Photo by Jim Mimna
By Timothy Dwenger
Behind the pulsing basslines, searing guitar, punchy horns and funky rhythms of the Denver funk scene’s newest super-group is a story of hard work, dedication and friendship.
Analog Son is a band that had been biding their time to bust out for a couple of years and in 2014 their eponymous debut record turned heads across the country and earned rave reviews. It’s the kind of story that seems tailor made for a feel good documentary and it’s happening right now in Denver.
Analog Son is the brainchild of two longtime friends and musical compatriots, Jordan Linit and Josh Fairman. “I think we met when we were about 12,” Linit said in a recent interview with The Marquee from his home studio as he got ready for a recording session. “My parents used to drop Josh and I off at blues bars on Thursday nights when we were in junior high and high school. By the time we graduated we had played all the venues in Columbia, Missouri, including the Blue Note which is kinda like the Gothic here in Denver.”
After both ending up at DU, Fairman and Linit played in several bands together before founding the genre bending, high-energy electro-funk, hip-hop outfit Kinetix. “Kinetix was the project that took up the last years of college and that we ended up touring around the country with for the past eight or so years. That’s been really great and it’s how we know people in cities all over,” said Linit.
Now, building off those relationships that they formed through Kinetix the duo have, almost accidentally at first, started a new group that is growing faster than they could have imagined.
“I guess it was about two winters ago now that our buddy Joe Tatton (The New Mastersounds) was in town from England and Josh gave me a ring and said ‘Hey I have a couple days open in the studio (Scanhope Sound) and Joe’s in town and I think we should record some funk like we’ve talked about.’ So we wrote a few songs together and got our old drum professor from DU to come in and record three tracks. It really just came out so well that we knew right away that it was going to be a full time thing for us,” Linit said.
The Shady Horns [Ryan Zoidis and Eric Bloom] were the next people to get involved. They had become friends and were all hanging out at Cervantes’ on a night off when one of them asked Linit what he’d been up to as of late. “And I said ‘Actually, I just started recording a funk record with Josh’ and they were like ‘Do you have horns on it yet?’ I said ‘No,’ so they asked if we wanted them to play on it and I responded ‘Yeah, I would love it. That sounds awesome!’ So really this came together very organically,” he said.
While Zoidis and Bloom are featured prominently on the record, and co-wrote three of the album’s ten tracks, Stomp & Shout features performances from many more local and national luminaries in the funk scene including Benzel Baltimore (Parliament Funkadelic), Terrence Houston (Funky Meters), Joey Porter (The Motet), and Nigel Hall (The Nth Power, Lettuce). While most of these relationships were Linit and Fairman’s from the get-go, legendary live audio engineer Joe Michaels (The Rolling Stones, Blood Sweat & Tears), who is a good friend and regularly behind the board at Analog Son shows, had a hand in connecting the guys with percussionist Rafael Pereira (Prince) as well as Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk, Neville Jacobs) who sings and plays keys on the title track.
While Neville won’t be on-hand when Analog Son celebrates the release of Stomp & Shout at the Bluebird, the band will be joined by Nigel Hall on vocals and keys and Jason Hann (String Cheese Incident, EOTO) on percussion. “Nigel is an amazingly funky dude and we had him on two tracks on this record, so we really wanted to get him out for this party,” Linit said. “Then, we don’t always play with a percussion player, however we always put percussion on our records so we really wanted to get a percussionist involved. I’ve met Jason a number of times and really enjoy his work so we reached out to him and he was way into the idea so we are stoked to have him on board as well.”
There is a lot of good music coming out of Denver these days, but something about Analog Son is different. The long-standing relationship between Linit and Fairman that is at the core of this project provides some solid bedrock for it to stand on, and their deep musical knowledge, pedigree and steadfast dedication to their craft give it wings.
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