The 'Not So' Secret B-Sides
One of the most important things a band has to do is select a
name. Once that name gets out there, it’s really hard to get it back or change the perception people
have about it.
The Asheville band The Secret B-Sides is a case where the name just doesn’t fit any more. They might have been a secret when they first formed, but not now.
The Secret B-Sides have recently been named the #1 Soul Band and the #1 R&B/Blues Band in the The Mountain Express’ annual “Best of WNC” readers’ poll.
The Secret B-Sides will bring their incredibly smooth, retro-yet-modern sound to the Boone Saloon for a show on Saturday, Dec. 17. The music starts at 10 p.m.
The band is led by singer, guitarist Juan Holladay, whose mellow croon creates a sexy swaying vibe. Holladay’s band-mates include Robin Tolleson on drums, Jeff K’norr on keyboards and Shayne Heather on bass.
This past summer, The Secret B-Sides released its first full-length album, “Flowers and Chocolate.”
Recorded at Asheville’s Collapseable Studio between 2009 and 2011, the album is a meticulous, groove-oriented trip through the history of soul from the early 70s through the present and on into the future.
With swirling keyboards, rhythmic guitar licks and a punchy horn section, “Flowers and Chocolate” is easily one of the best albums of the year. During the recording process, the band got a lot of help from some of the most talented musicians in Western North Carolina including Debrissa McKinney, Marley Carroll, Sidney Barnes, Ben Hovey, Melissa Hyman and others.
“While the B-Sides’ ethereal charm will appeal to devotees of funk, soul, and classic R&B, ‘Flowers and Chocolate’ has something for fans of hip-hop too, with local lyricists Agent 23 and Preach Jacobs contributing rap vocals on ‘Rap ‘n’ Roll’ and ‘On To You,’” stated a review of the album in WNC Magazine.
And Mountain Express declared, “This Asheville combines a smooth jazzy horn section with the sounds of rhythm and blues and hip-hop. ‘Flowers and Chocolate’ perfectly embodies Secret B-Sides’ classy sensuality and often romantic cadences. With its bizarre faux history and band mythology involving flying saucers and dinosaurs, you can think of the Secret B-Sides as a modern-day Bootsy’s Rubber Band.”
For more information, call the Boone Saloon at (828) 264-1811.