thing or two about writing a catchy dance number, and they delivered exactly what their fans were looking for, which is always a good idea when you're releasing a debut. ”

"Bands of this kind of construction are usually so loose as to invite criticism from music nerds looking for flaws, but there is pedigree and history here enough to impress both the casual good-time seeker and the exacting fan of well played instruments."
- Portland Phoenix, May 2004


“…They've clearly learned a thing or two about writing a catchy dance number, and they delivered exactly what their fans were looking for, which is always a good idea when you're releasing a debut. ”

"Bands of this kind of construction are usually so loose as to invite criticism from music nerds looking for flaws, but there is pedigree and history here enough to impress both the casual good-time seeker and the exacting fan of well played instruments."
- Portland Phoenix, May 2004


”…These guys are a hot contender in the Maine music scene … Star performances across the board in this montage of musicianship.”
”This album is sure to be a party favorite…” - IT Rock Rag, October 2004


”…These guys are a hot contender in the Maine music scene … Star performances across the board in this montage of musicianship.”
”This album is sure to be a party favorite…” - IT Rock Rag, October 2004


"Judging by the positive audience reactions throughout Maine and beyond, Sly Chi have concocted a winning formula, whipping up a potent batch of the beat and serving it hot." - IT Rock Rag, January 2005


"Judging by the positive audience reactions throughout Maine and beyond, Sly Chi have concocted a winning formula, whipping up a potent batch of the beat and serving it hot." - IT Rock Rag, January 2005


"An ensemble cast rounding out to nine members, Sly-Chi know nothing about understatement, and their latest album, Wave Sound, proves that excess equals success.
A jazz/ funk outfit that ventures into soul, boogaloo and the blues, Sly-Chi boast a musical catalog that pays tribute to some of the ‘70s premier music icons.
“Step on Up” is a powerful, stirring performance featuring moving vocals from Kate Violette, sounding like Carole King performing along side Maceo Parker’s funked out band. The improvisational style of the song is a testament to the talent of the group’s members, as various guitar, bass, and saxophone solos are blared out during the tune, with all the music seeming essential, and not contrived.
“Lost in Time” could have easily been written by Stevie Wonder during his Innervisions heyday, and “It’s Everything,” possesses the soul of an early Otis Redding song.
Horns dominate the sound of Sly-Chi with their jazzy riffs, but the rhythm section also steam out hot African beats and Cuban-styled flare, making Wave Sound a sexy, alluring listen.
The band might be big, but like their musical predecessors Sly and the Family Stone proved, thinking small will get you nowhere." - Face Magazine, June 2004


"An ensemble cast rounding out to nine members, Sly-Chi know nothing about understatement, and their latest album, Wave Sound, proves that excess equals success.
A jazz/ funk outfit that ventures into soul, boogaloo and the blues, Sly-Chi boast a musical catalog that pays tribute to some of the ‘70s premier music icons.
“Step on Up” is a powerful, stirring performance featuring moving vocals from Kate Violette, sounding like Carole King performing along side Maceo Parker’s funked out band. The improvisational style of the song is a testament to the talent of the group’s members, as various guitar, bass, and saxophone solos are blared out during the tune, with all the music seeming essential, and not contrived.
“Lost in Time” could have easily been written by Stevie Wonder during his Innervisions heyday, and “It’s Everything,” possesses the soul of an early Otis Redding song.
Horns dominate the sound of Sly-Chi with their jazzy riffs, but the rhythm section also steam out hot African beats and Cuban-styled flare, making Wave Sound a sexy, alluring listen.
The band might be big, but like their musical predecessors Sly and the Family Stone proved, thinking small will get you nowhere." - Face Magazine, June 2004


Sly-Chi is celebrating the release of its new five-song EP, "Seven in the Shadows," with a Saturday-night show at the Big Easy. Seven members strong, Sly-Chi's got horns, four singers and a rhythm section to beat the band. "Move this Way" is an upbeat, horn-soaked, funky romp. "I'll Never Stop Loving You" could be sung by Elvis or any number of Motown artists: "There's a yearning, there's a burning in my soul." The song's horn solo at the midpoint is fantastic, and when the rest of the brass join in, it's even better.

"The Light with a Smile" lets Jay Desormeau's guitar shine brightly, and the song is another polished funk number from the band. "Ride It On" takes a mellower tack: "There's so much more to you than being someone's baby." Sly-Chi's got its groove on, and it sounds superb. "Con Corazon" is the final song, and it lives up to its name (with heart). Merengue could happen upon hearing this song – especially live – so sport proper footwear. "Seven in the Shadows" has stocking stuffer written all over it, so bring some dough to the show. - Portland Press Herald


Sly-Chi are living legends of the Portland music scene, having been in existence for 11 years now. These guys have been serving up original funk to the masses of New England, expanding their reach farther than Motor Booty Affair has in recent years. Their 2004 release Wave Sound, is one of the definitive titles I believe everyone should have in their Portland music collection. Now, Sly-Chi offered up a brand new EP at the end of last year, entitled Seven in the Shadows, and let me tell you that it does not disappoint.

This five song offering hits the ground running with the opening track Move This Way, which through me off at first, with the more pop-centric feel to the tune, almost with a Chicago mixed with Stevie Wonder "Sir Duke" feel. However, it keeps up the danceable pace and immediately is an attention grabber. The album then heads into more of the soul-funk feel that Sly-Chi is known for with the second track . While the song structure is quite traditional, the group spices it up through the magnificent horn hits. Seriously folks, these are probably some of the greatest horn parts out there today in modern music. Crisp, tight hits accenuate the musical breaks and vocals to perfection. The groove provided by drummer David Henault drives the band and drives the listeners to be cautious about the subconscious dancing they will be doing while listening to this record. It is hard for me to pick a favorite track off this well-crafted album, but if I had to choose it would be the latin-funk closing track Con Corazon. It plays out like a homage to Dizzy Gillespie's Afro-Cuban hit Manteca and a Weather Report tune. In conclusion Sly-Chi has cemented themselves as heavy-hitters in the Portland music scene, and this record just goes to show that they aren't going anywhere. You can buy Seven in the Shadows on iTunes at this link here or at your local Bull Moose Music store. - Jaeger Wells


Because Sly-Chi are so versatile, and can adopt any number of danceable skins, there can be a tendency to read their individual songs in great chunks, like sentences we've read a hundred times.

And because they are such a ubiquitous and talented live band, there's a tendency to see them in your head instead of hearing them in your ears: horns arced upright when playing, swaying side to side at rest; and since May 2006, Kelly McKenna wrapped around the mic.

But things are different now, and with new EP Seven in the Shadows the remaining Sly-Chi members are determined to move on following McKenna's departure, with four songwriters penning five songs that all sit between four and five minutes and show off their talents for jazz, R&B, funk, and Latin big-band music.

In fact, you might be fooled by the R&B slow burn of "I'll Never Stop Loving You." No, that's not a chick (even if it sounds an awful lot like Millie Jackson doing "If Loving You Is Wrong I Don't Wanna Be Right"). It's Brian Pierce. According to saxman Brian Graham, who wrote the piece, a turn as part of the Journey vs. Heart Clash of the Titans made it clear that Pierce was very comfortable singing high parts, so the band just started writing for him. Thus an androgynous bit where it's a little unclear who "would be nothing/Nothing without you." And Graham gets off the best baritone-sax solo I've heard in Portland in a long time.

It's matched by Jay Desormeau's guitar break on "Move This Way," a look-back anthem that threatens to be "one of those songs where a band plays a dance song and sings about dancing," but manages to infuse some resiliency and perspective into Tyler Stanley's heavy pop: "You gotta know that every note at every show ain't the same old, same old routine."

If there's one thing that's consistent about this EP it's an earnestness and lack of cynicism that makes the little girl's giggle the band uses as punctuation in Pierce's "The Light with a Smile" seem completely natural, and Rafael Keilt-Freyre's salsa-fueled "Con Corazon" uplifting rather than naive when it asks, "could it be enough if we just gave our love?" But that earnestness means not enough surprises: The songs are what I thought they'd be.

But this isn't a cerebral album, anyway. It's beside the point to talk about lyrics and who wrote what. This is a collection of songs for air-drumming to David Henault's cymbals, for cleaning the house to, for playing loud and getting silly. It's a ton of fun, and just a taste of what's to come. - The Portland Phoenix


Because Sly-Chi are so versatile, and can adopt any number of danceable skins, there can be a tendency to read their individual songs in great chunks, like sentences we've read a hundred times.

And because they are such a ubiquitous and talented live band, there's a tendency to see them in your head instead of hearing them in your ears: horns arced upright when playing, swaying side to side at rest; and since May 2006, Kelly McKenna wrapped around the mic.

But things are different now, and with new EP Seven in the Shadows the remaining Sly-Chi members are determined to move on following McKenna's departure, with four songwriters penning five songs that all sit between four and five minutes and show off their talents for jazz, R&B, funk, and Latin big-band music.

In fact, you might be fooled by the R&B slow burn of "I'll Never Stop Loving You." No, that's not a chick (even if it sounds an awful lot like Millie Jackson doing "If Loving You Is Wrong I Don't Wanna Be Right"). It's Brian Pierce. According to saxman Brian Graham, who wrote the piece, a turn as part of the Journey vs. Heart Clash of the Titans made it clear that Pierce was very comfortable singing high parts, so the band just started writing for him. Thus an androgynous bit where it's a little unclear who "would be nothing/Nothing without you." And Graham gets off the best baritone-sax solo I've heard in Portland in a long time.

It's matched by Jay Desormeau's guitar break on "Move This Way," a look-back anthem that threatens to be "one of those songs where a band plays a dance song and sings about dancing," but manages to infuse some resiliency and perspective into Tyler Stanley's heavy pop: "You gotta know that every note at every show ain't the same old, same old routine."

If there's one thing that's consistent about this EP it's an earnestness and lack of cynicism that makes the little girl's giggle the band uses as punctuation in Pierce's "The Light with a Smile" seem completely natural, and Rafael Keilt-Freyre's salsa-fueled "Con Corazon" uplifting rather than naive when it asks, "could it be enough if we just gave our love?" But that earnestness means not enough surprises: The songs are what I thought they'd be.

But this isn't a cerebral album, anyway. It's beside the point to talk about lyrics and who wrote what. This is a collection of songs for air-drumming to David Henault's cymbals, for cleaning the house to, for playing loud and getting silly. It's a ton of fun, and just a taste of what's to come. - The Portland Phoenix


Discography

Sly-Chi's debut CD, "Wave Sound,"
released February 2004.
Recorded at The Studio, Portland, Maine, mastered at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine

Sly-Chi's "The Space," released in March 2008.
Recorded at The Studio, Portland, Maine, mastered at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine

Sly-Chi's EP "Seven in the Shadows,"
Released in December 2009.
Recorded by Jonathan Wyman, Portland, Maine
Mastered at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine.

Photos

Bio

Sly-Chi [chee], from Portland, Maine, defies your standard musical genres. It takes more than a word to describe their style. Theres funk, soul, a little R&B all with an underlying jazz edge. Throw in the classic rock and youre pleasantly confused. This unique combination along with the sheer size of the band creates an unmistakable energy.

The group has horns, 3 singers, a long list of percussive instruments, and a super-tight rhythm section to support all that sound. They pack dance floors much like the bands theyre often compared to Earth, Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, Brand New Heavies.

The group got started in early 2000 and their family of friends and fans has been expanding ever since. Soon after their debut CD, Wave Sound, reached best seller status in Maine and New Hampshire, they were voted Best Live Act and Best R&B Act in the 2004 Portland Phoenix Best Music Poll, followed by Best R&B Act in 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009.

In 2008, the band won the Northeast Region of the Anthem International Music Festival. In 2009, their song Cobblestones won Best Funk Song of the Year at the Just Plain Folks Music Awards in Nashville. Sly-Chis sophomore album, The Space, released in early 2008, has had national radio play on stations across the country. Their newest EP, Seven in the Shadows, is currently available on iTunes and all Bull Moose locations!

Band Members