Hard Proof Afrobeat
The Austin-based collective of musicians known as Hard Proof are the sole purveyors of African funk in the state of Texas. Locally produced and internationally-inspired, they have established a following as Austin's best-known Afrobeat group. They don't just play Afrobeat per se, but funk and jazz music from and inspired by the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. If you enjoy listening to heavy horns and funky polyrhythms with tropical, mystical undertones, don't miss out on Hard Proof. Their sounds will both stimulate your brain and move your feet.
Members of Hard Proof also perform with bands such as Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Ocote Soul Sounds, Echocentrics, Calm Blue Sea and Cougar.
What the critics are saying about Hard Proof:
"The task of any Afrobeat ensemble is to first prove that they're well-versed in the classics and then bring something new to the conversation. Austin nine piece Hard Proof Afrobeat does exactly that on a stirring self-titled debut that kick-starts with 30 seconds of hard funk fury and closes with a mournful jazz melody over sparse percussion that only loosely operates within the framework of Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. From the dark psychedelic marauding of "Stolen Goods" to the Ethiopique groove of "Jimma", Hard Proof crafts moody instrumentals that lean more toward Budos Band than Antibalas. A rumbling baritone sax churns the hypnotizing crawl of "Mahout", while the brass (which splits time with Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears) blows hard on "No Consideration" and freaks out on "M.E.N.D." The best of the band's brooding grooves border prove Afrobeat is alive in Austin. This debut is Hard Proof." -Austin Chronicle
"Austin nine-piece Afrobeat outfit Hard Proof hardly need to prove themselves as a great Afrobeat group, their music stands for itself. Their debut album came out last fall, and it is filled with instrumentals informed by the group's great sense of melody and rhythm." - KUT's Texas Music Matters
"What is appealing about Hard Proof is [sic.] the elements of jazz, funk and African rhythms that they fuse together to create a unique sound. While there are many talented musicians in Austin and an equal number of great bands, Hard Proof offers fans something out-of-the-ordinary in terms of the local music scene." - Greg Ackerman - Austin Concerts Examiner (examiner.com)
photo by Bert McLendon http://bertmclendon.zenfolio.com/