Fun courses through the veins of The Savants of Soul’s ten-piece ensemble. Lead singer Justin McKenzie’s gravelly bass and infectious disposition move butts out of seats and curl lips into smiles with ease, and the eclectic group backing him has no trouble doing the same. To see Savants live is to attend a party DJ’ed by a live orchestra, one complete with guitar, bass, tenor sax, baritone sax, trombone, trumpet, drums, and keyboard. Their distinct brand of genre-bending funk-gospel-soul ripples with contagious enthusiasm.
The band performed their first show in 2011, signed with Swamp Records in 2014, and have since shared stages with the likes of Charles Bradley, Thomas Wynn and the Believers, Morning Fatty, the Wailers, and Bells and Robes. They recently capped off a tour of the Southeastern U.S. with a spot in the Suwannee Hulaween festival lineup, promoting their latest EP, Sunday’s Best (a follow-up to their debut album, Downtown Sound). They’re currently gearing up to hop back down the writer’s rabbit hole to cook up some new music for a complete sophomore effort.