The City Champs set to release first album in 10 years

The City Champs—the Memphis organ trio featuring players who have accompanied the likes of St. Paul & The Broken Bones, JJ Grey, Don Bryant, The Hold Stready, and Chris Robinson as well as the Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix) soundtrack—will release its third album and first in a decade on Big Legal Mess Luna ’68 on March 19 and it’s already earning plaudits for taking the organ trio from Memphis grooves into sci-fi spheres. They will appear on Alabama Public Radio/Mississippi Public Radio show Thacker Mountain Radio Hour this weekend. The City Champs are Al Gamble (organ), Joe Restivo (guitar), and George Sluppick (drums).

Here’s what we’re reading:

“Luna ’68” music video (OK to share): Watch

“The trio are pushing instrumental rock into the future… righteously funky.”
–Matt Matasci, MXDWN, March 10, 2021

“Smoldering groove-fueled explorations. But the material also touches on everything from astral-themed fantasias to ’70s Italian film scores.”
–Bob Mehr, Memphis Commercial Appeal, December 28, 2020

“Expanding on their trademark soul-jazz sound and funky grooves by drawing on influences from ’60s psychedelia and B-movie soundtracks.”
–Matt Micucci, Jazziz, February 26, 2021

“The trio, known in the early 2000s as a soul combo rooted in Memphis grooves and influenced by the classic Blue Note organ sound, are stretching into new sonic territory on their forthcoming album, Luna ‘68.”
–Jay Mazza, The Vinyl District, February 11, 2021

“Memphis all-star organ trio.”
–Dean Budnick, Relix, January 21, 2021

“Funkier, boogaloo-rooted territory.”
–Alex Greene, Memphis Flyer, December 9, 2020

The City Champs - Thumbnail - Credit Jamie Harmon