Baby & the Luvies’ original soul music was born in the last existing rock clubs of San Francisco -- dive bars with tangled back patios, mouldering couches, feminist graffiti, and happy hour nachos. The band’s sound reflects this sense of community grooves, with all-original soul music that inspires sweaty dance parties and ecstatic partying. Baby & the Luvies has built a dedicated fan base, playing at Bay Area venues and festivals such as the Stern Grove Festival, the Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, and The Chapel, with national acts including Galactic, Fantastic Negrito, Sister Sparrow and her Dirty Birds.
The Luvies’ new album, Get it Down, recorded at San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone Recording Studios, is due out in the winter of 2019. Since forming in 2011, Baby & the Luvies has become one of San Francisco’s most creative neo soul bands. With high-impact horn arrangements, a hard driving rhythm section, and firy vocals by lead singer Adeoti Ashiru, the band draws inspiration from 60s soul/R&B pioneers such as Ike and Tina Turner, Otis Redding, and Aretha Franklin. The sound has also been compared to that of Sharon Jones, the Alabama Shakes, and St. Paul and the Broken Bones. But with diverse country and alt rock influences and somewhat bizarre lyrical content, the Luvies have always been tough to categorize. Marin Independent Journal rock critic, Paul Liberatore, called them “charmingly offbeat,” writing, "Any tune that has a title like ‘Beginner Scorpion’ and the word ‘germicidal’ in the lyrics..." This description was in reference to a song about the underworld of illegal arachnid trade off the band’s 2014 debut album, Tilt Sign. Indeed, the Luvies’ original songs, penned by band members Lessley Anderson (keys) and Brandon Chavez (bass), aren’t your typical soul songs, often delving into darker topics such as religious cults and prison relationships.
Get it Down traverses similar outsider territory, featuring songs about female rule-breakers. “Salt Pork Mary” is a New Orleans-inflected shuffle about a Goldrush era fence who launders stolen goods for small time criminals. “Murder” is a Motown styled breakup song for the gun-obsessed. “Heidi Fleiss” depicts a former Hollywood madam reduced to running a beat-up laundromat in the desert -- that is, until she can raise money to open up a stud farm for women. The songs touch on things you thought, but never wanted to say, some with an eerily intense joyfulness. They aren’t just about love and heartache, but also the weird and out-of-this-world. It’s an album best listened to while driving with the top down or crying in your bed, because it covers the whole range of emotions. Dance it out or keep it chill, there’s a tempo for that.
Baby & the Luvies will be promoting Get it Down in rock clubs, festivals, casinos, and on wagon trains out west throughout 2019-2020. Don your comfortable shoes and breathable linens and come see them the first chance you get.