Paying tribute to The Beatles is a time-honored tradition for many of today’s pop and rock artists. But one recent tribute comes from a band which specializes in jazz and funk.
New York trio Soulive, featuring Neal Evans on Hammond B-3 organ, his brother Alan on drums, and Eric Krasno on guitar, powers through a tiny portion of The Beatles songbook on their album Rubber Soulive, adding its signature fusion rhythms to such Lennon and McCartney classics as “Help!”
Soulive initially set out to record an album of material from the 60’s British Invasion, but decided instead to focus on The Beatles. After all, The Beatles produced some of the era’s most enduring songs, including the George Harrison masterpiece, “Something.”
Soulive has journeyed a long way since producing its first album in 1999. As the opening act for The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer, the trio developed a strong following of its own. A major label contract soon followed, and, with the release of eight critically-acclaimed albums over the next 10 years, Soulive became one of the country’s premier “jam” bands. Drummer Alan Evans admits that the group has never relied on a formula for success.
“We’ve always prided ourselves on doing something different every time we go into the studio,” Evans says.
Soulive’s tribute to the Fab Four was inspired by an impromptu concert of all-Beatles tunes they gave in 2009. According to guitarist Eric Krasno, the band then took it a step further and decided to record an entire album of Beatles songs, gleaned from a list of their personal favorites. He says, “We picked the ones that lent themselves well to our sound, and others where we could add the Soulive flavor.”