Soulfinger Frontman Tim Spencer Prepares for CD Release With James Brown and Sharon Jones

The local R and B ensemble Soulfinger is celebrating the release of its first CD, Soulfinger Party, with a Friday full of performances, starting with the 11 O'Clock Rock show on at 11 a.m. The main set will be at the Alive After Five series at Knoxville Museum of Art at 6 p.m.; later that night—the exact time depends on how quickly they can sell some CDs and pack up their gear—the band will play at Smokey's Sports Pub in Fountain City. Here's some of the music that inspired singer/keyboardist Tim Spencer.

James Brown

Hell (Polydor, 1974)

It's super-funk, the funkiest of the funk to me. Before each song there's a gong sound. I don't know why James Brown did that. This is absolutely one of the funkiest albums I've ever heard. How do you handle so much funk?

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Any one of their albums, though the newest one isn't one of my favorites. It's mostly soul music; the other albums have great, great, great funk and R and B stuff. They're basically a role model for what we wanted to do, which is write our own songs and produce them in our own studio, which is what we did with the EP.

Lee Fields and the Expressions

Lee Fields almost sounds straight-up like James Brown. His band is all young white kids in their mid-30s. He's from North Carolina and went up to New York, that's where his band is mostly from. He brings a lot of Southern funk and R and B influence. He's tough—his band is hot and super-funky. Not like Bootsy Collins but like mid-'70s James Brown. We really like that, heavy horns and solid bass.

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