The Akron funk/soul band the Admirables came together when singer Wesley Bright (of the equally awesome Akron-based traditional soul group Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites) asked Nathan-Paul Davis to put together a group to play at his birthday party. “I think we called it ‘Soul Shakedown For Wesley,’” says Davis, who recruited tenor saxophonist Chris Coles, keyboardist Steven A. Miller, drummer Ashanti Allison, bassist Matthew DeRubertis, guitarist Dave Hammer and percussionist Dan Farnandez to join the band. “The group and I thought it would be a one time thing — at least I did — but our bass player [DeRubertis] and others saw the potential and encouraged the group to continue past that night.”
Davis and Coles have different musical influences and that comes out in the writing. “Chris and I have a very eclectic taste in music,” explains Davis, who writes most of the music. “I grew up listening to gospel music, hip-hop, soul, jazz, R&B, pop, and just about anything under the sun. I couldn't get enough of Elton John growing up. I, nor any body else in the group identifies with one particular style. It all has its place. In the Admirables we have a saying — ‘soul is a feeling, not a genre.’”
Davis says the band’s music is best described as “funky soul.” “The music is groovin', catchy melodies, very soulful,” he says. “We do throw some other things in there. We want to keep growing and evolving with the times. Times change, people change, and music changes. Words very often aren't enough, that's why we play music. If anything, we want people to know they can dance to our music and hum along to it with ease, know that it has musical integrity. It will always be that way, prepare to feel good and dance no matter what. That will never change.”
The latest single “Listen Up!” is an infectious tune that thrives on its funky riffs. “[It] can be described as funky, fun, constantly building in intensity until the very end,” says Davis of the tune. “I write songs with a feel in mind. I picture people smiling and dancing. That's all ‘Listen Up!’ is really. Composing is a gift that I'm blessed to have. I heard a bass line and chords. I woke before rehearsal and started writing what I heard; it just came from, well, who knows. But it came. I title the tunes after they've been written. It's like having a kid. You nurture them and teach them in the ways to go and then they are free, their own person.”
The band plays a special Valentine’s Day show on Saturday, Feb. 14, at the Music Box Supper Club. “It will just be a party really, come out and dance the night away,” says Davis. “We will have a special guest at the end of the night — a real soulful guy. You won't want to miss that.” The show starts at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.