The Commotions have sidestepped the lightweight pop craze and taken the back roads straight into the hearts of their loyal followers, earning unwavering support from the true lovers of genuine, unsullied soul music. This 12-piece, sharply dressed, an original throwback to the days of Motown is an evolved collection of Canada’s top funk & jazz players – many of whom have ties with Barrhaven.
The band’s new album entitled Volume II is a follow up from their 2013 release, Let Me See Ya Dance, featuring Delbert Nelson from the Legendary Funk Brothers (Motown Records). Musical Director/Songwriter/Saxophonist Brian Asselin collaborated with Delbert Nelson while touring with the Funk Brothers. Both quickly realized their mutual love for soul music and decided to record an album together with fellow songwriters David Gaw and Steve Berndt. You might have heard a couple tracks from their 2013 release on TV shows such as HBO’s Looking as well as ABC’s The Fosters.
The new CD is somewhat of a rebirth of the band musical director Brian Asselin states:
“The band is still all about making people dance and feel good but I am really excited about the line up we have on the album, it’s not every day I get to work with such fantastic musicians and songwriters – this band is my dream come true”.
The current line up of the band includes a full rhythm section, two main vocalists, a backup singer and a five-piece horn section. Having such a big ensemble doesn’t seem to be an issue the group claims. It’s all about the music.
This new CD is packed with amazing talent. Fronting the band is both Rebecca Noelle (1st runner-up on TVA’s La Voix, The Peptides) and Jeff Rogers (The Cooper Brothers and Silver Creek) on vocals. Both musicians have very successful careers on their own but have decided to bring their talents to the project.
Here’s an example of Rebecca Noelle’s vocal work with The Commotions.
Check out the band’s first single entitled Let Me Kiss You Baby
The band’s musical director, Brian Asselin, is also no stranger to the stage performing with such bands as The Legendary Funk Brothers, The Temptations, Mary Wilson (The Supremes), The Four Tops, Rebecca Noelle, The Jivewires just to name a few. Born and raised in Barrhaven, Brian (along with his twin brother Jeff – the bands’ drummer) the Asselins quickly found their passion for music performing in school bands and taking as many private lessons as they could. Studying as a jazz saxophonist gave Brian a unique take on harmony and combined with his love for Soul and Pop music his songwriting technique began to expand.
“The best thing I ever did was co-write. This gave me a chance to collaborate with both Rebecca Noelle and David Gaw to strengthen and solidify the music” says Brian. The bands writing team has been a trio right from the very start of this record. As well, the bands’ trombonist Steve Berndt has contributed two of his songs, Come Clean and Last Look.
From the funky James Brown vibe of Bad Girl to pop sounds of Let Me Kiss You Baby there is enough on this album to satisfy all your sonic needs – there is even a bit of disco for those wanting to take those bell bottom jeans out of their closet one more time.
If the band’s line up wasn’t enough to peak your interests just take a look at the special guests. Ottawa’s own Juno award-winning Steve Marriner provides Harmonica on Don’t Walk Away, Petr Cancura adds his talent to the heartwarming Loving You and Canadian Soul Legend Jarvis Church takes it home on Say Yes To Me Tonight.
“We really wanted to get Jarvis on this album. Personally, I have been listening to him since the 90s when he was fronting The Philosopher Kings and I have always loved his voice – working with him was a highlight of my career” Brian adds.
The band is looking at hitting the stage as soon as possible, you can hear them at Babylon Nightclub on December 1st or make the trip down to Toronto to 3030 on December 7th. The Commotions command every room they play, drawing in audiences with their sizzling brass section, thumping backbeat, and sensitive ballads. Click on a link below for more information.