News Column

KC & the Sunshine Band getting down Sunday night

August 1, 2013

YellowBrix

Aug. 01--KC & the Sunshine Band helped inspire the 1970s disco era, but the Florida-born R&B/funk band never really recorded a disco song itself.

That's about to change.

In October, frontman Harry Wayne "KC" Casey and the group will release "Feeling You," a double disc that includes what he describes as some of the most dance-oriented music he's ever written.

"It's hard to explain. It's very electronic. It's stuff I recorded with the band and stuff I did with DJs from the UK," Casey, 62, explained in a phone interview to chat about the band's Tucson concert on Saturday.

"I started a craze that became disco music, but I never did really do a disco song. So I would think these are more dance disco songs in a way than I did in the past, if that makes any sense."

The album started out as a collection of 17 new songs, then morphed into a double disc that includes 17 1960s songs like Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me," the band's rendition of "Stand by Me" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," and Judy Collins' "Both Sides Now."

"I think it's some of the best stuff I've done lyrically, musically. It has this dance stuff on it and some funky stuff on it. It's KC meets 2013," he explained.

"I just started doing this music and I went back and pulled some stuff that I had been writing over the last few years and we recorded it and just added today's technology," he added.

During our conversation, we also learned that Casey has an iPod filled with more than 14,000 songs.

"I have everything on my iPod. I have ... artists from A to Z."

You probably have the ultimate iPod. Do you listen to it in any particular order?

"I have things in categories. I have '60s music, '70s, '80s, '90s. Then there's country, what I call current, which is whatever the current singles are. Then I have dance, easy listening, gospel, Hawaiian, Italian jazz, jazz lounge, classics, Latin."

You could be your own satellite radio service.

"There's Motown. New Age. Show music. Soundtracks."

Is it still fun doing the live shows?

"When we put out the music, we see the charts, the sales. We know it's being played, but there's no connection with the audience to the performance part of it. The audience has a connection with us, but we have no connection until we get on that stage.

"So it's always great to be on that stage and to have that connection with those people who were behind those numbers and to witness the joy that the music has brought people. In turn, their enthusiasm and their joy is transferred back to me. It's like there is always two shows going on. There's my show that they are watching and there's the show that I'm watching from the stage."

You have some crazy energy on stage. How do you do that?

"I don't know except I just do it."

You have those dance moves and they don't look like 62-year-old-man dance moves.

"And in the morning I don't get up so easy."

Do you work out?

"I do. Usually it's the treadmill and some weights and stuff. And in the afternoon I ride my bike sometimes."

When you are performing live, what are some songs that KC & the Sunshine band cannot get away with if you don't perform them?

"Well, all of them. I would say 'Get Down Tonight' and 'That's the Way I Like It' for sure. ... I would think that if I left any of them out, fans would be pretty disappointed."

Will you sneak in some of this new electronic material?

"I try to keep everything in my show familiar so I don't want to sneak something in there that's unfamiliar to the audience. I am doing some of the '60s stuff because that would be familiar to a majority of the audience. I hate that when I go to a concert. I went to see Paul Simon and I wanted to hear him sing the hits and not what was on his new album. I really walked away disappointed."

If you go

-- What: KC & the Sunshine Band in concert.

-- When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

-- Where: Desert Diamond Casino's Diamond Entertainment Center, 1100 W. Pima Mine Road.

-- Tickets: $25 to $50 through ticketmaster.com

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4642.

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(c)2013 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.)

Visit The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.) at www.azstarnet.com

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