Nth Power Album Review by Kathleen Orlando, Photography by Steven Philips
The Nth Power, a band formed at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz fest after a fatefully fortuitous soundcheck, is absolutely on the “coming up” list. Made of of drummer Nikki Glaspie – known for the 5 years she spent working with Beyonce before moving on to Dumpstaphunk; bassist Nate Edgar – of Groovechild and John Brown’s Body fame; guitarist Nick Cassarino – of the Jennifer Hartswick Band and Big Daddy Kane; master percussionist Weedie Braimah (a 2013 addition) – who, being a 111th generation percussionist, literally has the beat in his blood; and vocalist/keyboardist Courtney J’Mell Smith (who replaced Nigel Hall, although Hall’s talent can still be heard on their new album); the Nth Power brings world beat rhythms to a soulful rock sound, intertwining them funk, R&B, and an improv ability that rivals many other bands on the scene right now. You can look to the Nth Power as a band that sets the bar high, focusing on their love of music and humanity as a whole, elevating themselves and their audience with every song. For the Nth Power, music is their higher power, and their songs are impactful and spiritual, with every member working together on songwriting. The results are tight songs with powerful lyrics and live performances that are perfectly cohesive, all coming together to form a self-branded genre known as “Love”.
Their first full-length album, “Abundance”, was released a few days ago on the 13th, after 3 years of nearly non-stop touring. “Abundance” was recorded in New Orleans and produced by Ira Schickman, who you may be familiar with as also producing for Chaka Khan and ‘N Sync. This album is Nth’s attempt to break out from the jam band scene and steer their talents towards radio-ready hits, further spreading their feel-good vibes. “Abundance” features soulful ballads with Nth’s usual funky grooves, the result being an almost old school R&B feel that I forsee translating well to their intended media (it’ll be so gratifying to hear these guys on the radio!). They also get their jam time in, with two instrumental tracks and a spattering of more rock-sounding riffs peppering a few of their songs (they obviously had a ton of fun with “Soul Survivor”). “Abundance” captures the versatility and emotiveness of the band, and manages to capture the connection they have with their audiences during live shows.
You can catch the Nth Power with Dopapod this Saturday at the TLA. Hope to see you there!
WHO: Dopapod, with The Nth Power
WHEN: Saturday, November 21 Doors 7:00 P.M., Show 9:00 P.M.
WHERE: Theater of Living Arts, 334 South St., Philadelphia, PA