BRADENTON -- “Memento,” the first single from Bradenton’s soulful funk-rock outfit Wild Root, was released digitally this Saturday via SoundCloud. Recorded with producer/engineer Mauricio Hernandez at his 8-beat Audio music production house in Sarasota. “Memento” is the first of three (3) singles the band will unveil over the next few months.
“These guys are great to work with,” says Hernandez. “When the talent and vision is there, it makes my job a whole lot easier—We only spent 5-hours tracking ‘Memento.’”
Wild Root is a hardworking band that established it’s name by means of seemingly incessant gigging. The last week that went by without a Wild Root show would be difficult to remember, and the last Wild Root show that wasn’t jam-packed with grooving fans even more so. And with this release, the band that has become almost synonymous with “Bradenton night-life” has officially set themselves apart from the rest of the 10 p.m. - 2 a.m rockers in town; because an original effort—and especially one as solid as “Memento”—is the kind of thing that will push a “bar-band” to the next level. In fact, it would not be surprising to see Wild Rood step into the world of showcased music in the near future.
I’ve been listening to “Memento” all afternoon. It is a good song: a song for the middle-twenties—that bitter sweet part of life that is exciting and devastating, horrifying and beautiful. Lyrics like “Can’t fight/ Can’t learn/ Can’t see what I should discern—I feel so twisted” speak to a generation that is more lost than Ernest Hemingway or F. Scott Fitzgerald ever were, and it is independent artists like Wild Root who truly tap into that source, regardless of what Miley Cyrus thinks about her own contributions to pop.
Lead singer/guitarist Paul Fournier’s voice is huge, and executed with total soul; backup vocals and harmony provided by bassist Luke Wright are right on point, and add to the inspirational nature of the sound; percussionist James Hershey delivers his thorough, yet mellow accompaniment with the kind of harnessed chops that the best drummers in music are known for; and throughout “Memento” Justin Green blows a long blues—his saxophone cascading and fading, lifting the lyrics up high and then hiding behind them, before finally emerging for a perfect lead.
To celebrate the release, as well as frontman Fournier’s 25th birthday, Wild Root took the stage Saturday night at Dcoy Ducks on Anna Maria Island—a choice venue for the occasion, as there is a certain energy that pulses in that bar on weekend nights.
The band went on at 10 p.m, and by 11 the bar was packed—completely jammed with boiling humans. By midnight, the place was ready to explode. One young man wearing a white V-neck t-shirt and backward cap, set the floor up front on fire with a ferocious boogie. In a matter of minutes, he was surrounded by a mob of beautiful women who brought nothing but oil tio burn.
Throughout the 4-hour set that included Wild Root’s original catalogue, and a long list of hits like Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis,” “The Cave” by Mumford & Sons, and a funked out verson of the 1994 classic “Gin and Juice” by rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg, Wild Root turned Dcoys into an atomic orgy. I have no doubt that if Paul, Luke, Justin and James maintain the blitzkrieg they started 7-months ago, their band will become one that is known nationally.
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