When it comes to throwing a party, the Pimps of Joytime raise the bar with swagger to spare. Rhythms and textures drawn from New Orleans funk, 90s club house, 60s salsa and hip-hop all collide and fracture upon one another on their new LP, Jukestone Paradise. Dubbed “raucous and captivating” by Okayplayer, their album cuts play like the soundtrack for a ride through Brooklyn’s diverse neighborhoods, where the group’s sound materialized. And the Pimps’ live experience only takes it higher.
Over the past decade, the group’s grassroots following mobilized from the underground club scene in New York to sell out historic venues like the Fillmore in San Francisco and earn top billings at music festivals across the US and Europe. Quite simply, the Pimps’ dancefloor is magnetic. But word spreads to the wise when you pair high-caliber musicianship with melodies and beats that are as universally enticing as they are unconventional.
The Pimps of Joytime’s first album High Steppin’ caught NPR off guard when it dropped in 2007, as its editors raved, “It has it all: soul, funk, punk, afrobeat, rap. I’ve not heard anything quite like it.” The group’s 2011 release Janxta Funk! extended their movement even further into the mainstream circuit, with the title track seeing more than 1 million plays on Spotify to date.
Guitarist and singer Brian J is the mastermind behind the Pimps’ evolving mosaic of mixes and remixes, producing all of the bands’ records as well as other solo records for New Orleans legend Cyril Neville and Corey Henry of Galactic. His genius is only elevated by bassist David Bailias, who doubles as DJ, subtly weaving EDM club beats and synth keys throughout the Pimps live show. Over top comes drummer John Staten’s funky break beats, which land in sync with the live percussion and siren-like vocals of Mayteanna Morales and Kim Dawson.
You might accurately call the them a ‘post-genre’ band; a group whose sound—even within a single song—mirrors the diversity of our generation’s musical tastes. It all goes into the Pimps’ soulful roux, built on a foundation of rhythm and groove.