We asked members of Hartley’s Encore to describe the band, and they graciously submitted the following:
Hartley’s Encore is a funk and soul band from Albany making music that’s equal parts soundtrack to your Saturday night and bacon for your Sunday brunch.
The band formed in late September of 2016, and played its first live show at Parish Public House in Albany just three months later. And, we haven’t stopped growing since.
This year, the band gigged regularly throughout the area, with 17 dynamic performances, including headlining shows, co-bills and several high-profile opening slots. Supporting acts have included the Eric Krasno Band (Soulive, Lettuce), Big Mean Sound Machine and Kat Wright. The band was also honored to play the closing set at the first of Greg Bell (Guthrie Bell Productions)’s four memorable 25th anniversary shows at The Hollow in Albany in April. It was only the band’s fourth gig.
Not surprisingly, 2018 promises to be an even bigger year, complete with bigger shows, (moderate) geographic expansion and plans to record a debut EP with an iconic player/producer before winter turns to spring!
The Hartley’s Encore sound is anchored by a rock-solid song writing foundation, typically flowing from co-founding members Luke Malamood (lead vocals/keyboards), and Chris Oliver (lead guitar/backing vocals). Their live shows reveal an ever-expanding catalogue of funky, high energy, infectiously danceable, yet always soulful original material, peppered with a variety of funk, soul, R&B, and ’90s-era hip-hop covers. They feature a virtuosic horn section, led by one of the top players in the area, Jeff Nania, on saxophones and effects—with regular, standout contributions from Phil Chow (trumpet) and Suren Kyaruns (saxophones)—and lean heavily on their lethal (rotating) rhythm section of Josh Gordon (bass), Mike Gilet (drums), Erik Pravel (drums), Brad Monkell (bass), and Alex Gonzales (percussion) to keep the crowd dancing from the first note to the last. Think of them as the house band at your dance party for the apocalypse.