The Essentials

The Essentials

 Eugene, Oregon, USA
BandR&BSoul

Since 2004, The Essentials has been wowing audiences across the Northwest with its 9-piece powerhouse sound of soul, funk, and R&B. From the band's critically acclaimed, award-winning original music to its huge book of classic Motown covers, everyone of every age has a reason to dig The Essentials.

Biography

Since 2004, The Essentials has been wowing audiences across the Northwest with its 9-piece powerhouse sound of soul, funk, and R&B. From the band's critically acclaimed and award-winning original music and shows to its huge book of classic covers from such artists as Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, and Tower of Power, everyone of every age has found a reason to dig The Essentials.

Combining a love and passion for classic, authentic soul music with highly educated and honed talent has produced the band's sound – a mixture of tight rhythm, heavy brass, and soulful vocals. Members of The Essentials have recorded multi-platinum albums, received the highest award at national jazz festivals, and have been national finalists in prestigious song-writing competitions. Most players have a degree in music and back it up on stage, whether the group is headlining a festival or packing a local club.

The Essentials has gained local popularity as well as larger acclaim. In 2009 The Essentials was voted the best band in its area by The Register Guard, and was also rated the best dance band on the west coast by Gigmasters.com. The band's debut self-titled album slotted #1 on national independent music leader CDBaby's editor's list for funk and #1 on its list for soul. Tracks from the band's CDs have been included on local and national compilation albums, cable television, and are played on soul radio stations in Great Britain, Japan, New York, Denver, Des Moines, as well as the band's home state of Oregon.

The Essentials offers a wide variety of shows for different events. The group has played dozens of nightclubs from Seattle to San Francisco, headlined blues and folk festivals, and opened for national acts of all different styles, from Rock and Roll (Leon Russell) to Pop Rock (Super Diamond) to Swing (The Cherry Poppin' Daddies). The band has played private events for everyone from wedding couples to the Seattle Symphony, and performed for the University of Oregon football crowd during the most highly-attended game in the state's history.

Video and audio of all of the above can be found at the band's website, www.TheEssentials.net. Join the many who have discovered the "soulful, timeless" (Oregon Daily Emerald) and "downright perspiring" (Shotgun Reviews) work of nine "musical masterminds" (Eugene Weekly). Do something that makes you feel good. Hip yourself to The Essentials.

Lyrics

Bring Me Down Some

Written By: The Essentials

For rent, for sale, forgotten
Bring the trash you’ve brought in
Lay it on me, say it to me
Then you can be, I’ll let you be
Refreshed, relieved, replenished
But I feel so diminished
All of the time, all of the day
Why are you here, please go away
And I’ll say...

Transcending yet transparent
Left alone to bare it
Break it down some, bring me down some
Take it with you, why did you come
So twisted with perception
And my misconception
Was I right on, or was I wrong
I don’t need you, I will be strong

Always
You were always
You will always
Be the one to bring me down some

I’m broken but I’m mending
My attitude is bending
Said you’d be mine all of the time
Would you be kind, can you be kind?
Just like a dream that’s shaken
And my soul is breakin’
Why is it cold feelin’ so old
I’ll be your mold, I am still sold
But I’ll say...

Still dropped I’m here I’m waiting
Further contemplating
Then I begin to see it spin
How will it end, when will it end?
Again you say you’ll listen’
What have I been missin’
Lay it on me, say it to me
Then you can be right here with me

Always
You were always
You will always
Be the one to bring me down some

In Your Corner

Written By: The Essentials

Did you hear what they’re sayin ‘bout you
Do you know what is goin’ round?
Well I’ll defend you, I’m in your corner
So don’t let all that stuff get you down

‘Cause you do something to me, hey
And I, I don’t know what to say
‘Cause I’ve never felt this way before
No I’ve never felt this way before you

Do you know that I’m crazy ‘bout you
And did you hear I’m stickin’ ‘round
So let those people say what they want to
I’ll make you smile when things are down

‘Cause you do something to me, hey
And I, I don’t know what to say
‘Cause I’ve never felt this way before
No I’ve never felt this way before you

Even now I’m thinking of you
obsessing over, obsessing over you
Even now I’m dreaming of you
Thinking of you even now
‘Cause they don’t know you like I know you
They don’t know you, no
They won’t know you like I’ve known you
They won’t know you, no

The Clean Break

Written By: Daniel Johnson, The Essentials

The Clean Break
Music Gabe Dickinson, lyrics Daniel Johnson

It’s only been a million dreams since you went flowin’ on
And all that I can seem to see are these seasons of you gone
I want to break these crazy mad delusions
Give ‘em all up for another dumb luck investment in denial
Sittin’ low wishin’ on the telephone
Nothing going down at all
Spun like a top and it’s three o’clock
I really wish you’d call me

But she’s all about the big break
Says she must be movin’ on
And now I’m livin’ in the dog days
For my wrong ways in the mess I made
I never had a single second thought
And I guess it just goes to show
You never really get it till it’s gone
And you’re wishin’ on a telephone

It’s all a mirage I see, you’re sneakin’ up in my dreams

And all I want is to get next to you
And all I want is to get near to you
For just one moment in time
Just one moment in time
One moment in time

Didn’t catch no sleep, tried to dance the pain away
And I’ve been have a man since our love went astray
I can’t seem to get down, I can’t seem to give up
These freaky feelings that keep me reelin’
And sick from missin’ you
Sittin’ low wishin’ on the telephone
Nothing goin’ down at all
I don’t give a damn that it’s four a.m.
I really wish you’d call me

But she’s all about the clean break
She says our time has come and gone
And now I’m livin’ in the dog days
For my wrong ways in this mess I made
I never had a single second thought
And I guess it just goes to show
You never really get it till it’s gone
And you’re wishin’ on a telephone

It’s all a mirage I see, you’re sneakin’ up in my dreams

What You Do

Written By: The Essentials

Take a trip to the side of town
Maybe we'll go 'round
Watch the twilight and city scene
The world is our movie screen
I don't need an easy fix
This is me without my tricks
For you, because
This is what I'm supposed to do
For love
And I can't help but thinking of

What you do to me
What you do to me
Turn me upside down
Make the world go 'round and 'round
What you do to me
That's what you do to me

Making faces at passing cars
That is who you are
And so much more
Than I bargained for
Tell me can I try more
It's natural to see
That what looks good with you is me
And that's because
This is what we're supposed to do
For love
I just can't help but thinking of

What you do to me
What you do to me
Turn me upside down
Make the world go 'round and 'round
What you do to me
That's what you do to me

On a mission through time and space
Just to find my place
Is here with you in the present tense
Worth all of my expense
Every moment spent with you
Is a moment that I knew
It's true because
This is what I'm supposed to do
For love
And I can't help but thinking of

What you do to me
What you do to me
Turn me upside down
Make the world go 'round and 'round
What you do to me
That's what you do to me

Greed

Written By: The Essentials

Fill up your gas tanks
Your credit cards
Fill up your worries too
Fill up on movie and TV stars
You know they're not like you
I'm driving to California
And while I'm there
My dreams will all come true
Everything takes too long
Gotta find a faster way
To get fast food

But maybe the point is not
To have it all
But have Something To Give
Or sit in your house and rot
With pretty things
That you do not need to live
You're a USA superstar
A fancy car, tuxedos, dresses, pearls
But what would it be like
If we lived in a different world

Help yourself to a piece of the pie
Before it's gone
If we don't help each other out
There won't be nothing left
Before too long

Greed's
The name of the game we play
And I don't want to play anymore
Greed's
The name of this game we play
And I don't want to play no more

I was driving down the freeway
When the subtlety struck me
They say that freedom's not free here
And I must say that I agree
'Cause you work, pay,
And pray someday
Next week won't be seeing you
On the street
Livin' that American dream
At least you've got some Guccis
On your feet

Well maybe the point is not
To have it all
But have Something To Give
Sit in your house and rot
With pretty things
That you do not need to live
You're a USA superstar
A fancy car, tuxedos, dresses, pearls
But what would it be like
If we lived in a different world

Help yourself to a piece of the pie
Before it's gone
If we don't help eachother out
There won't be nothing left
Before too long

Greed's
The name of the game we play
And I don't want to play anymore
Greed's
The name of this game we play
And I don't want to play no more

Discography

The Essentials (April 14th, 2007)
Live on 7/11 (August 23rd, 2008)
Something to Give (November 22nd, 2008)

The Essentials' self-titled original LP includes the work of 19 musicians. 'The Clean Break' was released on the compilation album 'The Best of A Funk Above the Rest Music Radio Show' via Artisown Records. The album receives radio play in Great Britain, Japan, New York, Denver, Des Moines, and multiple stations in the band's home state of Oregon, and reached #1 on CDBaby's soul and funk lists.

On August 23rd, 2008, The Essentials released their second album, a Live EP entitled 'Live on 7/11'. These recordings are free and downloadable from the group's website.

The band's latest EP, 'Something to Give' was recorded and mixed by Billy Barnett, the producer behind the Cherry Poppin' Daddies' albums. For this project the group added disco and pop flavors to their roots, producing a sound more along the lines of Jamiroqui than that of Marvin Gaye. These tracks explore love and politics, addressing our future in the song 'Greed' by stating that 'Maybe the point is not / to have it all but have something to give'.

Set List

The Essentials has two hours of original material to draw upon.

The band also has four hours of classic soul covers in its rep. Some of the more typical of these include:

Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Stevie Wonder)
Dancing in the Street (Martha Reeves & The Vandellas)
What is Hip? (Tower of Power)
Let's Get it On (Marvin Gaye)
Sing a Song (Earth, Wind, and Fire)
Never Too Much (Luther Vandross)
Hard to Handle (Otis Redding)
Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is? (Chicago)
Me and Mrs. Jones (Billy Paul)
Rock With You (Michael Jackson)
Musicology (Prince)
On Broadway (George Benson)
Will it Go 'Round In Circles (Billy Preston)
Let's Stay Together (Al Green)