Sal Valentine and The Babyshakes
A vehicle put together exclusively to perform their lead singer's heart-on-sleeve, singular, aggressive and entirely original material, 'Sal Valentine and The Babyshakes' are an ensemble steeped in the tradition and timbre of rhythm 'n' blues who currently enjoy a modern, genre bending freedom many bands only dream of.
Widely regarding as one of the finest acts in the country, 'Sal Valentine and The Babyshakes' is populated by ten accomplished musicians from as diverse a selection of backgrounds as one could hope for - Pop, Hip-hop, Jazz, Punk, Classical, Hard Rock. The band format is modelled on the early ensembles fronted by Ray Charles: Two female singers and Valentine sharing lead duties and lush harmonies, with support from a roaring quartet of horns and an aggressive, organic rhythm section featuring double bass, piano/organ and drums.
Valentine’s live act has gone from strength to strength in the years since their formation - playing regularly around the country, supporting UK vintage rock n’ rollers ‘Kitty, Daisy and Lewis’, playing Splore two years in a row, two residencies in Aotea Square, plus headline slots at national arts and jazz festivals.
The band released their eponymous debut at the end of 2013 to rapturous applause from critics and fans alike. The debut album, recorded by Bob Frisbee (Street Chant, Panther and the Zoo, Rackets, Beach Pigs), presents the band in an honest setting, capturing the sound of the band and the energy of the live performances.
A follow up to their dynamic debut album, 'Live at No. 10 South Street' is a collaboration between The Babyshakes and the proprietors of the of '10 South Street' - an open studio space and venue that burned brightly in the Newton and K Rd community during it's short lease. Recorded entirely live in one day, the band wanted to capture an honest execution of Valentine's material in an environment free from the ornamentation of live performance. The material itself is characteristically grittier than previous offerings, a timbre represented both in the songwriting and the sonic production.
Sal Valentine is currently writing and arranging the music that will feature on the band's sophomore release - a task that the singer will soon be taking on as a full time occupation. The band intends to record early 2016 and release the same year, with a New Zealand/Australia tour planned later in the year.