published Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Dishwater Blonde gets funky at Rhythm & Brews

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Davis Mitchell

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    Contributed Photo
    Members of Dishwater Blonde are Davis Mitchell (lead vocal/guitar), Robby Mathis (bass/vocal), Cozmo Hollaway (guitar), Nakia (vocals) and Gerald Ware (drums).

As far as the members of Dishwater Blonde are concerned, Marvin Gaye had it right when he sang "Sexual Healing." They're determined to follow suit and funk the bad right out of you.

Dishwater Blonde's sound, which blends the irresistible groove of funk with the passion of soul, is always built around a positive message that will have the audience on its feet, lead singer Davis Mitchell said.

"(Funk) moves your butt, and if your butt gets to shaking and you have a good time, everything else falls away," he said. "It helps you not think about the drama in your life or the hard times you're going through.

"Combine all that with a positive message ... and you kind of get medicine for the soul."

They'll be doling out the medicine to the masses Saturday at Rhythm & Brews alongside the local soul/funk outfit The Distribution.

The seeds of the Knoxville-based band were planted in the late '90s when Mitchell and bassist Robby Mathis traded tunes while camped outside Thompson-Boling Arena waiting for Prince tickets.

After suffering through some hard times thanks to a drug and alcohol addiction, Mitchell said, he found salvation at a motivational speaking event He said he and Mathis decided that low point was ultimately a lesson and that music was the right outlet to deliver the answers they'd found.

Far from wearing Bibles on their sleeves, however, Mithcell said their music is spiritual in a nonovert way, and the energy you'd expect from a live funk band is there in full force.

"Everybody does a great job of putting themselves out there and being themselves," he said. "If there are 10 people in the room, I play like there are 10,000.

"I definitely engage the audience. That's one of the best things about funk music, in general -- it's not a spectator sport."



* What: Dishwater Blonde and The Distribution concert.

* When: 10 p.m. Saturday.

* Where: Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.

* Admission: $7.

* Phone: 267-4644.

* Venue Web site:

* Related links at


2004: "Dishwater Blonde"

2005: "Second Coming"

2007: "One Tribe"


"We just write about what's in our hearts, really, and we hope it inspires people. It's not always a deep, theological thing. Sometimes, it's just the spirit of the groove." -- Davis Mitchell, on the intent of Dishwater Blonde's music


* Dishwater Blonde is known for wearing suits onstage, even in the infamous, sweltering heat of Bonnaroo.

* Dishwater Blonde backup singer Nakia is a fan of The Police.

* One of lead singer Davis Mitchell's former bands was a jam/funk band called Mr. Skinny.


Dishwater Blonde lead singer Davis Mitchell said the band is currently in the process of paring down about two dozen songs to a number feasible for recording for their next project. Fans can expect bits and pieces of that unnamed album to begin appearing on the Web early next year with an album tentatively scheduled for spring.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, young adults, technology and people of interest. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German. He previously worked as the features editor for Sidelines at Middle Tennessee State University. Casey received the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence for Reviewing/Criticism in ...

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