Chattanooga Now Power funk band Turkuaz gets personal at Songbirds

Chattanooga Now Power funk band Turkuaz gets personal at Songbirds

October 10th, 2018 by Barry Courter in Chattnow Music

Power funk band Turkuaz takes the stage at Songbirds on Oct. 11. ( photo)

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If you go

› Where: Songbirds Guitar Museum, 35 Station St. (North), 41 Station St. (South)

› When: 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, South stage
› Admission: $15

› When: 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, South stage
› Admission: $14 in advance, $16 day of show

› When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 (North stage)
› Admission: $15

› When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 (South stage)
› Admission: $12 in advance, $15 day of show

› When: 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14 (South stage)
› Admission: $20

› For more information: 423-531-2473

For their first three albums, Turkuaz, the nine-piece power-funk outfit from New York, tried to copy their live sound in the studio. With their last two, "Digitonium" and "Life in the City," frontman Dave Brandwein says the band decided to flip it and create an entire album in the studio and then rework the songs to work live.

"It's been a little bit in reverse," he says.

"With the first three, we had played the songs live in our shows, had them all worked out and went in to duplicate them in the studio. Capturing what we do live is hard to do."

Their live shows, like the one they will do Thursday, Oct. 11, at Songbirds South, is a mix of funk, pop, R&B, Afro-pop, New Wave and anything else that makes people get up and move.

Turkuaz is Dave Brandwein, guitar, vocals; Taylor Shell, bass; Craig Brodhead, guitar, keys; Michelangelo Carubba, drums; Chris Brouwers, trumpet, keys; Greg Sanderson, tenor sax; Josh Schwartz, baritone sax, vocals; Sammi Garett and Shira Elias, vocals.

With "Life in the City," Brandwein says it was his intention to just go into the studio and let it flow. But after a bit, he noticed there was a common theme running through most of the songs.

He says he prefers to let each song speak to the individual listener, but says they all deal in some way with self-discovery and shutting out the distractions.

"I think 'Like in the City' is based more in reality; it has some personal stuff and some of the stuff has a darker tone. Musically, it represents a wide spectrum of what we do."

Making a guest appearance as producer on a few of the numbers is Talking Heads drummer Jerry Harrison, as well as E.T. Thorngren, the man who engineered the Heads' "Stop Making Sense" film and soundtrack. For Brandwein, the chance to work with the two was special on many levels.

"The Talking Heads and most specifically their film and soundtrack, 'Stop Making Sense," was a huge, huge influence on Taylor and I when we started the band."

He says that scope of the show visually and sonically was huge for them. To be able to pick their brains on things, even little things, was amazing, he says.

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

Praise for Turkuaz

“Power funk nine-piece Turkuaz thrilled the [Bonnaroo] crowd with its grooving bass lines, soaring horns and roaring guitars.” #8212; Entertainment Weekly; Bonnaroo 2017 Top Ten Highlights

“Turkuaz’s rapid ascension to relevance can be aptly compared to how fast and focused they play onstage.” — Relix

“This Brooklyn-based nine-piece delivers horn-filled funk incorporating elements of R&B, psychedelic pop, gospel, Afro-pop, New Wave, classic rock, and just about any genre that gets people dancing.” — The New Yorker