The New Mastersounds:
Eddie Roberts – guitar & tambourine
Simon Allen – drums
Pete Shand – bass guitar
Joe Tatton – organ, piano, tambourine
The New Mastersounds formed in Leeds UK in 1999 and cut their teeth as the resident live band at a hip dance club, playing every Friday and Saturday night for nearly two years.
A rough 8-track recording of an early rehearsal got into the hands of some London DJs, and was released soon after on two limited-edition 7” singles. Invitations to play club gigs in London soon followed, and before long the band had established a reputation around UK and Europe as forerunners of the deep funk revival scene. Fast-forward to 2004: having experimented with various line-ups and recorded 2 albums, the original 4-piece band was invited to Chicago to open for the Greyboy All Stars at the House of Blues. This gig kicked off a prolific live career in USAwhich continues to the present day, backed up by more studio records, live albums, a remix album and 2 compilations. Their quirky, catchy instrumental ditties have been used on TV and film soundtracks, and the band is the subject of an award-winning feature-length documentary: “Coals to Newcastle: The New Mastersounds – from Leeds to New Orleans”.
Over the years they have collaborated or jammed with an impressive array of musicians DJs and producers, including: Lou Donaldson (Blue Note), Corinne Bailey Rae (EMI), Quantic (Tru Thoughts), Carleen Anderson (Young Disciples / Brand New Heavies), Keb Darge & Kenny Dope (Kay Dee Records), John Arnold (Ubiquity), Mr Scruff (Ninja Tune), Snowboy (Ubiquity), Fred Everything (2020vision), Andy Smith (Portishead), James Taylor (JTQ), LSK (Faithless), Lack of Afro (Freestyle), Page McConnell (Phish), Karl Denson (Lenny Kravitz / Greyboy AllStars), Melvin Sparks (Blue Note Records), George Porter Jr (The Meters), Fred Wesley, Maceo Parker (JB’s), and Art Neville (Neville Brothers, The Meters).
Four of Raleigh’s most versed musicians formed Maj Deeka in early 2018 when Evan Bost asked his good friend and musical mentor Andy Blair to join the rhythm section of Matt Kirk and Ryan Masecar for a dynamic jam that traversed musical styles and emotions seamlessly. The group proved to be a natural fit, and a high-octane quartet was born.
Maj Deeka exhibits all the qualities needed in a prolific jam band: a collective ear for interesting harmony and melody, a rock-solid groove, chops on hand when the music calls for notes, and the time-earned sensibility of knowing how to take a piece of music and make it bigger than the sum of its parts.
Having recently celebrated their 1 year bandiversary, Maj Deeka has been on a 75° trajectory since the band’s inception, seemingly reaching new milestones with every show. At a late 2018 performance supporting national touring act Ghost Light, the band debuted original material with hair raising three-part vocal harmonies, contemplative lyrics, dense composition, and lightning hot improvisation. Several months later while supporting Asheville based Dr. Bacon, Maj Deeka emanated explosive energy and creativity from the first note, playing directly off the relatively unfamiliar crowd’s interaction like it was their thousandth show.
The band’s second year is marked by bigger stages, new original tunes, and new cities, and the only certainty is that no one, including the band, knows what they might pull off next.