East Bay Soul infuses funk, R&B into powerful show

Folsom Live
By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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East Bay Soul, an all-original Rhythm and Blues band from Los Angeles, will bring its funky sound to Folsom Live. At the helm of the band is veteran musician Greg Adams. Adams has been in the music business for almost four decades and was a founding member of Tower of Power, well known for its dynamic horn section. East Bay Soul is composed of a large group playing all original music. “We play jazz, funk and R&B with vocals,” Adams said. “The group is a 10-piece band, which is more of a small orchestra.” Who’s in the band? Adams, on trumpet and flugel horn, Smitty Smith on bass, Johnnie Bamont on alto Sax, flute, tenor sax and baritone sax, Michael Paulo on alto and tenor sax; Joey Navarro on keyboards, Herman Matthews on drums, Darryl Walker on vocals, Johnny Sanoval playing percussion, Sean Billings playing trumpet and flugelhorn and James Wirrick on guitar. “These guys are some of the best guys I’ve ever played with,” Adams said. The group recently released East Bay Soul 2.0, a collection of 10 songs produced, arranged and co-written by Adams. “I was surprised to see how many ballads I ended up with, but I’m really happy I did,” he said. “I was also happy to have all the songs ready before the first down beat, so it really gave me the freedom to flesh everything out and let the songs breathe.” The group’s sound has its roots in the uniquely soul-based genre associated with the San Francisco East Bay Area. “I remember hearing Tower of Power when I was a teenager at the (Solano County) fair back when I was in my 20s,” said Shawna Ranases, of El Dorado Hills. “I love that sound. I’m going to have to check (East Bay Soul) out.” Learn more about the band at or at