Oakland, California music legends Tower of Power – the most dynamic and distinctive band of survivors in Soul Music – is roaring into its unprecedented 50th anniversary with a dynamic new disc of all new material that finds them as energized and inspired as ever. A labor of love, definitively titled “Soul Side of Town”, this new release is charged with fourteen filler-free songs. In the spirit of their enduring theme song “Oakland Stroke” – the book-ending intro and outro “East Bay” shine a light on elemental instrumental ingredients within the band’s signature sound. This astounding and historical release (out since June 1, 2018 in digital, vinyl, streaming & CD formats) inaugurates Tower of Power’s fresh affiliation with Mack Avenue Records, a Detroit-based company renowned for its award-winning dedication to top-tier Jazz that is now extending its support to Soul and Funk giants, Tower of Power: a band so one-of-a-kind, it’s an institution. Anticipation is so high for Tower of Power’s 50th Anniversary milestone that the first show on their home turf of Oakland swiftly sold out with a second one right on its heels, and an appearance at this year’s Playboy Jazz Festival also has tongues wagging! This year promises to be a BLAST for Tower of Power and all its fans as they celebrate this incredible milestone with a motherload of electrifying new sounds guaranteed to funkifize, energize and provide the soundtrack for new American movements of Love, Peace, Soul Power, Mind Power and People Power to rise!
I had the honor of catching up with founding member Mr. Emilio Castillo ahead of the group’s November 15th show in Madison at the Overture Center’s Capitol Theater. Mr. Castillo and I get into what a newbie to the scene could expect if this is their first time catching the soulful leGends in a live setting. We talk about how the new album keeps the familiar sound and gives ears a fresh feel, as well as how the album went from the seed of soul to a funkified flower that uplifts and charts! How does Tower of Power keep that signature sound so fresh and when it unites with other artists, how does it know where to do all it does? We talk a little bit about that secret sauce that allowed fifty years to fly by and a hope for fifty more with new songs like the ones on “Soul Side of Town”. Dig, what is hip!