This past Friday night, Ottawa got down and funky with The Soul Motivators on the occasion of the ensemble’s EP Release Party at the Mercury Lounge. The 9-piece vintage funk band from Toronto performed live in the National Capital as part of a mini-tour of four cities meant to promote their latest album comprised of 5 solid tracks infused with retro funk. Inspired and influenced by the likes of James Brown, The New Mastersounds, The Meters, Fela Kuti and Stevie Wonder, the group has been gaining momentum throughout club scenes and festival stages for the past couple of years.
The Soul Motivators kicked off their intimate set without their main singer, which lead some to believe that she wasn’t going to perform at the Ottawa show. After playing three songs however, Soul Sister Lydia Persaud made her way to the stage fashionably-late and joined the rest of the musicians with the help of her silky soulful voice. Persaud has great stage presence, tons of charisma and a big personality that fits right in to the style and sound projected by the musicians.
The talented horn-section, comprised of trombonist Nathan Dell-Vandenberg, trumpetist Thomas Moffett and saxophonist Dominique Morier, was extremely skilled and entertaining as the trio acted as back-up dancers and singers at times, clearly not taking themselves too seriously.
The Soul Motivators’ set list included the buzzing singles Until the Sun Comes Down and Gravy Train along with Walk Away, Your One Last Chance and Live a Lil not performed in that order.
Their hour and 30 minute set, paused by a short break, flew by as the group’s connection with the crowd made for an extremely lively and energizing performance. With a live show like this, it’s nearly impossible to stay still. You simply can’t fight the contagious soul sounds that seem to take control over every abled body on the dance floor and the crowd ends up moving and grooving along to every song. At one point, Persaud even thanked the crowd for consistently dancing to the group’s new music in a celebration of their new EP.
The Soul Motivators’ refreshing live performance delivered a strong dose of soul food rooted in deep funk to Ottawa music enthusiasts.
If you like Ottawa’s own The Souljazz Orchestra, do yourself a favor and check out this must-see show next time the ensemble stops by Canada’s National Capital.
To find out more about The Soul Motivators, visit their official website and grab their new EP if you like their sound. Your ears and soul will thank you for it!