Monophonics are an American psychedelic soul band from San Francisco, California.[1] The band evolved from three bands that played the North Bay music scene; Blue Lotus, Monophonics Orchestra and Mr. Callisto. In the late Spring of 2005, original members; Ian McDonald (guitar), Yuri Whitman (bass guitar), Colin Brown (keyboards), Alex Baky (saxophone) and Ryan Scott (Trumpet), formed an instrumental ensemble that fused Jazz, Funk, Soul and Afrobeat into a danceable sound. They soon became popular in Bay Area music clubs; home based in San Francisco at the Boom Boom Room and in Marin County at 19 Broadway in Fairfax.

Monophonics released a self-produced live album in 2006, entitled "Live at the Freequinox" and continued to expand their touring on the West Coast. In October of 2007, Monophonics released their first studio album, "Playin and Simple". Recorded at the famed "The Plant" recording studio, (the "Dock of the Bay" in the Otis Redding song!), in Sausalito California. The album featured instrumental funk inspired by the late 60s and 70s bands like the Meters, the JBs, Crusaders and Tower 0f Power. 1...http://www.monophonics.bandcamp/albums/Into the Infrasounds. The band now featured the addition of Kyle Middlebrooks on percussion and Marcus Scott on vocals.

The band continued to tour the West Coast and started to branch out across the U. S. including their annual stint in New Orleans during the Jazz and Heritage festival. Their touring schedule brought their "hard hitting" live set to over 400 dates from California to Motown, as well as major music festivals including High Sierra, Joshua Tree, Black Sheep Family Reunion and Las Tortugas.

In September of 2010, Monophonics released their second studio album, "Into the Infrasounds. This work focused on introducing Afrobeat into the mix and vocal tracks featuring soul singer Marcus Scott. Tracks featured flute by sax player Alex Baky and the electric sitar of guitarist Ian McDonald with special guests Mic Gillette (Tower Of Power), Karl Denson (Grey Boy Allstars)charley Wilson, Hugh Schick and Jon Korty.

During 2010-2012, Monophonics played over 250 shows in 8 different countries, sharing the stages with music legends like Al Green, Quincy Jones, Rodriguez, Dennis Coffee, and Crosby Stills & Nash. The band has also played some incredible shows with top funk and soul acts like Galactic, Syl Johnson, Dumpstaphunk, The New Mastersounds and Soulive. Their touring schedule has brought their rowdy, hard-hitting, energetic live set to over 40 States from Hawaii to Motown, Brooklyn and down to NOLA and gained them a reputation as one of the best new live touring acts. In the past couple years the band has also performed at some of the major music festivals around the world including Wakarusa Music Fest, Wannee Music Fest, Portland Waterfront Blues Fest, Rochester Jazz Fest, Telluride Blues and Brews, Bospop Festival, Rockwave Festival, The legendary Montreux Jazz Fest and both International Jazz Fests in Victoria and Vancouver.

In 2012 Monophonics followed up their highly regarded 45/single “Like Yesterday” off Colemine Records with their third studio album "In Your Brain" on Ubiquity records. Produced and recorded by Kelly Finnigan & Ian McDonald and recorded on an old Tascam eight-track 1/4”tape machine at The Soul Barracks in San Francisco. The LP drips with warm tones, a gritty rawness in performance and spontaneous songwriting rarely found since the golden days of FAME and Stax Records. The vibe, production and overall tone of the record has gotten compared to the best products by Daptone Studios in NY and Killion Sound in LA. The critically acclaimed record is considered one of the best soul and funk releases of 2012 even gaining them a radio hit in Greece with their cover of Sonny Bono’s “Bang Bang”. The full length has the vibe and the sound of the late 60’s/early 70’s. The sound of Dark psych soul, heavy funk,top-notch songwriting, analog tones and renowned production is a sonic testimony to the evolution of this six-piece unit.

The group's third album, In Your Brain, was produced by Orgone's Sergio Rios.[2] and included a cover of Sonny Bono's "Foolish Love".[2][3] The track "Bang Bang" was a #1 radio hit in Greece after its release in 2012. [4]

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

Kelly Finnigan, lead vocals and keyboard player, is the son of famed keyboard player and vocalist, Mike Finnigan.

Monophonics has been managed by Rick Bonde of Tahoe Artists since 2013, who notably helped grow the career of Blink 182.[5][6]

Music in TV and Film[edit | edit source]

In 2014, Monophonics' song "Like Yesterday" was included in the soundtrack for the 2014 movie The Gambler, starring Mark Wahlberg. [7]

Monophonics music has been included in the popular TV show Californication. "Like Yesterday" also appears on Episode 2, Season 6 of Californication.[8] and "All Together" was featured on Episode 6, Season 7.[9]

Tour History[edit | edit source]

Monophonics played at Wakarusa in June 2012, alongside artists such as The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, and Fitz and the Tantrums.[10]

In 2013 Monophonics played at the acclaimed Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland with artists such as James Blake, Ben Howard, and George Thorogood.[11]

In the summer of 2014 Monophonics went on tour in France with Ben l'Oncle Soul.[12]

Monophonics went on tour with Galactic in early 2015.[13]

Discography[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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