No strangers to the traveling music scene, West of Staley brings their youthful jazz sound to Red Hills Brewing Company on July 7. The ensemble from Illinois and Indiana consists of a bassist, a drummer, a guitarist, who bring a fresh spin to jazz classics and a handful of their own unique creations. On this tour, they will include the sultry sounds of vocalist/violinist Emmaline. With over eighty concerts to date, these guys know how to put on a show.
For jazz, they have an eclectic style that is edgy and high-energy. As bassist, Chris, puts it, “It’s definitely not just background music.” If their music was a food, it would be chicken wings with a variety of sauces—“because we’re going to play songs that are hot, songs that are sweet, and songs that are complex.” The band plans to perform a few originals off their album, some jazz standards, and contemporary R&B with a vibrant vocalist to mix things up a bit. When Emmaline isn’t playing the violin, she entrances audiences with her songbird melodies and dark soulful sound. She gives a performance reminiscent of Amy Winehouse.
Behind the instruments are three talented guys, Ryan, David, and Chris, who have an incredible amount of experience for musicians their age. In addition to guitar, Ryan has played piano and french horn, and he also plays in a duo and a funk band in Cincinnati; David is more than just a drummer for West of Staley—he plays for shows in no less than ten different states for multiple jazz groups and rock bands; and Chris has had the honor of working with jazz legends Cecil McBee and Dave Holland at the New England Conservatory. Their album You Gotta Start Somewhere came out in 2015, and has been played on the radio across the country and even across the pond in Dublin, Ireland.
This will be their first time in Alabama, but they have played all over including in St. Louis, at Carnegie Hall, Festival Disney, and at Wally’s in Boston, the oldest operating jazz club in the United States. West of Staley will make a great addition to the thriving night life in Birmingham and add to the diversity of music you can find in the Steel City. Whether you have been listening to jazz for years or you are new to the scene, you will not want to miss this group perform at Red Hills this July.
The show starts at 7 p.m. Red Hills Brewing Company is located at 2823 Central Ave, Birmingham, AL 35209.