Sonny Knight & The Lakers
|Date/Time:||Saturday, 28 Mar 2015 at 9:00 pm|
|Cost:||$7 Students / $12 Public|
|Contact:||Student Union Board|
|Channel:||Student Union Board|
|Categories:||Arts, performances Student activities|
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Like many other groups, opportunities dried up in the 1980s and Sonny found a full time job as a truck driver. Musical work came again in the 1990s when former Valdons vocalists Monroe Wright and Maurice Young extended an invitation to join their new group, The Bachelors. In 2012, The Valdons were featured in Secret Stash Records' compilation Twin Cities Funk & Soul.
The record spawned multiple concerts which reunited musicians and singers from the era to perform for new generations; it also revived The Valdons, for which Wright and Young tapped Knight as a new member. After six months of working together in soul revue shows, Sonny and Secret Stash's Eric Foss formed the group Sonny Knight & The Lakers.
In the spring of 2013, Sonny and the Lakers hit the ground running - playing gigs a few short weeks after their first rehearsal. Within months they had grown into their own as a band. That fall, they spent a long weekend at a cabin in northern Minnesota and it became a defining moment. Staying up late, listening to old 45s, learning gospel songs, and wood shedding tunes was a way for the band to develop a similar vocabulary and refine their direction. It transformed them from a group of good players into a band. When they returned home, they set up a string of performances and residencies in Minneapolis and St. Paul. As they honed the craft of putting on a great live show, they built a following of fans. By the end of their residency at the Eagles Club in south Minneapolis, virtually no breaks interrupted or slowed down their live sets. Non-stop rehearsals and live performances helped The Lakers tighten up their sound. That, coupled with the inspiration found during the cabin trip, laid the ground work for recording an album.
The group released their debut album, I'm Still Here, in April 2014. The album covers a wide range of tempos and soul forms. Since the Lakers were spearheaded by a reissue label focused on obscure music, the band encompasses more than just Motown and Stax inspired sounds. The many hours spent digging for and listening to forgotten sixties and early seventies soul and funk records have practically oozed into the rehearsal space and studio. What stands out most are the strong performances by the band and Sonny's exuberance and energy.