Today i will be shedding some light on the famous band Sly & The Family Stone.
Sly & The Family Stone had a unique sound to them. they combines Soul, Funk, Psychedelic music and many other styles to create their uplifting and energetic music. The band’s leader was Sylvester Stewart better know as Sly Stone. The band included his brother and sister as well as other members of multiple races, which made this a multiracial band which was not uncommon but rarely seen at the time.
Sly & The Family Stone had a unique sound to them. They were a slightly larger band then others at their time, Sly Stone as the singer and guitarist, Cynthia Robertson as trumpeter, bass player Larry Graham, drummer Greg Errico, and Jerry Martini as the saxophonist. This lead to their distinct sound of a big band with a more groovy and funky feeling and a psychedelic twist to it. A good example of this is their song I Want To Take You Higher, which had such a groovy feeling to it but the guitar gave it the rock/psychedelic feel, this combined with the big band feeling of the trumpet and the funky drums and bass gave Sly & The Family Stone their unique sound.
Another characteristic that set them apart was the way they presented themselves. Often in their live concerts, the stage would be decorated with a very funky looking style. The band itself dressed as funky as possible, Big hair and enthusiastic yet funky outfits, funny hats and so forth. Their live concerts as well as the production style of the show had a crazy psychedelic type look to it
I personally really look up to this band. they managed to combine various styles of music to make their own style but did not express as narrow mind towards other genres of music. This band like to experiment with their own sound and with the sound and style of how they played with their instruments. As a listener i find Sly & The Family Stone to be an incredibly inspirational band their songs vary from smooth and groovy to upbeat and jazzy. Their concerts were also just as amazing, Sly could always make a good connection with his audience. He would often do a call and response with the audience to intrigue them more into his music. His energy on stage was incredible to, he could make any crown want to groove to Sly & The Family Stone’s funky music.
In comparison to Sly & The Family Stone. James Brown had the same kind of funky groove to his music, but James Brown’s singing was unfathomable. There is no need to explain the reaction of the crown when James Brown would walk on stage. His style of singing was much different from Sly & The Family Stone, James Brown had a clear and enthusiastic vibe to his singing. The production style and his wardrobe was opposite of Sly & The Family Stone. James Brown had a more mature professional but flashy look, he did not need to dress funky to grab is audiences attention. The style of music that his band played was just a funky and groovy and Sly’s but it was more calm mainly because the money maker was James Brown’s powerful voice. In my conclusion both artists are just as inspiring, both were pivotal in shaping soul and funk into what it became and both left an incredible legacy for artists to come.
1. (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2015, from http://www.biography.com/people/sly-stone-21378113
2. Sly & the Family Stone Band Members on Glory Days and Being ‘Too Weird’ (2015, July 8). Retrieved October 4, 2015, from http://www.rollingstone.com/music/premieres/sly-the-family-stone-band-members-on-glory-days-and-being-too-weird-20150708
3. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2015, from https://rockhall.com/inductees/sly-and-the-family-stone/bio/
4. Sly & The Family Stone To Release Four-Disc Live Set Recorded At The Legendary Fillmore East. (2015, April 15). Retrieved October 4, 2015, from http://www.elmoremagazine.com/2015/04/music-news/sly-the-family-stone-to-release-four-disc-live-set-recorded-at-the-legendary-fillmore-east