The Southern Prairie Library System is thrilled to welcome back that dynamic duo of children’s music, the Sugar Free Allstars. The band will be performing 2 p.m. Thursday at the Altus Public Library.
Imagine that Deep Purple and Sly and the Family Stone had a love child that grew up in New Orleans listening to Ray Charles, Black Sabbath and Booker T. That love child would be the Sugar Free Allstars. With their diverse musical influences and unusual instrumentation, this funky organ and drum duo from Oklahoma City can be hard to classify.
The music blends New Orleans funk, Memphis soul and Hammond organ-drenched gospel, wrapped in a colorful rock ‘n’ roll package. Add to the mix a touch of pop songwriting sensibilities, humor and a high-energy live show and you’ve got the Sugar Free Allstars.
Chris “Boom” Wiser (Hammond B-3 organ, lead vocals, saxophone) and Rob “Dr. Rock” Martin (drums, backing vocals) make up the dynamic duo of Sugar Free Allstars. As Wiser multitasks the outfit covering bass lines on the B-3 and cranking out soulful sax solos, Martin lays down a rock-solid beat that keeps the heads bopping and hips shaking. The connection and fire between the two musicians is obvious in their live performance.
“We try to provide a good mix of humor and a tight performance,” Wiser said. “Even in our kids’ shows, it’s meant to be a rock ‘n’ roll party for all ages.”
Over the past five years the band has released three family music albums, the most recent a 2012’s All On A Sunday Afternoon, which features guest appearances by notable Kindie artists such as Keller Williams, Marty Beller, Jack Forman of Recess Monkey, Shawana Kemp of Shine and the Moonbeams and Trout Fishing In America.
This album and the 2010’s Funky Fresh and Sugar Free and 2007’s Dos Ninos, has helped solidify Sugar Free Allstars’ place in the Kindie music scene as purveyors of Family Funk. They have also garnered national critical acclaim and accolades such as mentions in Time, People and Parents magazines, starred reviews in School Library Journal, two No. 1 hits on SiriusXM’s Kid’s Place Live, a National Parenting Publication Awards or NAPPA Gold Award, airplay on the No. 1 NPR show “Car Talk,” and inclusion of a song on the anti-bullying compilation “All About Bullies Big and Small” which won the 2012 Grammy for Best Children’s Album.
SFA is always on the road and have performed at venues all over the United States and Italy. Since beginning their foray into family music in 2007 they have played the Jiggle Jam Family Fest in Kansas City, Missouri; the Little Rocker’s Stage at the Norman Music Festival in Oklahoma, the Kindiefest Family Music Conference in Brooklyn, N.Y.; the Austin Kiddie Limits kid’s stage at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas; Symphony Space in Manhattan, N.Y.; McCabe’s in Santa Monica, Calif. and the Rumpus Room at SiriusXM’s Kid’s Place Live studios in Washington D.C. The educational aspect of their music shines through at elementary school performances and library summer reading programs all over the country.
SFA is listed on the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Touring Roster as well as the Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Artist Registry.
For more information about the program, contact the library at 580-477-2890. Visit their website at www.spls.lib.ok.us or on Facebook: Southern Prairie Library System.