Cool Cool Cool - Raleigh NC 3-6-2024

Cool Cool Cool brought their infectious grooves to the Lincoln Theater in Raleigh!

After the unexpected demise of one of my favorite funk bands in 2022, Turkuaz, I was like most of their fans, very disappointed.  Fortunately the majority of the former members didn't waste much time before conjuring up a plan to change course. Suddenly like a Phoenix, rising from the ashes of that fiery collapse, a new band was born that they collectively named Cool Cool Cool.   A fresh vision based off of their experiences on the road and the tight relationships that they formed touring together for over a decade.

The band consists of a an incredibly dynamic duo of female lead vocalists. Sammi Garett and Shira Elias gracefully take turns sharing the spotlight and support each other's solo vocal performances with harmony. They also do an incredible job engaging audiences with showmanship. Craig Brodhead, plays lead guitar, keyboard and synthesizer. The horn section of the band consists of Chris Brouwers, who plays trumpet, but also fills in with keys and synthesizer to help add to the bands sometimes swirling sound. Greg Sanderson, adds more layers into the mix with the tenor saxophone and electronic wind instrument (EWI). The addition of baritone saxophone and vocals delivered by Josh Schwartz helps to round out their sound.  As for the rhythm section, not currently listed in the lineup for the band, but present on stage in Raleigh was bassist Digo Zambrano who's been traveling with the band for just over a year made sure to keep things funky. The band's drummer, Michael Carubba, brings that infectious back beat that gets the crowds dancing. The group makes impossible to keep your body from moving to the serious grooves being laid down. The result was alchemy, like a magic concoction creating their own unique blend of the best of Funk, Rhythm and Blues and House music. 

In 2023, Cool Cool Cool spent a lot of time traveling as the backing band for the Talking Heads tribute, Remain In Light.  Formed by Jerry Harrison, guitarist and keyboard player with the Talking Heads and Adrian Belew, who was an ancillary member, also known for his work with David Bowie, King Crimson, and with many others. Back in December 2023, that tour announced some more Summer dates for 2024 if you haven't had a chance to see this performance, I cannot recommend enough catching this show while you can.

This year Cool Cool Cool is ready to finally strike out on their own to show audiences their new vision for their music.  Last week, fresh off their appearance on Jam Cruise, Raleigh was lucky to be their first stop back on this new tour. We were the beneficiary of the the band's added excitement of bringing their new music out in front of a live audiences, as they continued the launch of their Never Noticed Tour, titled after their first debut single "Never Noticed"  You can take a look at where the tour will be in the upcoming weeks at the bands web site 

The show was a wonderful reunion of some of my favorite musicians and their fans celebrating the magic that only live music brings. The chemistry that comes from both sides of the stage allows us to live in the moments that allow our troubles to be forgotten as we slip into the gift that is, living in the present. 

Local artists, Chill Paxton warmed up the crowd. I could tell they were all seasoned players,  A few of the members were multi-instrumentalists. During their set those players swapped roles between guitars, drums, bass and keys, as well as vocals. I found out that the members were North Carolina based musicians from the bands Pseudo Blue and Guard The Van who merged to form this act. I will look for another opportunity to see them and would recommend that you consider giving them a listen too. 


Words and Photos by:  Jerry Friend