Sun Radio presents 10 year reunionNakia & His Southern Cousins reunion and album release show at Antone’s with support by Suzanna Choffel and Jonathan Terrell on Thursday, June 29.
(AUSTIN, TEXAS – May 8, 2017) – Nakia & His Southern Cousins are thrilled to announce their 10 year reunion and album release show on Thursday, June 29 at the historic Antone’s, located at 305 E 5th St., Austin, Texas 78701. Doors will be at 8:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 9:00 p.m. The show is presented by Sun Radio and will be hosted by Mark Murray. The evening will include performances by Jonathan Terrell opening the show and support by Suzanna Choffel. In addition to the reunion, Nakia & His Southern Cousins will be releasing a new record of previously unreleased outtakes with limited edition vinyl and CDs available exclusively at the show. Advance tickets will be $12 for general admission or $15 at the door. There will also be VIP seating available for $25. For more information, please see: nakia.me/tix-062917.
“This is going to be really special night of music and family,” said Nakia. “Having the full band back together, including the original Fresh Up Girls, is something I didn’t think would ever happen after Jessie moved to Denmark. The best part will be seeing the fans who came out each week to support us at Momo’s and Jovita’s getting down with us at Antone’s.”
Nakia & His Southern Cousins was formed in 2007 by Nakia after he left The Small Stars, Miles Zuniga of Fastball’s side project. Featuring Mac McNabb (Soulhat, Patty Griffin) on guitar, Johnny Vogelsang (Suzanna Choffel, Uptown Drive) on bass, Derek Morris (Bob Schneider, Alpha Rev) on keyboard, and The Fresh Up Girls – Karla Manzur (Alejandro Escovdeo, Nightblooms) and Jessie England (Snafu Kitties, Amanda Palmer) – on backing vocals. The first band lineup originally featured recently departed legendary drummer Barry “Frosty” Smith,” who appeared on many of the studio recordings as well. After “Frosty” left the band, Ed Jarusinky (Wrenfro, The Argyles) took the drummer seat. Since its fruition, the band played a multitude of shows around Austin with numerous critically acclaimed musicians.
The band released their EP “Playing The Cards” in 2007 and played their first show on February 17, 2007 at Lambert’s followed by a weekly residency at Momo’s every Thursday at 10 p.m. for a whole year. Local Austin musicians Jonathan Terrell and Suzanna Choffel also had residencies at Momo’s and thus were a perfect fit to support the reunion show. Nakia & His Southern Cousins played once a month at Jovita’s for a whole year and were named “Emerging Artist” by ME Television.
In 2008, they played Austin City Limits Music Festival where Nakia joined Sharon Jones, of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. Sharon later said, “Nakia is the real deal y’all, he’s got some serious soul… And that’s what Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings are all about… Soul.” Later that year, they were voted one of Austin’s Best New Bands at the Austin Chronicle Music Awards, performed at the re-opening of Austin Music Hall, played the last show at the original Backyard with Willie Nelson and opened for BB King’s final Austin show. Finally, they were featured in Austin Monthly’s “On The Cusp” and released a full-length album “Water To Wine” before disbanding in 2009 when Fresh Up Girl, Jessie England moved to Denmark and Nakia’s father lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. Now, with the announcement of their 10 year reunion show and exclusive album release, their fans and Austin music community are highly anticipating this incredible homecoming.
Press reviews raved about the band back in the day. “Every song on ‘Water to Wine’ drips with southern flavor. ‘Choose your Poison’ is hip-shaking blues while ‘Elizabeth Lee’ slinks around the Mississippi Delta. But the real standout is the title track. The song just feels like coming home. To really get a taste of Nakia, though, live is where it’s at. He has his steady Austin gigs, plus the West Coast beckons and he also wants to tour his old stomping grounds in the Southeast. A singer with as much presence as Nakia can’t be held back. Nothing beats watching listeners with their mouths agape as he gives his usual 125 percent.” – Paul Carrubba, “On The Cusp” Austin Monthly “His live performances are akin to a religious experience. With his first full-length release, ‘Water To Wine,’ Nakia captures his trademark soulful, spiritual sound. It’s a big, theatrical voice, and an execution that’s Southern gospel with more than a hint of Joe Cocker.” – Texas Music Magazine “It only took one listen for me to rank Nakia in the upper echelons of Austin vocalists! I got an immediate response from listeners. One spin generated requests for days! So I had to play it some more.” – Loris Lowe, Music Director/KLBJ.
Austin-based, Alabama-raised singer/songwriter Nakia has a heart that beats to the rhythms of Muscle Shoals soul, pumping blood infused with Stax funk to cells lined with Chicago blues grooves. His vocal talent is the kind that instantly turns listeners into fans — among them CeeLo Green, who invited Nakia to sing on his Muppets Christmas special. Nakia was a Top 8 Semifinalist on CeeLo’s team during the first season of “The Voice” on NBC.
Nakia moved from Chicago to Austin in 2002. After a brief stint in the Small Stars, a tongue-in-cheek lounge act fronted by Fastball’s Miles Zuniga, he formed Nakia & His Southern Cousins, got booked to perform at the 2008 Austin City Limits Festival, and wound up singing with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. Alejandro Escovedo heard him at a Rolling Stones tribute, which led to him singing backing vocals on Escovedo’s “Street Songs of Love” album, and to a second recommendation — this time by producer Tony Visconti — for Nakia to front his own Blues band. So he formed the Blues Grifters. A YouTube video of the band led to “The Voice” producer Mark Burnett recruiting him for the pilot, which resulted in his relationship with CeeLo. Nakia is an active member of the Austin music community. He is an outspoken advocate for organizations such as Black Fret, HAAM and The SIMS Foundation. He has served as the Chair of the Austin Music Commission and as a member of the Board of G.