The Rockie Brown Band

Downtown Cocktail Room, June 27

The Rockie Brown Band blends the vocal approach of Lauryn Hill with the soulful pop feel of Adele while savoring an old-school bluesy funk sound. It starts with sultry front woman Rockie Brown inviting everyone to “get your sexy freak on and take your pants off” with her pinned-up barrel curls cranked, jazzing on her piano and belting out a strong, sassy vocal attitude. Backed by two more dynamite female vocalists, this soulful quartet was a powerhouse of traditional rhythm and blues mixed with modern Motown.

Guitarist James Caselton complemented the ’50s-style lounge act by throwing in funky rhythmic wah-wah pedal fills. Stand-up bassist Alfonso Bernal locked in nicely with drummer Nick Kittle, who provided the soothing rhythm that guided the band through two great sets of original music. The diverse elements of this sexy, dimly lit intimate show mixed fluidly with great beats, contagious energy and a smack of cool. ★★★☆☆

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Wearing antipasto isn’t so bad. Despite post-show conniptions over the bride’s mama dropping bruschetta in the lap of a reporter she was hand-feeding, the tomato-topped delicacy was quite tasty once scooped from thigh to plate. “The cast destroyed her after that,” says apologetic co-producer Raphael Berko. Chill, cast, chill. Redeeming herself, Mama crooned a lovely “Santa Lucia.” Could have done without the Chicken Dance, though. Flapping in rhythm is simply uncool. By the way: Congratulazioni per il tuo matrimonio.