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The Pinstripes - I

My Sunday mornings, unless coupled with a hangover, are my favorites. I wake up whenever my body stirs from slumber (or the cat steps on my face), stumble downstairs in my robe and pajamas, and start my coffee.  Once a cup or so is consumed and that sweet, sweet blood of life also known as caffeine is streaming through my veins, I like to crank up something good and loud and full of soul and dance to wake my ass up and fill me with life while I do my mundane New Jersey suburb Sunday morning chores. It has to be good. It has to move me. It has to remind me that the world is alive and buzzing around me and I woke up this morning...I should be doing nothing less than dancing,

So this is when I usually like to test out new music. My mind is rested and clear, and craving something that will make me move. I waited until a Sunday morning to pop in The Pinstripes for the first time. I don't think I even needed the caffeine. WOW. This album exploded all over me, and I have been nothing short of addicted to it since. They have such fresh energy, and I am loving the exhilarated dancing in my home, in my car, at my desk, and on my radio show and podcast that is unavoidable from start to finish. I figured it high time I share this new found love of mine with the world. This band is incredible.



The Pinstripes hail from Cincinnati, OH. Now, I am from the great state of New Jersey, and my travels west include Pennsylvania, Arizona, and California. Anything between that has been a mystery to me aside from grammar school social studies, a few landmarks, and what I see on FoodTV...and what a shame. The ska music that is coming out of those Midwestern states is blowing me away, and these guys are a perfect example.

From the moment the album starts, it's this great mix of ska and soul in an exploding power pack that throws reggae beat-laden shrapnel at you while shaking your body with impossible to ignore dance flavor. It's a start to finish kick you in the ass and get you moving album of it's own breed, and not just some one taste ska sound...it's so many variations.

The song Might Be Her Fool kicks it off hard.

I have been playing the ever loving hell out of this song on my radio show. It's become a Sunday morning staple for me. It's the first song I heard from this ridiculously talented batch of gentlemen, and has me clamoring for a live show. Listen to this song first. It bursts through the door and grabs your attention, and has remained my favorite, followed by Alright Baby. An equally well balanced and soulful song, it highlights how well The Pinstripes progress from start to finish on a song. How all of their parts blend. How fucking amazing these guys are as musicians. I don't know how anyone could listen to this and not be moving. It's not humanly possible.

Click on over to Mother, and check out the vocals. Gorgeous harmonies over that smooth brass with an absolutely infectious and complete move-your-body groove. I love anyone that understands the masterful technique of using vocals as their own instrument. The Pinstripes get it. Layered and flowing, powerful and sexy, and they build with the song through to the end. It's so good.

A sextet of brilliant music makers, The Pinstripes are comprised of Mike Sarason on vocals and sax, Leonardo Murcia on vocals and trombone, Matt Kursmark on guitar, Chris Grannen on bass, John Bertke on drums, and Sam White on trumpet. Actively playing and touring since 2003, according to their website which you can find HERE, they have gone through the usual lineup changes and transitions that any extraordinary band perfecting a sound does. Whatever the road they took to get here, they found that master sound, and they do it well.

It's not one genre of ska either. The Pinstripes take you from one breed of groove all the way across the board. It's not one of those albums you will listen to and be bored of by the third track. In fact, the first three tracks sound so different from one another, you will be sitting and waiting for the fourth track wondering what in the hell these guys can throw at you now. Or at least I did. And every song was more delicious than the last. This is a band with staying power. Real, raw talent. It's highly impressive.

Speaking of impressive, the song I'll Be Waiting is this pop/soul ska hybrid that shines a beautiful glaring light on just what these guys can do. How they can take a song and pick it up, turn it around, flip it over, and take it in three different directions before ending it. Great bass layered under warm but crisp brass, perfectly placed drum beats and sweet guitar. Then those amazing vocals over top like buttercream. But then right around two and a half minutes in, the song changes into this piece of sensual, powerful straight up soul music...building in intensity and emotion to the end before climaxing quietly and sweetly. Probably would cuddle you and give you cab fare too.

Pinstripes, you guys have it. You have the talent, the musical integrity, and the multifaceted flavor. I need to get my ass to Ohio promptly because I want...no, I NEED to see these guys live. I can't imagine their live show to be anything short of fucking incredible. Be expecting me in the new year, gentlemen. For now, you can hear something from their album I on my show every week.

Download the album I for $8 HERE

You can find The Pinstripes on Facebook HERE.

You can get music and other good stuff from The Pinstripes HERE








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