VIDEO PREMIERE: All-star Soul Outfit Ebunctions Let Wurlitzer Electric Piano Shine on “She Don’t Love Me”

Photo credit: Greg Vorobiov

Bonafide. Yacht. Soul. Supergroup. An amalgamation of all things funky—and a stacked roster of Los Angeles’ finest, hardest working musicians—is exactly what vocalist/saxophonist Woody Mankowski envisioned when he started piecing together quarantine tunes with keyboardist/songwriter Jeff Babko (Jimmy Kimmel Live! band, Frank Ocean, Toto, James Taylor) for Ebunctions’ debut album This Just In, which is due out April 22nd. And, with touring sidelined in 2020, every piece of their puzzle fell miraculously into place. “It didn’t seem like getting a bunch of random people to play track by track from home, piecemeal style, would give this music the core of soulful earthiness and unity it deserved. So I asked Woody, ‘What if this is actually a band?’” Mankowski admits, “The band members he suggested for this group sounded a bit intimidating, but I just knew it would work, and this was going to happen.”

And did it ever work. Ebunctions—the band’s name stemmed from a dream in which Mankowski was a contestant on American Idol introduced by Ryan Seacrest as “Ebunctions Hef”—gathered in the studio with giddy enthusiasm running high and nailed down the ten tunes that make up This Just In.

Let’s take a step back to look at exactly who else makes up Ebunctions. “Finest” and “hardest working” were not previously used in a hyperbolic sense, these guys are the creamiest cream of the crop. Take drummer Steve Ferrone for example. Not only did he spend more than two decades in Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, he was part of the “classic lineup” of Average White Band throughout the 70s and has just been announced as John Mayer’s drummer for his upcoming Sob Rock tour. Then there’s bassist Ethan Farmer, whose credits include albums by Lionel Richie, Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and too many more to continue naming here. L.A. newcomer, New Orleans guitar maestro Shane Theriot spent time in the studio with the likes of the late, great Dr. John and on the road as musical director for Hall & Oates. In addition to his credits previously listed, Jeff Babko has toured with Steve Martin & Martin Short (see Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life on Netflix) and has done session work for the likes of Frozen 2, Toy Story 4, Superbad and Encanto movie scores. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Encanto recently went #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Throw in legendary engineer Eric “ET” Thorngren (Robert Palmer, Talking Heads) on the faders and knobs, and Ebunctions alone make up a huge chunk of liner note mentions of the last few decades.

When all is said and done, This Just In is a fun-loving testament to the power of sharing music with friends. When Mankowski found himself “looking for his lost mojo” after being burnt out on the music business, he finally moved back to California full of devotion and dedication to a life in music, eager to make something great happen. An open heart and a head full of ideas led to his connecting with Babko, which led to the creation of Ebunctions, which leads to a sense of joyfulness for anyone who puts their ears to the music. As Mankowski says it best, “I would like this music even if I wasn’t a part of it. It reminds me of happy times.”

Today Glide is excited to premiere the studio video for the standout track “She Don’t Love Me.” Hitting you with a jubilant wave of bittersweet nostalgia, the song shines with soulful vocals and the unique presence of Wurlitzer electric piano. This adds a vinyl richness to the music and truly lets the vocals shine. Coming in at just under two minutes, the track is a simple soul romp that contrasts an upbeat sound with lyrics that are oddly dark.

The band describes the process of recording the song:

“Woody and Jeff cut ‘She Don’t Love Me’ live at the legendary ‘new vintage’ Lucy’s Meat Market studio in Eagle Rock, CA with one microphone for both Babko’s Wurlitzer electric piano through a gritty amplifier, and Woody’s voice. They wanted to capture the vibe of an old soul field recording. This fun little video documents that recording session with some additional fun visual lyric references.”

WATCH:

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2 Responses

  1. What a sound – Wurlitzer induced happiness! Woody your name was spoken in high praise tonight at UWGB Sounds at 6:30 program. Talked about your amazing ability to rewrite charts for the horn section of Big Mouth. Jimos said you are coming back to Wisco this summer and they all gave you props. Your fans are happy again.

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