Remember the sweet soul music of the 1960s that would pour through the car speakers as you drove with the windows down, and had the power to make the world look brighter? Santa Cruz’s The Inciters know all about producing that mesmerizing groove. “Sweet Thing,” the breakaway single off the band’s latest album, Soul Clap, could trick someone into believing that Berry Gordy has signed a new group. “We think it’s our big hit,” says Rick Kendrick, founder, trumpet player, manager, and self-proclaimed “stress case” of The Inciters.
The 11-piece outfit—featuring four horn players, two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and three vocalists—has gained an intercontinental reputation as one of the most authentic voices of the soul movement. There have been two phases of The Inciters—the first of which was founded 16 years ago and had a successful 10-year run. “It’s hard to keep an 11-member band together,” Kendrick admits, over noodles and hot tea at Charlie Hong Kong. “We had personal changes, people get married, and things happen.” After a few European tours, the original band ran its course and Kendrick and a few other members moved back to Santa Cruz. Over time, The Inciters were resurrected, but Kendrick was insistent that the band create the exact same sound. “If it sounded different, I was going to change the name of the band and start something new,” he remembers. “The label in Europe that wanted us to tour flew somebody out to give a listen at a band rehearsal to make sure we had the same sound.” They passed the audition, and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. There is nothing quite like witnessing The Inciters live, so head over to Moe’s Alley on Friday, March 30, and immerse yourself in yesteryear.
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, March 30. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $9/adv, $12/door. 479-1854.