The four-piece group released its first album in 1996 and has notched a number of cuts on film and TV soundtracks, including Homicide and MTV's the Real World. The current lineup features Robin Allen (guitar), David Hilditch (bass), John Holt (keyboards) and John Kosla (drums). Placing bass and organ at the forefront, not unlike Booker T. and the MGs, the band's all-American sound will remind listeners of the feel-good grooves of the '50s and '60s.
Within their classic style of jazz, surf and soul the Civil Tones incorporate a broad range of techniques that make for a surprisingly dynamic instrumental album. "City Stoopin" opens with "Soul to Go," a piece that demonstrates their signature old-school sound, building from the strong funk rhythm of the bass and snare drums, slowly adding an offbeat bass line, accented organ chords and finally trumpets and guitar riffs.
From there, the album escalates to a louder sound, reaching its peak with "The Scrambler," which has a louder, rock 'n' roll vibe, taking a turn with "S'Caliente" towards a Latin jazz feel, and finally slowing down with the closing track "All Blues," whose title speaks for itself.
On the KDHX Charts: #5 on CMJ for November 15, 2011.