Hard Proof: “Dragon”

This week the Song of the Day will feature artists performing at KUTX’s Map Jam, taking place Saturday, February 15.

Afrobeat originated in Nigeria in the ’70s and gained traction thanks to Fela Kuti, who took his cues from both traditional sources and American funk and soul. Since Kuti’s death in 1997, Afrobeat has spread across the world, even landing in Austin with the local outfit Hard Proof.  Much like the musical melting pop that is Austin, the group mixes their Fela Kuti-inspired sounds with elements of jazz, funk, samba, psychedelia, and more, resulting in a musical stew that can move even the shyest of dancers. The 10-piece ensemble started as a Sunday afternoon side project for members of Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, the Echoccentrics, and the Calm Blue Sea, but it’s quickly grown into a different beast altogether.

The best way to experience Hard Proof is through their high-energy, frenetic live shows, and today’s song of the day is a perfect example of that. Recorded live in KUTX’s Studio 1A, “Dragon” twists and turns through polyrhythms, horns, and a fiery melody. Catch Hard Proof this Saturday, February 15 at Pan Am Park, starting at 4:30pm.

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