"The new Soule Monde album Must Be Nice digs deeper into the pool of rhythms and melody. Still drawing from the funk and also the rhythms Russ played with his time in the Afro Beat band Zzebra. Ray and Russ mash it all together Soule Monde style with that great chemistry they have for writing as a band. Always boiling it down to some unique songs for your body, mind and soul. It's been said before but Must Be Nice will take you on a musical journey."
- Russ Lawton
Soule Monde is avant funk erupting from the syncopated minds of power drummer Russ Lawton + B3 wizard Ray Paczkowski. An ideal union of swagger and raw talent, the duo is cemented into an indestructible pocket, where bold improvisational leaps by either player are met by a near-telepathic response from the other. This is fluid funk, crafted for the dance floor but supported by an extensive grasp of jazz improvisation.
Paczkowski has an intrepid knowledge of the Hammond B3, playing it as fearlessly as Han Solo flies the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field, while his left hand lays down bass lines on the clavinet with the ferocity of the meanest four-string, soul-cat.
Lawton is constantly responding to his partner’s attacks – pushing the groove further and deeper while holding the pocket like he’s handcuffed to the snare. Don’t expect the beat to drop with Soule Monde, and at the same time don’t expect to get stuck in one groove. Quite simply, this is the jazz-duo your parents warned you about.
Russ Lawton has been a staple of the Vermont music scene for years. He’s collaborated with a vast array of VT acts, including Mike Gordon, The Grippo Funk Band, and Strangefolk, and has been touring and recording with T.A.B. since 1998. He’s credited with co-writing the Grammy-nominated song “First Tube” which appeared on Phish’s 2000 album, Farmhouse.
Ray Paczkowski has been involved with a number of lauded acts over the years, first gaining recognition in the mid 90’s as a member of the legendary Vermont act, Viperhouse, and later on with his power trio, Vorcza. He toured and recorded with Dave Matthews & Friends for 3 years, and has been the keyboardist for T.A.B. Since 2001.
Members of Soule Monde have appeared at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, on Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon, and have shared the stage with Carlos Santana, Rolling Stones, Trey Anastasio, Dave Matthews, Victor Wooten, Mike Gordon, Viperhouse + Strangefolk.