Two New Year’s Eve shows set

Fam­ily Stone

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN360 DAILY - Con­tin­ued from E

and Greg Ericco on drums).

“We just had to find the right peo­ple to get the sound as close as we can to the orig­i­nal Fam­ily Stone,” Martini said. “Now we have all the pieces of the puz­zle and we’re just gonna move for­ward.”

That in­cludes new mem­bers: gui­tarist Nate Wingfield, bassist Blaise Si­son, vo­cal­ist Trina John­son and key­boardist/ vo­cal­ist Alex Davis fill­ing in for Sly Stone.

The funk-rock sound that led the band from play­ing clubs in San Fran­cisco dur­ing the late 1960s, to putting out hit records, to rock­ing as a head­liner at Woodstock along with Jimi Hen­drix and Ja­nis Jo­plin, is unique, and cur­rent band mem­bers have no prob­lems not play­ing new mu­sic and fo­cus­ing their set in­stead on the hits of the past.

“We knew that we were to­tally dif­fer­ent (from what was hap­pen­ing mu­si­cally back then),” Martini said. “We knew that Sly was the great­est mu­sic writer I’ve ever met, or ever seen in my life. His lyric writ­ing, his con­tent, what he did with har­monies.

“I Want to Take You Higher,” “Hot Fun in the Sum­mer­time” and “Fam­ily Af­fair,” are all on the group’s cur­rent setlist, as well as some deeper cuts from what some crit­ics, in­clud­ing this writer, see as one of the most poignantly beau­ti­ful al­bums in rock mu­sic’s his­tory, the 1971 clas­sic, “There’s a Riot Go­ing On.”

With “Riot,” “the mu­sic got a lit­tle darker, which was rep­re­sen­ta­tive of all the tur­moil that was go­ing on (in the band and in so­ci­ety) at that time, but it’s still bril­liant,” drum­mer Greg Ericco said dur­ing the same re­cent in­ter­view. “The song­writ­ing is just ... I mean, there’s stuff that is five gen­er­a­tions re­moved from to­day, but the kids are still out there at fes­ti­vals wher­ever we go in the world and they’re into the mu­sic and they un­der­stand it, and it’s amaz­ing.”

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