In a mainstream where the word “funky” has been bastardized to define just about anything with a breath of syncopation, we sometimes lose the true meaning of “funk.” Funk is thick. Funk is smelly. Funk is nasty, and you do not, under any circumstances, take funk home to your mother. Funk is the soul of the best party you’ll never tell your children about. Funk is OO Soul.

Formed in 1994 and based in Long Beach, CA, OO Soul is a gritty reflection of the diverse urban culture they hail from. With its notorious reputation for the seedier side of life, it’s no wonder that the local underground has chosen OO Soul as its soundtrack. The music of this “Eight Piece Brotherhood” funks so hard that it will take two washings to get its smell out of your threads. Founded upon the simple premise of creating a live dance band, OO Soul blends classic soul, R&B, and Latin grooves — reminiscent of the JBs and War — all updated nicely with a young, fresh, aggressive edge.

They’ve shared the stage with acts such as Ozomatli, Eek-a-mouse, Greyboy Allstars, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Social Distortion and Francisco Aguabella; They’ve been featured on the soundtracks of independent films, commercials, surf flicks and skate videos; They’ve played nearly every major venue from San Diego to San Francisco; Despite all that, OO Soul’s identity and loyal fan base are tied mostly to their 5-year residency at the world-famous Foothill Club in Signal Hill.

“We put the Foothill on the map. Elvis and Johnny Cash may have been there in the past, but when we started it was a long-forgotten country bar on the wrong side of the tracks,” recalls bassist Steve Armstrong. “Because of our success, the Foothill became a hip venue to play, attracting top acts like L7, Offspring, Reverend Horton Heat, Big Sandy…” Even in the company of national acts, OO Soul’s monthly shows remained the Foothill Club’s biggest parties — always over capacity and setting records for bar sales… at a time when drinks were affordable!

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About the Author

Shea Newkirk

Executive Editor, Long Beach Independent

Shea has been involved in the Long Beach music scene since 2003 helping to promote unsigned, independent bands and musicians through various media including photos, video, event production, and marketing. Founder of LongBeachIndependent.com and Folk Revival Festival as well as a musician with over 15 years experience, Shea has a great ear for finding the best independent music coming out of the local Long Beach music scene.

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