Fabrizio Grossi & Soul Garage Experience has announced the release date of the band’s debut studio album titled Counterfeited Soulstice Vol 1 on September 10, 2021.
Counterfeited Soulstice Vol. 1, Soul Garage Experience’s debut record, is an important milestone in the career of proud Californian, Italian born, multi-talented producer / writer / musician Grossi who steps out as the front man for this new ensemble. While his endless list of collaborations includes Slash, Eric Gales, Gary Clark Jr, Billy F Gibbons, Steve Vai, Steve Lukather, Glenn Hughes, Leslie West, Joe Bonamassa, Warren Haynes, and George Clinton & P-Funk, it’s a new role and exciting challenge as he steps front and center.
He offers, “This is hard, but great at the same time. With all the other great musicians that I’ve produced, or played with, it was simpler in a way because their statuses and names got me ‘attention,’ but also ‘protection.’ With Soul Garage Experience it’s all ‘balls out.’ I needed to be able to keep up with all the great monsters out there in the world. It’s all on me this time, well most of it.” He chuckles, “I cannot get behind Kenny (Aronoff) or Kris (Barras), like I do with Supersonic Blues Machine, and simply groove away providing a rumbling low end.”
Check out the video for “Ain’t No Givin’ Up,” of which Grossi says, “This is a song about resilience of the poor, of the oppressed, of the discriminated against, and of all the ones that are struggling to be heard when protesting against all types of abuses, whereas such abuses are perpetrated by economic entities, political foes, or even by the police.” The compositions groove and Soul-Reggae vibe supports the song’s firm and direct message which is simply articulating, “don’t mess with us, we’re tired, but we’re not alone.”
Soul Garage Experience’s sound can be easily associated with contemporary Rootsy Rockers and Americana/Neo-Soul artists such as Vintage Trouble, Black Pumas, Gary Clark Jr, The Black Keys, Fantastic Negrito, The Heavy etc. Thanks to the backgrounds, of the great musicians featured on the record, their own history and their endless love for Hendrix, Cream, James Brown, Bob Marley, and Curtis Mayfield alike, the resulting music experience offered by the band is an infectious groove laden combination of old and new school with a music prowess and ownership that turns heads and instigates curiosity. While its lyric content is socially aware, very positive, and poetically urban with a twist (even if the topics touched are no joke), it portrays Fab’s own up bringing as a citizen of the world with stops in Milan, London, Toronto, New York & his beloved LA. Fab is excited to bring his music to all, to excite, thrill, enlighten, and raise awareness of how we can all come together in the not only the most difficult but also the best of times.
The collected work that became the band’s debut is the album Fab says he would have wanted to do if it was still 1972. Sadly enough, the majority of its themes could have worked back then, as they are incredibly current today. The ghost of his first true musical love Bob Marley is definitely felt throughout the whole record, and not only for the often-embraced Reggae tones, but for the simple, positive & direct way the often engaging and opinionated lyrics are narrated.
The comparison couldn’t be more descriptive, since all of the above were unconsciously a big influence on Fab’s musical up bringing. Maybe because of the western cities factor, Soul Garage Experience often adopted Reggae draws, have more in common with Joe Strummer and Co, than with the sunny Jamaican Rasta vibes, but the gritty funky/soul core of his music, and that “urban proletarian” spin of the Caribbean sound track, makes this record a happy re-discovery of all the colors of soul music we all grew up to know, and then some.
The record features some pretty solid cats such as Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction, Porno for Pyros), Hermann Matthews (Tower of Power, Stevie Wonder), Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty, Joe Satriani, Smashing Pumpkins, Paul Mc Cartney), Bette Smith, Alastair Greene (Alan Parsons), Diimond Meeks (American Idol & America’s Got Talent finalist and CeeLo Gen pupil), Alex Alessandroni Jr (Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Pink, Natalie Cole), and again Derek Day, Dylan Meek, The Supersonettes (Francis Benitez & Andrea Grossi Benitez), Chris Hansen, Fabio Drusin and more.
Twenty-four-year-old fellow LA based rising star Derek Day provides the incendiary guitar playing on most of the record. He infuses his music with the power of Rock N’ Roll, and a big chunk of Soul alongside R&B. Derek has opened for and performed with luminaries in Steve Vai, Moby, and Slash. Together with star drummer Stephen Perkins, keyboards wizards Alex Alessandroni Jr., Dylan Meek, and vocalist uber talent Diimond Meeks, he’s part of the touring core of Soul Garage Experience.
Just like for his other award-winning band Supersonic Blues Machine, fronted by Kris Barras with Kenny Aronoff, that often sports guest appearances by Billy F. Gibbons, Eric Gales & many more sublime talents, the thrilling live shows of the Soul Garage outfit are heavily jam based, so to embrace the golden era of live Rhythm N Blues, Rock & Soul: the 60’s and the 70’s. Onstage, the ensemble easily moves between new crafted tunes and all time classics spanning time in Hendrix, Cream, Allman Bros, and Stevie Wonder, but they are a far cry from your regular covers band….this is a true Soul Garage Experience.
A portion of proceeds from this release have been committed to support organization that include https://guitars4vets.org (music therapy for vets affected by PTSD), AND (homeless families support network).
*Feature image by: Enzo Mazzeo