In today’s entertainment world it is virtually impossible to keep up with all the good music out there. It’s even more difficult when your tastes are all over the map like mine. There are sub-genres to the sub-genres and it seems like every day there is a new artist to check out. So here are some picks to satisfy others of you out there whom may also have a diverse musical palette.

WATER SEED

Funk, jazz, horns, keys, dance, soul, charisma and melody! That, and so much more, makes up the New Orleans band known as Water Seed. Revered as one of the best bands that New Orleans has to offer, Water Seed has just begun a tour with an early stop in Chicago and dates that will take them across the US for almost all of 2018. The groups’ new album Say Yeah!!! Live At The Blue Nile drops June 22 and their song Messed Up just premiered on Billboard.

Bands like this are best appreciated live and that is what makes a live recorded album the second best thing to having them in front of you. The soul and heart of Water Seed’s are not not only through their music but also through their presence on stage. The band’s sound is a little disco, a little retro, and a little R&B, all wrapped up in a unique flavor of funk. It really is no surprise their previous album “We Are Stars” hit the Billboard Top 40. Below you can check out the video for Messed Up as it recently premiered.

RED BARAAT

If Ozomatli had a Dhol drum playing band of cousins, it would be Red Baraat! This New York “Brooklyn Bhangra” fusion band plays a crazy amount of dates throughout the US, and across the pond. And, as they perform some of the most important festivals and events across the glone this summer, Red Baraat will also present their new album “Sound The People”, which hits the market on June 29.

In this fifth album, Red Baraat promises an evolution of the band’s signature sound, taking their colorful style to yet another level and described as Bhangra music with “a psyched out twist”. Born in 20th century India, Bhangra has an interesting history and Red Baraat has pushed the limits of this genre even further. Best described as a celebration of life and their energetic live performances are proof to this. Sound The People is definitely high on my list of upcoming downloads but, like most bands in this article, you cannot truly enjoy the full impact of Red Baraat until you see them live.

SONIDO GALLO NEGRO

Well, you can’t have a party without cumbia. And, it definitely doesn’t hurt to throw some mambo and cha chá into the mix. And, none of it is as good as it is when it’s done á la Sonido Gallo Negro. A little psychedelic and a lot experimental, SGN is “cosmico”. Listening to Sonido Gallo Negro is like going on a musical trip with no end in sight, but that’s a good thing because the fun is in getting there and you don’t want the journey to stop.

SGN hails from Mexico and they recently introduced their fourth album “Mambo Cosmico”. Love for SGN in Chicago is strong, as they recently headlined Pilsen’s Mole De Mayo and are back to play at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Entertaining live, for their psychedelic tribal masks, trippy sci-fi interpretations of tropical music, and illustrations by Dr. Alderete (whom also plays the theremin in SGN), Sonido Gallo Negro is a must see in person and, if that doesn’t convince you, check out their EPK below for some more convincing.

FREE RADICALS

Not often do you hear of a band where the members range in age from their 20’s to 90’s. But more interesting than that is the Free Radical’s mix of everything from cumbia to funk, from Indian music to African, from punk to salsa, from hip-hop to jazz and more! They seem to have played it all and to have played it everywhere, from street protests to funerals.

The Free Radicals new music release No State Solution just dropped on May 25 and it is a testimony to everything Free Radicals has done in their past six albums, redone and remixed with the help of DJ Sun. The album is filled with instrumental songs, made to dance to on a 25 track music journey (yes “twenty-five” tracks). The Free Rad’s sound speaks more powerful than words which is good since it’s mostly instrumental. However the music is uplifting and fully charged, and the range of genres that they experiment with is evident through and through.

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