That list of acts includes the Austin-based Roxy Roca, whose current seven-member lineup includes singer Taye Cannon and guitarist-singer Errol Siegel. Ain’t Nothin’ Fancy, the band’s new album, was released Feb. 24 via Stag Records.
Medleyville.us: I’ve read where the late Roxie Roker from The Jeffersons was the inspiration for your band’s name. Who came up with this idea, how was it sold to the others in the band, and what was their initial reaction?
Taye Cannon: “It was my favorite show growing up, watching the reruns on TBS in the South. I learned a lot about equality through The Jeffersons, and I always thought her name had a ring to it. I even thought it sounded like an R&B artist. I think the band agreed that it had a soul/funk feel. We rolled with it.”
Have you ever busted out the Jeffersons theme during practice or a gig?
Cannon: “Heck yeah! We learned it and played it at a few shows — it always brings the house down!”
In recent years, there have been a few large, classic-sounding R&B/soul bands to emerge from Texas. There are The Suffers from Houston, as well as Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears and Akina Adderley and the Vintage Playboys, both from Austin. Do you view them as peers and/or direct competition? Or are they off your radar, and it’s more of a coincidence that those bands also have big lineups, are from Texas and play a similar style of music?
Errol Siegel: “We’re fans of all those bands, and numerous others like them. I think there have been bands doing this style of music around town for quite a while. It just so happens that now more people are taking notice. There’s a friendly competition that goes on between bands, and I think it’s a good thing. We take a lot of inspiration from the other bands around town.”
Talk about the sessions for Ain’t Nothin’ Fancy. Did recording everything live in the same room, straight to tape, prove to be more difficult or challenging than you thought it would? And what did Lars Goransson bring to the table as the producer?
Siegel: “East Austin Recording was amazing. It was a blast having all of us set up in one big room, just going for it. It went really smoothly, actually. We felt prepared when we went in, so there weren’t many surprises. We did a few takes of each song, and that was that. There was not a lot of second-guessing.
“Lars was great. He has a deep knowledge of this style of music and knew how to get the sounds we wanted. He was great for quality control, too. He’s not afraid to tell you when he thinks you’re not delivering the best performance. He has a way of staying calm and keeping everybody focused, which is really important when time is limited. It was a great experience, and we have no regrets about recording that way.”
Finish this sentence: At this year’s SXSW, I will …
Cannon: “ … take some time to enjoy some of the amazing bands from all over the world.”
Siegel: “ … seek out the unusual and try to see something new that I could only see at SXSW.”
— Introduction and interview by Chris M. Junior
Roxy Roca at SXSW 2015 (schedule subject to change):
* 8 p.m. March 18: Guitartown/Conqueroo party (with Pastor T & the Gametight All-Stars) — The Dogwood, 715 W. 6th St.
* 1 a.m. March 18: Lucky Lounge, 209 W. 5th St. (official SXSW showcase)
* 6:45 p.m. March 19: St. Vinny’s — 1327 S. Congress Ave.
Photo by Jeanne Valois