The Soul Supporters
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In just a few short years, The Soul Supporters have gone from a humble start at Austin’s iconic Carousel Lounge to becoming a new favorite among Austin roots music fans. They were voted “Best Soul Band” of 2013 on Austin music website Sonic Vault Austin, were featured on the international music video website, Balcony TV, recorded a demo for Ray Benson at Ray’s Bismeaux Studios, and lately they’ve been serving as the backing band for the legendary Barbara Lynn for shows in Austin.
The Soul Supporters play early soul, R’n’B, and blues with a sparse rhythm section, stinging guitar, and breathtaking gospel and blues-tinged vocal harmonies. The band’s equally formidable singers Lauren Cervantes and Angela Miller have picked up the torch of Austin blues sirens like Lou Anne Barton, Angela Strehli, and Marcia Ball, and are carrying it on with incredible harmony vocals that must be heard. Influenced by early R n’B artists like The Ikettes, Sugar Pie DeSanto, and Ruth Brown, the band is brewing a potent non-commercialized concoction of “retro-soul” with a growing number of tradition-inspired originals, and is flooring audiences everywhere they happen to play.
Having grown up in a musical family, hearing her dad’s gospel guitar along with the blues and soul-laden sounds of Houston, Texas, Lauren Cervantes owns songs as soon as soon as she takes the mic, and does justice to a wide variety of styles, from Etta James and Ruth Brown to Amy Winehouse. After leading choirs in central Texas churches for years, Angela Miller brings real-deal gospel fervor, precise harmony arrangements, and an authentic down-home Texas blues vocal style to the band. She’s another musical success story of a deeply-rooted central Texas family that includes cousin Ruthie Foster. On electric bass, Ricky Rees of Lafayette, Louisiana, brings old school groove to the band honed by playing with Bayou State greats Lil’ Buck Senegal, CC Adcock, The Bluerunners, Zydeco Joe Mouton, and the Red Stick Ramblers. Pianist Massimo Gerosa has backed up living legends of American music across Europe, including Wanda Jackson, and also plays with Shaun Young’s Blue Dots and JWW and the Prospectors. His heavy boogie woogie, classic sense of melody, and dead-on rhythmic feel sew up the band’s sound like needle and thread. The band’s ace guitarist, Scott Unzicker, of Fort Worth, Texas, has been bringing tasteful blues guitar to some of Austin’s best blues and roots bands, like Erin Jaimes, Birdlegg, and Mike Milligan, for decades. With tasteful influences of minimalist Texan blues greats like his home town’s favorite son, Anson Funderburgh, Scott brands the Soul Supporter’s unpretentiously-retro sound with scorching blues solos and classic Stax-inspired rhythm. Roomful of Blues alum and newest member of the Soul Supporter family, grammy-nominated drummer Jason Corbiere has quickly established himself as one of the premier drummers in Austin, where he’s also played with WC Clark, Alan Haynes and Dale Watson.