The Tomas Doncker Band
The death of indie, and the birth of art-rap and singer songwriter EDM.
Doncker should be considered in the same breath as Kanye West in the 2010s. Simply: he is the best. Resolutely color blind, Doncker is a musical chameleon, a superb electric blues guitarists at home in any genre you throw at him. He is always working, always writing, always playing around town and always always always creating
Can’t Say No – The Tomas Doncker Band – The first time I heard this song was way after midnight at the Blue Note, and Joe Jackson was sitting behind me. It was, instantaneously, the best Rolling Stones song where the writer didn’t know it was a Rolling Stones but it was any way, I’ve ever heard –
A female friend on Facebook had dubbed Tomas “hot” the other day and he certainly exudes a rough hewn sexuality, tall and strong , in a pork pie hat, he commands the stage, expecting and insisting upon and audience reaction
The Tomas Doncker Band, purveyors of rock nyc’s Album Of The Year, with jazz wild guy Manu Koch and Filton M, perform two sets at the Iridium, Times Square citadel of cool on Wednesday. this looks like the first “wow” gig of the year and shouldn’t be missed.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Big Apple Blues – Tomas Docker Band – Yusef Komunyakaa and Tomas Doncker concern themselves with what people do and don’t do for each other, with a sidetrip to Alabama and a layover in Fun City.
An album about how the blues moved from the South to the North, from the plantations in Atlanta to the Church storefronts of Brooklyn, the story of how the blues came to New York City and what it did when it got here. Perfect subject matter for rock nyc’s album of the year.
In Doncker’s hands, it is a warning and a prayer. It says, we better stop shooting and stop looting,w e better raise our kids and teach the cops, or we will discover exactly what is so unfunny about peace, love and understanding.
Big Apple Blues – Tomas Docker Band – Yusef Komunyakaa and Tomas Doncker concern themselves with what people do and don’t do for each other, with a sidetrip to Alabama and a layover in Fun City.
The vibe was magical, it was like watching a preacher converting people to Christianity, Doncker was converting people to the blues and you could see the kids come alive, perk up, smile, like they couldn’t believe how great it was. Like they were being changed.
This is an electrified tour de force, a statement on the art of the art of music and an important addition to the myth that is New York City. It has been called a journey through black America but that is to damn it with faint praise. This isn’t about black people, it is about what human people should and do and don’t do for each other.
If you were at the True Groove All Stars Blue Note gig this summer, you already know “Can’t Say No” and on the album it is surrounded by the title track on one side and “The New Day”, between the three it is one of the great album opening, it reminds me of the first side of My Aim Is True, you can’t believe your ears.
Time is always a valuable commodity but now it is an impossible commidy in the heart of a week with so much great music all around me that I don’t even know what to tell you. I can’t find the time to hear everything I want to, I do’t have enough ears to keep up with this week
This should be a blast and more importantly a place for Doncker and the many groups and singers of all types and styles his label presents, to test drive material off their upcoming releases. Including September 9ths eagerly anticipated “FUNKY WORLD,” True Groove’s Club/Dub/Dance compilation, which you can stream here
Moanin’ At Midnight – Tomas Doncker Band – Rewrites the story of Howlin’ Wolf for the 21st century by a man who defies pigeonholes, especially blues pigeonholes, but finds himself a blues star despite himself.
A few of my own personal favorites of an overall brilliant set were the absolutely on fire Smokestack Lightning toward the end (this is where TD broke his second string) and a medley he did of some songs from a forthcoming record, co-written by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, as well as the aforementioned David Barnes harp solo
The Ariana song promises well for her upcoming album, at the every least there is two good songs on it, “Break Away” is poppier than the hip hop flava “Problem”. Otherwise, Doncker’s vocal has to heard to be believe and just about every single thing here has real value.
His voice had the rumbling power of a train in the still of night roaring through a small town. And while he slammed every song hard, some might claim too hard, his guitar playing could be very nimble indeed, letting a couple of smartly placed notes replace a solo before playing fast runs near the neck of the guitar.
What are you doing today? Me, I am heading over to Metlife to check out Jay Z and Beyonce and then heading out early to get to the Bluenote by 1230am and catch the Tomas Doncker Band for a Howlin’ at Midnight gig, TDB release party for their best blues album of the year Moanin’ At Midnight
Typical Girls – The Slits – M.I.A. mentioned the late great Ari Upp at yesterdays Webster Hall gig, and listening to this great song from back when the fractured rhythms sound so much like an ancestor of M.I.A. and in a way the entire modern House scene it is worrying, it makes you think we didn’t give the Slits their due – A
Tomas always sees a better tomorrow, he always sees a world where everything gets better through love and community and while he bristles in anger which his eleven piece band feeds off, in the end his answer is one voice, one love.
My Top 18 Albums Of 2013: # 18 – This Is The Tomas Doncker Band's Howling Wolf EP -We Hope He Likes It
“Spoonful” is enormously difficult to play simply because it has been covered so much from every angle but this is a head rock and roll muscular version, the sexiness of “Shook Down” is shaken off through so much aggression, so much passion: it’s like you wanna say, Tomas, testify man, testify.