Getting ready to hit the road again, Portland-based self-proclaimed hop-soul band, Dirty Revival will play the Star Theater February 19 as part of a 10-date Northwest spring tour showcasing last year’s self-titled debut.
Dirty Revival is a five-piece soul/hip-hop group, led by frontwoman, Sarah Clarke, whose soaring, soulful vocals are backed by meticulous musicianship that includes double-duty from Evan “evv’n’flo” Simko as M.C. and guitar, Terry Drysdale on drums, Karl Ludwigsen on keyboards, and Jon Shaw on bass. The quintet self-titled debut draws on the layered richness of musical influences.
“Big, gritty, and honest. Our sound is unique but pulls elements of our favorite genres: soul, funk, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, gospel, and rock,” says Clarke.
Expanding on that, Simko adds, “I think people will find a great variety of influences or comparisons, to name a few: P-Funk, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Bill Withers, Charles Bradley, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, and The Roots. It’s hard to say. I think there are so many influences that it won’t quite sound like anyone in particular.”
Concert fans have agreed, and have described Dirty Revivals’ debut as “Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, and Rose Royce all blended up as one.”
On the lead track, “Dirty Love”, Clarke describes the song that highlights their passion for performance. It serves up sizzling slice of jazzy R&B that hits the mark with all the band’s qualities on display. From punchy horns, to tight rhythm section, to charismatic backing vocals, to “evv’n’flo’s” rap, to Clarke’s soulful pipes, the band bursts off the record.
While the song, “Make It” sparkles with equal intensity, Dirty Revival also adeptly originates contemporary stylings that skillfully embrace their influences, which is evident on the sassy and sexy “Lately”, the pop soulfulness of “Sweet Indulgence “, and the reassuring faith of dreams reached for on “Lullaby”.
But Dirty Revival raises a powerful voice for social concerns as much as it celebrates its musical passion. On “Rain It Will Come”, featuring rapper Elton Cray, who espouses his rain relationship while Clarke’s refrain welcomes its cold clasp of change. The song concludes with the poem, “The Cold Within”, by James Patrick Kinney, embraced during the Civil Rights movement as a parable about the things that separate us and how the coldness in men’s hearts is a kind of death.
The album concludes on a grooving upbeat, where you know Rose Royce and band must be swinging and swaying to the funky “Car Wash” vibe of “Kruse”. From the percussive cowbell and funky guitar-bass intro, Clarke leads the band on a musical joyride that embraces the simple pleasure and freedom of taking a ride from your worries, and embodies Dirty Revival’s musical adventure and presence.
Don’t miss the chance to experience the soulful funky-pop groove of Dirty Revival at the Star Theater. Tickets are $12, doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9pm. 21 and over only. See you there!