Jai Malano, Tomar & the FCs, Honey Made

Stubb’s, Jan. 7

Tomar & the FCs (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Stubb's closed out Free Week smoking more than brisket.

Ambushing the small inside stage as a 10-piece, the outfit formerly known Mama K & the Shades blew through psychedelic funk jams. The recent departure of frontwoman Kelsey Garcia left the freshly monikered Honey Made anchored by duo Chris and Willie Barnes, smooth-voiced drummer and frenetic frontman, respectively. Ms. Mack added raw soul power to the batch of new tunes as horns and dual percussion torqued through breakdowns into Latin and Caribbean rhythms.

The explosive start left Best Blues/Soul/Funk Austin Music Awards nominee Tomar & the FCs with a tough act to follow. The quintet laid out tight Southern soul, leaning heavily on Tomar Williams' charisma. The singer worked up a sweat across the full stage, shouting through opening blast "Shine Your Light" and the anthemic "Rise Above." Closing rockabilly romp "Heart Attack" unleashed the band at its best.

Though the crowd thinned considerably for powerhouse vocalist Jai Malano, the singer laid into a deep, gritty groove to close the night. As impressive as Malano's voice, guitarist Travis Deardorff lit his own blues sparks on cuts like "Hound Dog."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Jai Malano
Meet the Women of Austin R&B
Meet the Women of Austin R&B
Spotlighting five formidable soul vocalists

Kahron Spearman, Sept. 22, 2017

More Tomar & the FCs
12 Breakthrough Austin Bands at SXSW Music
Tomar & the FCs
Frontman Tomar Williams on the soul music that stitched together his fivepiece

Thomas Fawcett, March 9, 2018

More Music Reviews
You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
The Hard Stuff: Dope, Crime, the MC5 & My Life of Impossibilities
MC5 leader rolls five books into one

Tim Stegall, Dec. 21, 2018

You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
My Years With Townes Van Zandt
Twenty years with Townes Van Zandt riding shotgun

Doug Freeman, Dec. 21, 2018

More by Doug Freeman
Otis the Destroyer Unleashes Red Witch
Otis the Destroyer Unleashes Red Witch
Song premiere teases new EP

Jan. 14, 2019

Free Week 2019 Is in the Rearview Mirror, but These Homegrown Standouts Aren't
Free Week 2019 Is in the Rearview Mirror, but These Homegrown Standouts Aren't
10 local showcases that got us excited for what's to come this year

Jan. 11, 2019


Jai Malano, Tomar & the FCs, Honey Made

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle