Soul music a lifelong friend of Roxy Roca's Taye Cannon
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"Try My Love," Roxy Roca
By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Soul is "the kind of music that has always been there for me."
That's Taye Cannon, lead singer of Austin-based funk band Roxy Roca, on why he's so wedded to the from-the-gut stylings like those he learned listening to his dad's stacks of Stax and Motown records.
"It was always playing, regardless of whatever ... the flavor or the season of the month was," Cannon said. "Soul music was always there. It's the one style of music, I think, that I'll never stop listening to."
Roxy Roca returns to Amarillo for a 10 p.m. Friday show at Leftwood's, 2511 S.W. Sixth Ave. Cover is $7.
Once Cannon was finished with his first band (a "rock 'n' roll and rebellion kind of band," he recalled), Cannon founded Roxy Roca, dedicating himself to the style of music he has loved his whole life.
"I started emulating those artists at a very, very young age," said Cannon, explaining where his gritty, soulful voice came from. "I was trying to make people laugh — trying to do James Brown and doing his dances, to do Michael Jackson."
But it's not just the sound that draws Cannon to soul: "It's the content of the music, as well," he said.
"I think soul music — particularly the blues — has always been about real life, relatable peaks and valleys," he said. "I think that resonates with people. Honestly, I think that's why there's been a resurgence around the country — in fact, globally — with blues and soul and funk that really hasn't been there for a number of years.
"It's an emotional music, about the good times and the bad times, and there are a lot of crazy things going on in the world right now and people are opening their hearts again and are receptive to it," Cannon said.
"Love Maker DeVille," Roxy Roca
Currently, Roxy Roca boasts six members with a slightly different lineup than they had on the last visit to Amarillo, but still including a small brass section. The trumpet and trombone were always part of Cannon's vision — "hearing live horns is captivating," he said — even before he found the right players.
"When it was just me and a guitar player and a drummer, we were writing arrangements that had horn parts because we knew they would be part of the recipe," he said.
The band recently finished recording its upcoming sophomore studio album at The Bubble in Austin with producer Frenchie Smith.
"He's exactly the kind of producer you want to make a record with," said Cannon of Smith, a Grammy-nominated producer of such bands as ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, The Darkness and others. "He brought a lot of energy to the sessions."
Smith had the band track most of the album live, "and the energy's there, for sure," Cannon said. "We wanted to make sure we captured that."
"I Don't Wanna Dream No More" live, Roxy Roca