It has been 20 years since The Greyboy Allstars—frequenters of the scene surrounding the `70s soul-and-funk-spinning DJ Greyboy—formed in San Diego, with their producer and label owner as a namesake. The band’s 1995 debut, West Coast Boogaloo, has influenced countless other artists and groups, and the Allstars’ early work together launched, for each member, a unique kind of prolific and highly successful solo career.
As a result, the The Greyboy Allstars have managed to come together only once every few years—releasing only three studio albums to date—although the joy of writing and recording as a group has motivated them to continue to reunite when they have time. Knowledge Room Recordings releases their first studio album in six years, Inland Emperor, on April 16.
Inland Emperor features original band members Karl Denson (horns and vocals), Robert Walter (keyboards), Elgin Park (aka Michael Andrews, guitars and vocals) and Chris Stillwell (bass), along with Aaron Redfield (drums), who has played with the group in recent years, and a guest appearance by John Bigham, of Soul Of John Black, on “Bitch Inside Me.” All contributed to the songwriting. They recorded and produced the album at Elgin Park’s studio in Glendale, CA, and Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer Mickey Petralia (Beck, Peaches, Eels, Flight of the Conchords) mixed the tracks—12 efficient (on average, four-minute) tunes, rather than long-form platforms for soloing.
The Greyboy Allstars’ last release was What Happened to Television (2007), which earned substantial critical praise. The Los Angeles Times wrote, “The [music of] this talented collective feels so cozy and organic you never want to leave its inviting groove.”
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