Monday, December 9, 2013
Denton band Snarky Puppy snags Grammy nomination
When the band leader heard the news Friday, he thought it was a joke. And then his phone started buzzing.
DENTON Superstars like Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake may not have been surprised to see their names on the roster of Grammy nominations. It was a total shock for Michael League, founder of the Denton instrumental group Snarky Puppy, who found his band's name listed as one of five nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Performance.
Snarky Puppy's song "Something" featuring soul singer Lalah Hathaway will compete in the Grammy category against: "How Many Drinks?" (Miguel featuring Kendrick Lamar); "Nakamarra" (Hiatus Kaiyote featuring Q-Tip); "Best of Me" (Anthony Hamilton); and "Love and War" (Tamar Braxton).
League was stunned by the news, he said. He and a rotating group of jazz and funk musicians have played 184 shows so far in 2013 and said their music is largely underground. "We rented our vans and trailers and loaded our gear and set up everything ourselves every night we've played, for almost a decade ... Everything has been really, 100-percent fan to artist -- underground. Kind of like hacking your way through the jungle. This is actually, literally, the first moment where we've had an experience that isn't underground," he said.
Snarky Puppy is made up, in part, of former University of North Texas jazz students. Many of its current members -- which is somewhere around 30 to 35 people -- live in Brooklyn. The rest live in Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Toronto and London and play in bands you might heard of, such as Erykah Badu, The Polyphonic Spree, Roy Hargrove's RH Factor and Yo-Yo Ma.
"Something" is a groovy jam off the band's latest CD Family Dinner - Volume One. The song features trumpet, flute, snarling bass line and even a backup choir. (They're worth the wait, at the 4:40 mark.)
Snarky Puppy feat. Lalah Hathaway - “Something” (Family Dinner - Volume One)
The album Family Dinner - Volume One, released in September, features a guest singer on each track, backed by the Snarky Puppy band. The band goes on tour in January and hits Prophet Bar in Dallas February 18, the same day they plan to release their newest live DVD from a session in the Netherlands.
They play Hailey's in Denton February 19.
Snarky Puppy joins several musicians with North Texas roots on the Grammy nomination list. Some of those include: Kelly Clarkson, up for Best Country Duo/Group Performance; Edie Brickell, for Best American Roots Song and Best Americana Album; and Kacey Musgraves, nommed in four categories.
See the list of all Grammy nominations here.
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