Sunday, November 23, 2014

Roxy Roca Cooks Up a Hot Dish of Texas Soul for the Holidays

I haven't visited Austin, Texas, yet, but if there's a better place to hear original new music these days I can't think of it. I recently heard from an especially strong new Austin-based band called Roxy Roca, who sent me a link to their new holiday single, "Christmas Without You." It's a high-energy piece of dynamite Texas soul that celebrates a mess of colorful holiday traditions while bewailing the prospect of spending Christmas on the road alone:
I love the smell of a Fraser fir
And wassail on the stove
Putting on our favorite record
By good old Nat King Cole
I love the blue lights shining on the snow at night
Bowl games on TV
Christmas carolers going up and down the street
Putting that star upon the tree
There's so much in December that I like to do
But it ain't Christmas without you
Here's the video:

Roxy Roca was founded just a couple of years ago by Taye Cannon, the former front man for the Austin-based punk band Mocktigers. His new band is a whole different kettle of stew, however, for like its new holiday single, Roxy Roca runs on a high-amp blend of Southern rock and soul. Why the switch? Cannon explains that he grew up in Alabama listening to his father's records  soul music by the likes of Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and James Brown. Although he veered off in other directions after settling in Austin, Cannon never abandoned his soul roots, and following a chance meeting with like-minded guitarist Errol Siegel several years ago, the two put together Roxy Roca.

The B side of the new single the "naughty" side  features the band's version of the Clarence Carter classic "Back Door Santa." You can order the single and more from the band's online store, and if you're lucky enough to live in the Southern part of the country you might even be able to catch Roxy Roca at one of the many live shows they've got scheduled throughout December. Check out their tour calendar HERE. If you're as keen on their holiday record as I am, be sure to check out some of their other material on Soundcloud. Their Basement Tapes CD offers an even funkier sound that spotlights their tight horn section, These guys are really going places.

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