Meet the Band: Zion (vocals) and ALive (keyboards, production)
Campfire Kids: The two met at church camp one summer over ten years ago. "We were bunk mates, and one night we were up talking, and he had Saul Williams's The Seventh Octave, and I thought that was sweet, and the next thing you know, we were freestyling," recalls Zion. "We really hit it off."
The Annual Christmas Show: The first time the guys put on a holiday show, they simply intended to "do something big for when people come home." "We had been hanging out with [the local indie act] This Moment in Black History, doing DIY shows on the West Side. We wanted to bring that idea of mixed bills to the East side," says Zion. "We did the first one, and it was great. The turnout was amazing, and we have just kept doing it every year. We try to keep it fresh and keep bringing in new acts. But it's also people you can rely on who will put on a good show." This year's lineup features an eclectic group of locals, including R.A. Washington + The Family Dollar, KEYE, Epic, LMNTL and Dangerous Colors.
Why You Should Hear Them: The songs on the group's new album, So Blue, It's Black, alternate between soulful tracks with jazzy beats ("MoMeta Blues") and hard-hitting rants directed toward the youth of today ("Too Dirty"). "This is different from our past efforts," says Zion. "It's a little darker. There's always been that frustration there but it was always balanced by youthful exuberance. I'm just older now so the songs are a little more brooding. It's got a different tenor to it."
Where You Can Hear Them: muamincollective.com
Where You Can See Them: Muamin Collective headlines the "Red, Black & Green Christmas" concert that takes place at 8 p.m Saturday, Dec. 22 at the Grog Shop. — Jeff Niesel
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