Four-time Grammy-winning, genre-defying musical collective Snarky Puppy is debuting the new single “Bet” from their highly anticipated forthcoming album Empire Central, due September 30 via the band’s own GroundUP Music imprint.
Bass player and bandleader Michael League notes that, “dedicated to Dallas icon RC Williams (musical director for Erykah Badu and bandleader of RC & Tha Gritz), ‘Bet’ moves through a mixture of styles: church, soul and even Brazilian Funk.”
Recorded over the course of eight nights in front of a live-in-studio audience at Dallas’ Deep Ellum Art Company, Empire Central consists of 16 all-new tracks heavily influenced by and paying homage to the city that gave birth to the group after they formed while studying in the fabled jazz program at the University of North Texas. The record also features the last recorded performance of ’80s funk pioneer and Snarky Puppy’s musical Godfather Bernard Wright, who passed away tragically at age 58 shortly after the Empire Central recording sessions. Pre-order the album HERE.
With a lineup consisting of three guitarists, four keyboardists, two brass, two reeds, a violinist, multiple percussionists and drummers and bandleader Michael League on bass, Empire Central expands upon the collective’s wide array of influences including blues, hard rock, classic soul, modern gospel, funk, new tech, fusion and jazz.
“Snarky Puppy has always been a band that prioritizes the sound of the music,” notes League. “On this record there was some collaboration in the writing process but when a song goes to the band and the players start making suggestions or changing things our collective feeling really comes through. The songs ended up being a lot more direct and funkier than those on our previous records. I think it reflects the many moods of the city’s scene.”
Photo Courtesy: Brian Friedman