Soul Shangri​-​La

by The Bang Girl Group Revue

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about

Sassy. Sultry. Sexy. Sophisticated. These are just some of the words that describe Angeline King, Tish Peterson and Rachel Mae Havens, the three vocalists who stand center stage in The Bang Girl Group Revue, the San Francisco Bay Area’s most exciting show band. And while the trio of vivacious vocalists do channel the classic sounds of the 1960s, including the Brill Building’s tales of teenage heartbreak, Tamla/Motown’s elegant R&B micro-symphonies and the foot-stomping Memphis soul of Stax, they also blend in a large measure of original songs that sound timeless but still have a timely edge.

The four instrumentalists who share the stage with the trio of divine divas are much more than just a backing band. Led by guitarist Derek See, the quartet, including bassist Jafar Green, drummer Richard Gutierrez and keyboardist Curtis Meachum, has the “four bodies-one mind” sense of rhythm that makes it impossible to keep still. When they lay into a classic number like "In The Basement", an obscure gem like "Hold On" or one of their own skillfully composed originals like "Drink In Hand" you can be forgiven if your feet make a fleet retreat from your seat on onto the dance floor to gyrate to the driving beat.

The Bang Girl Group Revue is not an exercise in nostalgia. Although they take to the stage with many instruments built in the 1960's, their music has an ageless sound that appeals to the folks who love the sound of real voices blending in harmony (no Auto-tune for this band), the glorious shimmer of a guitar driving a tube amp and the visceral whomp of human drummer laying down a breathing beat. They may hail from the heart of Silicon Valley, but the Bang Girl Group Revue leaves the high-tech music gadgets to other bands.

Live, the Bang Girl Group Revue looks as good as they sound. Bedecked in vintage threads, the band boasts the kind of tight choreography that you thought disappeared during the dread days of disco. Although they work hard on their presentation, and appreciates an attentive audience, they really dig it when you get out on the dance floor and try to outshine their dancing with your own. The band has found that their live act has a multi-generational appeal, and one that appeals to fans of the genre of all ages, those who remember "back in the day", and a younger generation of folks that are witnessing a type of entertainment that has an energy unlike anything they have ever seen or heard. When the Bang Girl Group Revue comes to your town you owe it to yourself to check them out. It will be a night you’ll always treasure.


Here's some recent press:

"The Bang have released a single off their upcoming album Shimmy Soul Shangri La. The Bang is an homage to the girl groups of the sixties, such as Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and the Supremes. The three female vocalists, Angeline King, Rachel Mae Havens, and Tish Peterson, are the stars of the show, but a driving force behind the band is guitarist Derek See. See is the purveyor of the fantastic Derek’s Daily 45 (a must-read blog if you’re into classic soul) and a DJ with gigs internationally. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also the personal guitar tech for James Williamson of Iggy and the Stooges." - Russell Jelinek, The Bay Bridged

"Drink In Hand" by The Bang Girl Group Revue starts with a strong blast of "woo-woos" evocative of a glorious era of go-going girl power, although The Ronettes probably never declared "Tequila makes me catty...brandy makes me angry" and "the kind of guy I prefer is a drinking man". The vocals- Angeline King, Tish Peterson and Rachel Mae Havens- power along with a punchy beat before making way for a vintage Yardbirds-style guitar break. The band's first album, "Soul Shangri-La", is out this month, and proves that Derek See and mates want to go beyond retro nostalgia to reinvigorate the genre" -MSG, San Jose Metro

"This will be out soon. I have heard the final mixes of these tracks and this is superb. The title of the album leads one to expect ’60s girl group and r’n‘b stylings and while that’s hugely present, what’s also present here is the country-rock hints prevalent in guitarist Derek See‘s previous band The Careless Hearts (who have backed the legendary James Williamson from Iggy and The Stooges). It’s a great combination that makes for a fun album." - Matthew Berlyant, The Big Takeover

Four of the songs on this record are band compositions ("Drink In Hand", "You Got My Love", "Another Notch On His Belt", and "Not Your Fool"); the rest are drawn from the bottomless well of songs that we feel are either too great to be so obscure, or simply fit well within our sound and we all know and love. Whether the song is an original or cover, we place an indelible stamp of THE BANG on it and meld it into our own.
 
While we would never deny that our music is based firmly in the 1960's, we have seen firsthand through live performance that it is a sound that spans generations and appeals to not only those who lived through the era and mod revivalists but also those in their teens and twenties who may be getting a first taste of the soul of this music. We made a conscious decision to record our album using not only the technology of the era that our music is drawn from that we love so much but also, more importantly, recorded it in a way that shows the strengths of the band. The ladies' vocals were all tracked together; the three of them gathered around two microphones (whoever was lead singer had her own mic while the backings where sang into the same mic). This is the way it was done, and it presents not only a complete performance but also the natural blend of the group. There are points where Angeline and Tisha Joy's harmonies are so close they sound as though they are one voice overdubbed! The music performed by the gentlemen was recorded by the band, together, in the same room. Nothing compares to the passion and heart that a group of musicians create when they are in the same room, making eye contact, watching physical communication. This is the root of the "magic" of the old recordings. Percussion was overdubbed (as we don't have a dedicated percussionist) as well as a few guitar tracks (all of the guitar solos were cut live with the band, as feeling the ice drum kicks me into playing better, always).
 
As for how it was captured, we went for pure simplicity; our engineer, Brad McGowan, understood the nature of the project and brilliantly recorded the instruments in a way where no further equalization or compression was needed. Brad captured the true tonalities of our instruments and amplifiers, and it was laid down onto an MCI 1" Eight Track machine. We mixed down to a Studer tape deck as well. All of the reverb heard is from a spring unit, which was slightly delayed via a second tape deck; delaying the reverb slightly is the closest analog path we could get to the magic of the old echo chambers. The vinyl Lp was cut directly from the mix down tapes (an important step lost in many modern vinyl pressings) and the digital/ CD version is mastered off of the vinyl, which adds its lovely tonal coloring to the release (don't worry- there's no surface noise or pops n clicks- this is a high quality transfer). Modern records feel safe and sterile oftentimes because they are bogged down with pitch correction, cutting and pasting multiple performances into one song, etc- we did not use ANY of this technology in making the record. Only the natural talents of the band and recording engineer are on display, and we are very proud of this fact.
 
-Derek See
guitarist and producer

credits

released 20 November 2012

Angeline King: vocals
Rachel Mae: vocals
Tisha Joy: vocals
Richard Gutierrez: drums, percussion
Jafar Green: bass
Derek See: guitar
Curtis Meachum: keyboards

produced by Derek See
engineered by Brad McGowan

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about

The Bang Girl Group Revue San Francisco

Sassy. Sultry. Sexy. Sophisticated. These are just some of the words that describe Angeline King, Tish Peterson and Rachel Mae Havens, the three vocalists who stand center stage in The Bang Girl Group Revue, the San Francisco Bay Area’s most exciting show band. ... more

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