By Andy J. Gordon
New single! New tour dates! New bass player! The members of Cool Cool Cool, the funk, house and R&B band have been busy. The group that rose up in 2022 from the musical ashes of Turkuaz has released their first single, an original song called “Never Noticed.” The new track on the Color Red label has been available on all streaming services since November 17th, 2023. It is getting positive buzz from critics. The band is a brilliant collection of musicians that have been plugging away since Turkuaz dissolved in 2021 – primarily as support for Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew performing Talking Heads material on the Remain In Lighttour.
The band has done a few shows and festival appearances in addition to the Remain In Light shows since their formation. Individual members have also toured with other acts (Zac Brown Band, Freakbass, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, The Motet, Andy Frasco & the UN, etc.). “Never Noticed” is the beginning of their foray into brand new material as a group. Members of the band include Sammi Garett, Shira Elias and Josh Schwartz on vocals and harmonies. Schwartz also plays baritone sax. Other former Turkuaz members are Greg Sanderson (alto sax), Chris Brouwers (trumpet, keys), Michaelangelo Carubba (drums) and Craig Brodhead (guitar, keys).
“Never Noticed” is a very dance friendly track filled with magnetic vocals, pulsing horn lines, plus driving guitar and bass hooks. The sound is both retro and modern with excellent production values. Fans of Turkuaz and the individual artists’ solo material will not be disappointed. Regarding that funky bass line – the band has had a revolving door of bass players during their live performances. For the single, Garrett Sayers from The Motet worked in the studio with drummer Mikey Carubba on the rhythm section. Live Music News & Review spoke with the band about the new single and their future plans.
Tell us about the new single? Who played bass and is there a permanent bassist in the band?
Greg Sanderson told us, “Never Noticed came as a true collaboration from the band. It started from a multi-day writing session, bouncing ideas around between Craig and The Horn Section, then passed around to really bring it to life. Shira, Sammi, and Josh worked out a handful of different vocal sections and lyrics, getting a solid roadmap of what we wanted the song to be. In the studio for tracking, Mikey and Garrett Sayers locked in tight, solidifying the rhythm section, as the whole group honed on a final arrangement. This was a very satisfying group effort, and we’re proud of the all hands on deck approach coming together in such a positive way.”
Chris Brouwers added, “We’ve had no shortage of wildly talented bassists so far with Cool Cool Cool. We’ve been joined by Julie Slick (Adrian Belew), Nate Edgar (The Nth Power), Kevin Scott (Gov’t Mule), and our first recording includes Garrett Sayers (The Motet). We’ve been touring and writing new material with Rodrigo “Digo” Zambrano- aka funkydigo aka Danger Zone from Miami (Electric Kif), and we’re stoked to be able to perform more with Digo as well as others in the future.”
What inspired the new single?
Sammi Garett: “It’s a very special track because every single one of us had something to do with the creation of the song. It’s 100% collaborative and as we were writing this together, I felt like we were all inspired by each other. All working together to put a piece of each of us into it. It felt like the perfect song to release as our first single.”
What can you tell us about other new songs and is there an album on the horizon?
Shira Elias: “Definitely! We’ve got a handful of new original tunes coming down the pike with the intention of releasing an album in the near future. We’re also continuing to write and hone in on what the Cool Cool Cool sound is- we’re very excited to be able to explore and grow together to create that unique sound between the 8 of us.”
Digo Zambrano: “Yes! We have a batch of new songs that we are recording and arranging at the moment. Can’t wait for you all to hear what we have been cooking.”
What can people expect from a Cool Cool Cool live show and tour? Originals, covers, Turkuaz tunes?
Josh Schwartz: “People can expect a unique, dynamic, high-energy show that truly showcases each bandmember’s distinctive talents and personality in a way that wasn’t truly possible before we formed Cool Cool Cool. A headlining CCC show will have mostly original music with some tasty covers thrown in that we know help get the party going. You’ll be carried away on a journey through disco, house, funk, soul, rock, and everything in between. Some stuff may remind you of Turkuaz. Lots of it won’t. And we’re okay with both of those facts. The only thing that matters is that we’re all smiling and feeling free onstage, because as long as that’s the case, the audience will be beaming along with us.”
You’ve played with some amazing musicians on tours, festivals and sit ins. Are there bucket list artists that you’d like to collaborate with?
Mikey Carubba: “We’ve had the honor and fortune to play with some pretty amazing artists. Of course, our time spent with Jerry and Adrian has been amazing and memorable. We all just got word that our friend Denny Laine, founding member of Wings with Paul McCartney, as well as The Moody Blues, passed away. Playing the music of Wings with Denny and soaking up his stories was unforgettable. I think right now, at the point that CCC is at, we’re laser focused on taking those experiences as a group and as individuals, and fleshing out what OUR sound is really going to be. That comes from reps. Studio reps, live reps. Just putting in work. Once our sound develops clearly, I think we can start to really think about what artists are also in that orbit, and who may bring something to our sound that would be fresh, complimentary, vibey, and authentic.”
What can you tell us about Cool Cool Cool’s plans for the future?
Craig Brodhead: “Things are moving forward! I’m currently up in Connecticut finishing up a bunch of material we recorded together this summer and we have a lot more music we’re planning to record in 2024 so definitely people should be staying tuned for more music very soon. We also have a bunch of tour and festival dates being worked on at the moment and we’ll be out on the road plenty in the next year as well. Overall, I’m just really pleased with the support and response we’ve gotten so far and it’s been exciting to both reconnect with old friends and fans as well as make new fans who are hearing us for the first time without any preconceived ideas of who we are and what we sound like. This whole experience of working so collaboratively on each aspect of the band is a challenging yet extremely rewarding journey and it is especially encouraging to see everyone expand their horizons and show what they are capable of.”
Just last week, the band announced that they are doing another series of shows with Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew in 2024. The Remain In Light Summer Tour will include opening sets by Cool Cool Cool. The band will finish up 2023 with more Remain In Light shows. Early dates in 2024 include a festival and the famous Jam Cruise.
Remain In Light Tour Dates – 2023
DEC 28, 2023 San Diego, CA – Balboa Theater
DEC 29, 2023 Anaheim, CA – City National Grove of Anaheim (City National Grove Outdoors)
DEC 30, 2023 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
DEC 31, 2023 Napa, CA – JaM Cellars Ballroom
FEB 22, 2024 – FEB 25, 2024 Florida Sand Music Ranch Brooksville, FL – Whippersnap Music and Arts Festival
FEB 24, 2024 Miami Beach, FL – Miami Beach Bandshell
Jam Cruise Pre-Party w/ Cool Cool Cool, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, DJ Logic & Friends, and Electric Kif
FEB 25, 2024 – MAR 1, 2024 Miami, FL – Jam Cruise 20
Cool Cool Cool & Remain In Light
Remain In Light – Summer 2024 Tour
Fri, July 26 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
Sat, July 27 – TBA
Sun, July 28 – Cleveland, OH – House Of Blues
Tue, July 30 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount
Thu, August 1 – Portland, ME – State Theatre
Fri, August 2 – Derry, NH – Tupelo Music Hall
Sat, August 3 – Rahway, NJ – Union County Performing Arts Center
Sun, August 4 – Tarrytown, NY – Tarrytown Music Hall
Photos courtesy of Andy J Gordon ©2023
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