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Lubriphonic, opening for Galactic
Wednesday, June 15
Brooklyn Arts Center • 7:30 p.m.
$20-25 •


PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC: Lubriphonic, hailing from Chicago, will offer soulful tunes as they open for Galactic on Wednesday, June 15. Photo by Paul Natkin.

“Groove: to enjoy oneself intensely; to interact harmoniously.” So goes the definition from Merriam-Webster.

The members of Chicago band Lubriphonic know how to revel in their own funky rhythms. Their energy ravishes audiences, and there’s no escaping the desire to dance.

Comprised of talented musicians, the members have worked with many greats, such as Otis Rush, Chuck Berry and Widespread Panic. But it all started when frontman Giles Corey arrived in Illinois at the age of 18. His first gig consisted of playing guitar for blues artist Buddy Scott. Eventually, he formed Lubriphonic with Chicago-bred Rick King (drums).

“Elementally, I guess our music is quintessentially Chicago,” Corey says. “King and I started in the blues scene here, and we played with legends like Koko Taylor. We came to this project with a background in Chicago R&B and soul.”

Pennal Johnson, bassist, grew up in the city’s West Side and was influenced by gospel from the area. The band is rounded out by Leon Q. Allen (trumpet, percussion), Ron Haynes (trumpet), Charles Prophet (saxophone) and Norman Palm (trombone).

“The horns add the funk,” Corey explains. “So, we have gospel, R&B, jazz and soul driving this rock band.”

Lubriphonic will open for Louisiana outfit Galactic on Wednesday, June 15 at Brooklyn Arts Center. The two have never performed together, but Corey believes it is a good pairing.

“There are a lot of parallels between New Orleans and Chicago music,” he says. “There was a lot of movement through the 20th century between the two cities. Legends went back and forth, and I think [Galactic and Lubriphonic] speak the same sort of blues-y, funky language. We get what they’re doing, and they get what we’re doing.”

Lubriphonic makes music that is best served live. In fact, the band prefers to perform for people rather than play in a stuffy recording booth. “Music is supposed to be heard and presented,” Corey says. “The studio is a fantastic artistic palette, and you can do a lot of things with recording, but there’s isolation. The separation of the band is not a very natural environment. When live, there’s a free flow of energy between the band and between the band and the audience.”

Brooklyn Arts Center’s audience can expect a soulful mix, festive and kinetic in the sense that no one’s feet will be able to stay sedentary. Thanks to the horns, the instrumental portions are reminiscent of modern ska, like that of Reel Big Fish. Yet Corey’s voice, coupled with Johnson’s bass, creates a much deeper, soulful mien. King’s percussive style keeps everything moving along at a steady-rockin’ pace. It’s a relationship of sound which works in harmonic cadence.

“We’ve been touring [in this line-up] for a couple years,” the singer divulges. “We’ve merged together as one. There’s not a lot of planning to a show, we just improv on stage. We can hear each other and know. There’s an advantage in getting along and being comfortable together.”

A treat of attending one of Lubriphonic’s concerts is the array of instruments they introduce in one setting. And when the members’ solos strike, the outcome always remains impressive. King wields his drumsticks like musical weapons, and Johnson’s fingers move quicker than an average bassist could ever dream. To hear the horns cackle with force is both exhilarating and gratifying.

Two of the bands most recent, as-yet-to-be-recorded tracks, “Whiskey and Chicken Wings,” provide lively jams. “The audience will get into it,” he says. “Even the wallflowers will start dancing. When they smile, and it makes us want to smile, too.”

Tickets to the Lubriphonic show are $20 in advance, available at, or $25 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Galactic headline the show.

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