Saturday, April 18, 2015

K is for Kool and the Gang & Kathy Foster

Kool and the Gang is an American band that was formed in the early 60s, best known for their sound of jazz, soul and funk.  Khalis Bayyan (AKA Ronald Bell), Robert "Kool" Bell, Robert "Spike" Mickens, Dennis "Dee Tee" Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown and Charles Smith formed the band in 1964. They went through many name changes before settling on Kool and the Gang. They released their first self- titled album in 1969; this album was centered more around their jazz sound but nonetheless earned them a spot on the Billboard R&B charts for their hit single "Kool and the Gang" and also "Let The Music Take Your Mind".   
    During the 70s the band began to incorporate the funk sound, that was very popular at the time into their music, pushing out such hits as "Funky Man", "I Want To Take You Higher" and in the later 70s "Funky Stuff", "Hollywood Swinging" and "Jungle Bokie". For me this era of their career is what puts them on this list. Although their sound was classified as R&B with a bit of jazz and funk; they were not easily put into a box, their sound, like that of the Parliament Funkadelic, Sly and The Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix Experience were all ahead of their time. This band had already transcended to the future, the rest of just needed to catch up.
  According to the official website:Kool and The Gang, the band has sold over 70 million albums worldwide and to this day is the most sampled band of all time. Today, the band continues to tour, in fact they are on tour right now!


Kathy Foster is a bassist for the punk band The Thermals and the drummer for the "All Girl Summer Fun Band". She is also contributes backing vocals, guitar and keyboard. Originally from Sunnyvale, California, she moved to Portland, OR in 1998 where she met Hutch Harris. The band formed officially in 2002 and began playing live shows which grew them a local following. The band started as a four member band and eventually settled on being a trio, changing the line up of their band often. The (Past members of the band were: Jordan Hudson, Ben Barnett, Caitlin Love, Lorin Love, Lorin Coleman and Joel Burrows). Afterwards, the band went on to be comprised of Kathy Foster on bass, Hutch Harris leading vocals and Westin Glass on drums.  The band released their first album in 2003. It wasn't until the release of their third album that the band became popular. The band continued to release materials that continued to earn them praise and acclaim and also grew their fan base.    The All Girl Summer Fun Band is an indie pop band of the 2000s. Kathy Foster (drums and vocals), Jen Sbragia (guitar, vocals), Kim Baxter (keyboards, vocals) and Ari Douangpanya (bass, vocals). The band released their first album in 2002, to great praises from publications. The band continued on playing the indie scene and growing their act, eventually going on to play with acts like Modest Mouse and James Mercer of the Shins. In 2003 Ari Douagpanya left the band to focus on her family, while the other members remained as a trio.
   Kathy Foster has continued to lend her talents to many acts; most recently Kathy Foster and Hutch Harris announced via the Thermals website that they will be reissuing their self-titled LP and also that they would be going on tour as of March 21st, 2015. If you're interested in checking them out they have listed their tour dates on their website.


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