Seattle's been having a little soul revival of its own over the past couple years, and tonight one of the scene's more promising bands hits Portland. This song, "Heartbreaker," is all I've heard from Down North, but it tells me plenty: With a machine-gun funk guitar riff, marauding organ, and a jazzy electric piano break, the band has ample fire to burn. But the twin pillars of the band seem to be frontman/dancer Anthony “RenaGade” Briscoe, whose talents—judging by this video—need no further marketing, and drummer Conrad Real, who won Guitar Center's "Drum Off" regional competition. Soul and funk are hard genres to pull off with any sort of authenticity in the year 2014, but Down North seem to have it... down. And they've opened for Lee Fields, a sign of genuine credibility; they're carrying the Wheedle's Groove torch of Seattle soul high.
Down North play at 9 pm tonight at the Goodfoot, opening for a Sacramento jam band called ZuhG. But that shouldn't dissuade you—Down North appear to have the skills capable of pulling off a killer dance party all by themselves; I bet they'll make the $7 cover worthwhile.