sun5
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sun5

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“From the first memorable bass line of their new album, ‘Libertad’, to the final cymbal crash, Sun5 weave through a storybook of musical genres, encompassing everything from straight up rock to world music influences. Crisp professionalism enwraps the lilting rocker flow of Sun5’s music.”

“ As I listened to ‘Libertad’, I found something new about each song; not just musical diversity, but something new drawn from my very soul.”

“While Sun5 possess a certain indefinable quality, their sound on some songs is reminiscent of the smoldering rock/funk of Lenny Kravitz or the soulfulness of Terence Trent D'arby, but Sun5 also have a straight ahead rock quality that mixes well with their world music influences and will allow them to do well in differing venues throughout New England, throughout the country and beyond.”


-Shaun McNamara, Metronome Magazine
- Metronome Magazine


Imagine this if you will. You're listening to the finest blues-based rock and roll band you've heard in a long time. Then the singer starts to sing and his voice evokes the same cool, sweet, enigmatic sound as Blues Traveller's John Popper. And the female backup singer wails in behind him, powerful and hot like the backup vocals for Bat Out Of Hell. And the music just keeps on rocking. And you are filled with the music. Sun5 is like that.

The music is an enigma. This blues-based rock and roll will slide across some invisible line into something like but not quite jazz. It's a gentle, entrancing moodring-soft sound like the best of Blues Traveller. Then that soft sound will slip past the musical horizon and rise again as clean, driven rock and roll, the lead voice now harder and more gutsy, the music no longer a salve but an attack. Then the sound will shift again.

It's all good. It's surprising this New England band isn't better known across North America and, for that matter, around the world. The closest comparison I can make is with the funky jazz sound of Blues Traveller without John Popper's harmonica but with fantastic backup vocals by Missy Johnson, but this band really has a sound all its own. Much of the instrumental work shows strong influences from the best West Coast rock and roll going back to the Sixties.

The final and longest song on this release, "Montecito" presents a comfortable mix of reggae and Tex-Mex rhythms in a rich orchestration with superb vocals and solo instrumental leads. While it would be difficult to choose a favourite from among these ten superb songs, "Montecito" would definitely be high on my list.

While, to varying degrees, most of the songs in this set rock, "Swirl" is more quiet and reflective. The song is still rock and roll, but the mood is more relaxed and even melancholy.

The title song, "Libertad" has this same sort of quiet feel but is actually fairly up-tempo, swinging to a jazzy near-Latin beat. This is one of the songs in this set where the vocals of Thomas Kivlan especially remind me of the work of John Popper. Kivlan's vocals are sweet and seductive, carrying the lyrics to emotional heights they might otherwise never reach.

Formed in Boston in 2002, Sun5 has a wealth of potential it's never realized outside the regional New England market. That's a shame. The unique sound created by Thomas Kivlan, Yohei Nakamura, Jason Kenyon, and Tim Paul Weiner compares favourably with the best of today's bands. They should be reaching a far wider audience than just concert-goers in the Boston area.

Those who may be interested can find additional information about Sun5 at the band's website, including eight downloadable songs in mp3 format. You can find two songs by Sun5 at My Space.
Libertad
Sun5
Independent
2004
10 tracks - blogcritics.org 2006


“I can’t help but be grabbed by how much the Boston quartet Sun5 sounds like the now defunct Arc Angels that featured Charlie Sexton, Doyle Bramhall II, and the Double Trouble rhythm section of Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton. Sun5 is a band that features members from very different backgrounds, however, singer Thomas Kivlan, guitarist Yohei Nakamura, bassist Tim Paul Weiner and drummer, Jason Kenyon have done a fantastic job of melding all their many influences into one cohesive sound that rocks like crazy. With a sound that covers the bases from blues, rock, pop, and psychedelia, Sun5 has created a groove heavy vibe that sets them apart from the typical garage rock din.
From the album’s chugging opener “Evangeline” to the funk groove of “Flashmob 20”, and on to the album’s fine title track “Libertad”, Sun5 exudes a musical confidence and originality seldom heard from a band so new. Bolstered by the tasteful guitar work of Yohei Nakamura and the tight, driving rhythms of Tim Paul Weiner and Jason Kenyon, lead singer Thomas Kivlan is able to pour out soulful prose with a voice that rivals that of modern day contemporaries, Seal and Lenny Kravitz. This is one of the coolest sounding bands I’ve heard to come out of Boston in a while, so keep your eyes and ears open for them, because they’ve got what it takes to go the distance.”

- Doug's Top 5 for April 2005


Discography

"New Roots"-2008
"Libertad"-2005
"We Are All Connected" compilation CD Song "Home to Darfur" written and performed by Sun5

Photos

Bio

Since coming together in Boston in 2002, Sun5 has been turning heads and ears, while making hips shake in the New England area, with their own eclectic blend of good vibes and infectious, soulful, grooving roots-rock, they like to call 'New Roots".
Their sound embraces their collective genre bending influences, and adds a little funk energy, to evocative lyricism and solid, old-school songwriting. They combine the rock energy of Lenny Kravitz, the blues influence of Stevie Ray Vaughn's Double Trouble the soul of Terrence Trent D'arby and blend it with a southwestern rootsy-rock flavor making a sound that is all their own.
They have honed in their dynamic live show at Boston's biggest venues including the Paradise Rock Club, the Avalon Ballroom, Harper's Ferry and the former House of Blues in Cambridge.
Their second studio release, "New Roots", is just a sample of the palette of sounds and musical flavors that Sun5 has collected and marinated over the last five years, and uses at their disposal to paint their own sonic landscape. Sun5 breaks down genre boundaries, no doubt, but the prime, sonic elements are always there: Rootsy rock, blues, Latin, funk and soul.