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Soulive Members Divide, Then Conquer

Of the Oakland Press

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The three members of Soulive planned to take some time off after its 2007 album “No Place Like Soul” — and they kept the band on ice for the better part of a year.

But a bit of happenstance brought the funk-jazz trio back together for what turned into the new “Up Here” album.

“We didn’t really have any intentions to record an album,” says drummer Alan Evans, who brought his brother Neal and Eric Krasno into his western Massachusetts studio last fall “just to get together, hang out and do some playing.

“When we got together, each of us had a few ideas for tunes. We just kind of jumped into it and the songs started coming and we said, ‘Well, let’s try to get some stuff down, and we’ll just see what happens. It definitely wasn’t like, ‘This is the album. We’ve got to do this and that.’ It was just about hanging out and having fun.”

“Up Here” is also Soulive’s first release on its own label, Royal Family Records, which the trio launched after an unsatisfying experience with the reactivated Stax imprint on “No Place Like Soul.” Both projects also come as the New York group celebrates its 10th anniversary, though Evans says the trio is celebrating it “a little less than some other people, maybe.

“As it was coming up, we had managers and different people talking about it, but I don’t really want to make a big deal out of it,” explains Evans, 35. “It’s a cool milestone. I think we’ve learned a lot over the years, but there’s a lot more music to be made.

“I just feel we’re a lot smarter now. We feel a lot more comfortable with ourselves and the music that we want to make. I think that’s very apparent with this new album. So we’re more about the next 10 years.”

Soulive featuring the Shady Horns and the Nigel Hall Band perform Saturday (April 25) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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