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Turkuaz Riding High Following High Sierra, Now Funking Up Winstons OB

Brooklyn-based nine-piece (or ten depending on your perspective) Turkuaz has embarked on an extensive west coast summer tour. Fortunately for these guys and gals, their tour began with a rowdy late-night set at the renowned High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, CA. This set quickly followed their Thursday night shindig, and they are cruising down the coast to give the folks of San Diego a dose of funk-rock that will surely blow the rafters out of Winstons Ocean Beach.

San Diego Music Examiner recently spoke with guitarist/vocalist/songwriter David Brandwein while the band was picking up some essentials at an undisclosed Guitar Center in southern California.

Brandwein seemed enthused about this tour, especially after kicking off with such a cherished slot at High Sierra.

"When we're not on tour (about 200 plus days a year), our beds are in Brooklyn," said Brandwein. "That being the case, it is great to get out this way at least twice a year. Now that we've been playing some venues that are familiar with us, the crowds and sets have proved much more beneficial."

Well this band, which when on stage appear as though they will make it collapse, has plenty to be proud of. Just last April, they released their album, Future 86, as well as a live album, A Live Affair - both of which are now available on iTunes. Though they constantly seem to be on tour, it is a thing of beauty that they find time to work in new originals, which are an organic blend of funk and rock; twisted with all members' unique personalities.

"When you tour as much as we do, we really make it a point to come up with new tunes to avoid becoming stale," said Brandwein. "Typically, I (or one of us) will come up with a groove, then we all collaborate to find our parts, and then I come in and write out the lyrics."

While it is easy to jump to a comparison between Turkuaz and the Talking Heads, that would prove to be an oversimplification. Brandwein feels that they are truly as much of a rock or soul act as they are a funk band. Like most aspects of music, however, once you start labeling things you may tend to miss the underlying meaning. To those in the audience they are a group of extremely talented musicians who know how to have a damn good time.

Turkuaz, being the music animal that they are, will be hitting the studio in Syracuse, NY this September to work on both an EP and full-length album due out early 2015. Brandwein said that they will also be recording some in his home studio.

As the band continues to grow and build up a large following, surely headlining festivals and packing auditoriums are in their near future - but that is not what they're out for. This tribe is in for music in the form of James Brown and George Clinton, and will refuse to play otherwise. Though they are a young band (most are twenty-five to twenty-eight), they 'got some 'ole soul. Their ability to create wholly original music, while also not taking themselves too seriously is a tremendous sign of a band built to crush it for years to come.

If one is living in the San Diego area, they would be foolhardy to miss their show at Winstons in Ocean Beach tonight, July 10. Surely the place will be packed and the whole audience will be gettin' down with their bad-selves.