Tower of Power, climbing a powerful tower

Tower of Power’s THE GREAT AMERICAN SOULBOOK on the group’s label, Tower of Power records, is receiving a lot of radio airplay from a variety of formats--AAA, public radio, urban, talk. The album features covers of vintage soul songs, and has guest singers: Sir Tom Jones, Joss Stone, Huey Lewis, Sam Moore.

The Voice of America's Doug Levine sums the album up quite nicely, "Followers of the Great American Songbook are familiar with its timeless works of popular music by composers George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and others. Now, there's the Great American Soulbook. Many of Tower of Power's horn-driven hits, some dating back to the early 1970s, are now considered soul classics. But, after a 41-year run, the group decided to take a break from their usual offering of original funk and blues to pay tribute to their own musical heroes with an album called The Great American Soulbook." Read article at www.voanews.com.

Sonic Boomers' Bill Bentley also takes the "Songbook" angle, "It may be a stretch to call these dozen soul standards part of the great American songbook, but by this time in our country's culture when so much is up for grabs, why not? The well-oiled Oakland aggregation has been supplying the bump and jump at countless clubs and concerts for 40 years, building a loyal audience of young and old rockers and boppers. They have a supertight rhythmic attack that so much of rhythm & blues is built on, and a state-of-the-art horn section that should be patented it's so strong," at sonicboomers.com.

Tower of Power fan Jack Silva wrote a discography of the band's horn section, which is online at www.towerofpower.com/discography/hornsection/

As you know, TOP's members are very involved with educating musicians. The horn section runs clinics. Drummer David Garibaldi has made educational videos, Rocco Prestia's been covered in a number of bass publications. In general the band members offer great insight on finding and keeping sanity as performers. In July, TOP's trumpet player Mike Bogart is leaving the road to focus full time on teaching. He's being replaced by original TOP member/and a recent educator Mic Gillette. Mic was in the band 25 years ago, and will join the group at the band's gig at the San Mateo Fair this August. Once again, half the members of TOP are of the original lineup from 41 years ago.