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The Suffers, The Buttertones and Thee Commons In the Lineup at Levitt Summer Series by Spaceland Presents

Concerts Under The Stars Runs June 17-Sept. 10

By DONNA BALANCIA

Diverse musicians ranging from The Suffers to The Buttertones and Thee Commons will take the stage at The Levitt Pavilion for the 2017 Free Summer Concert Series.

Additional bands to play over three months include The Regrettes; Boogaloo Assasins; L.A. Witch; Prezident Brown; and Dos Lobos among many others.

The Suffers by Donna Balancia

The Suffers will bring their Houston soul to the Levitt Pavilion – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Accessibility and Diversity

The purpose of the Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles music series is to make live music accessible to everyone and to connect the community while celebrating diversity.

Every summer, 50 free concerts are presented at the Levitt Pavilion, featuring musicians who are well-known as well as emerging talent, spanning all musical genres.

L.A. Witch Sade by Donna Balancia

L.A. Witch will present their haunting surf sound during the Summer Concert Series at the Levitt Pavilion – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Music Under The Stars

Levitt Pavillion is a fun place to hear the music, share a picnic blanket and get into some music under the stars. It is estimated that more than 500,000 people have gathered in MacArthur Park to enjoy the concerts since 2007.

For more information go to the Levitt website 

For the full concert schedule check out the Levitt website 

The Suffers Rock The Echo in LA With a Scorching Sound That Heralds An Era of New Soul Music

The Suffers Hit Like A 5-Alarm Plate of Shrimp and Grits

Kam Franklin and The Suffers triumph at The Echo LA - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Kam Franklin and The Suffers triumph at The Echo LA – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA

The Suffers put on a short show that packed a powerful punch the other night at The Echo.

The lively set by the 8-piece band led by dynamic front woman Kam Franklin grabbed the audience and never let go as The Suffers ripped through tunes some new and some known.

The band impressed the crowded house of fans who ranged in age from about 20 to 60 years old.

Kam’s presence is a commanding experience as she dominates the stage with kid gloves, showing the love and talking about how music can be a healing therapy and agent for change. She’s like an open book, inspiring others with her tales of woe and success.

From Banker to Rock Star

The Suffers

The Suffers say they’re grateful to be playing music in LA – or anywhere for that matter – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Kam started as an investment banker and decided to follow her dream.  There were tough times, she said, recalling that she and her bandmates weren’t sure that when they played LA a while back that they would ever actually be able to return.  The Suffers high energy show is a celebration of accomplishments and Kam said the band is a living example that when you set your sites and harness determination, you can achieve your dreams.

Her theme is simple: Music Heals.

Kam encouraged the audience to keep listening to music, keep creating remarkable works and appreciate those closest to you.  The Suffers show was limited to one hour, but the band slayed in that short time, leaving the audience calling for more.

“No matter what goes on in the world outside, we’re all in here for one hour and we’re going to enjoy ourselves,” she told the audience. A tribute to Sharon Jones was to take place shortly after The Suffers set.  Kam paid homage to the musical foundation set down by Jones, the renowned soul singer who passed away last week from pancreatic cancer at the age of 60.

Kam Franklin of The Suffers was once an investment banker. Her talents are now put to better use - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Kam Franklin was once an investment banker. Her talents are now put to better use – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Kam said she has been compared to Jones on many occasions and we all owe a debt of gratitude to Jones who led a soul revival that started in New York City and continues today.

The musicians who comprise The Suffers are the dedicated and talented Pat Kelly, Adam Castaneda, Michael Razo, Kevin Bernier, Jon Durbin, Cory Wilson, Nick Zamora, Jose “Chapy” Luna, Alex Zamora.  The horn section brings a retro pizzazz that highlights the hard work of the bassist, drums, guitar and keyboards.

The Suffers Teach a New Lesson

It’s a cohesive group of Houston-based musicians who came together to teach us a new lesson. This is not your mom’s soul music.

The Suffers are a tight band of talented Houston musicians - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Suffers are a tight band of talented Houston musicians – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Suffers call their style of music “Gulf Coast Soul,” a fitting genre for this band. The Suffers make  you feel as if you’ve just been handed a plate of buttery shrimp and grits with an extra helping of five-alarm hot sauce on the side.  They’re cozy and spicy at the same time, unleashing the tunes of heartbreak and love with a unified sound that heralds an era of new soul music.

Kam bonds with the audience, talking to the crowd as comfortably as she would be talking to a well-loved friend.  Healing, helping and feeding were central to the performance as she continually reminded the crowd of the name of the band and had them repeat it back, along with the town the band is from, Houston.

But after all that, what probably will be long remembered was this special show by a lady with a devoted troupe of talented musicians and her heartfelt request for people to love each other.

The Suffers recently released the video “Midtown,” and you can check them out on Soundcloud.

 

The Suffers To Play Their Brand of ‘Gulf Coast Soul’ at The Echo Saturday Night, Release New Video

The Suffers: Get Ready for Soulful Rock N Roll

By DONNA BALANCIA

The Suffers, Houston’s answer to Rock N Roll Soul, led by powerhouse front woman Kam Franklin, will hit the stage at The Echo Saturday night.

If you’re a fan of revved up soul music and you haven’t been following the outrageously talented 10-piece Houston band, the show at The Echo provides an opportunity.

The Suffers on Soundcloud

The Suffers on Soundcloud

Kam and her troupe of talented musicians in The Suffers have been making the rounds in the media and at all the top clubs and it’s a rare treat to hear sounds like this. They say their unique retro rock-soul style is “Gulf Coast Soul” and it’s a catchy new moniker for their wildly reinvented genre.

Check out The Suffers on Soundcloud

The Suffers consider themselves to be a combination of soul, rythm and blues, hard rock and a little part romance.  They’ve just released a new video, which they say is their most “intense” yet, called “Midtown.”

While it may have a semi-remorseful tone in that it deals with a post-breakup situation, the sound is deceivingly upbeat and joyful.  So maybe when Kam asks the question, “Do you ever want to go back to you and me?” she most likely knows the answer.

The Suffers are Kam, Pat Kelly, Adam Castaneda, Michael Razo, Kevin Bernier, Jon Durbin, Cory Wilson, Nick Zamora, Jose “Chapy” Luna and Alex Zamora.  Their first full-length album, self-titled, is available at www.ilovethesuffers.com.

Tickets are still available for The Suffers at The Echo, go to the Echo website for tickets, here.

Check out The Suffers video “Midtown” here:

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