Songs From The Road (Live) Andy Frasco
- 1C Boogie 03:34
- 2When You’re Lonely (Fill You Up) 03:05
- 3Tie You Up 03:50
- 4Make It Work 03:32
- 5Mature As Fuck 03:43
- 6Stop Fucking Around 03:57
- 7It’s Been A Struggle 14:07
- 8Smokin’ Dope And Rock N’ Roll 03:18
- 9Crazy Guy 03:40
- 10Down The Road 03:37
- 11Doin‘ It 05:20
- 12Sunny Day Soldier 07:49
- 13What More Can I Say 08:43
- 14Main Squeeze 05:46
- 15Killing In The Name 04:51
Info for Songs From The Road (Live)
This isn’t a show. It’s a street party. You join us on Day 142 of Andy Frasco & The U.N.’s 2016 world tour, and in the sleepy German town of Bamberg, all hell is breaking loose. Fans invade the stage. Tubas are set on fire. And at the eye of the storm, there’s the frontman himself: a wild-haired whirling dervish who spends opening song C Boogie bucking his hips, hammering on his piano keys and dancing in the front row. “We’re recording a live album in your town,” Frasco announces to the crowd. “It’s gonna be awesome…”
That album is Songs From The Road: a new set from Ruf Records that captures all the full-throttle mayhem. There is, quite simply, nothing like an Andy Frasco & The U.N. show. While other bands trudge through the setlist, these renegades rocket-fuel the songs from their four studio albums – including 2016’s breakthrough Happy Bastards – and leave fans with mile-wide grins. “Basically, we’re trying to freak people out,” explains Frasco. “I want people to be spiritually uplifted and happy – and also make them think a little bit.”
Live bands don’t get this good overnight. Frasco’s own story goes back to the suburbs of post-millennial Los Angeles, where at the tender age of 13, he used his industrial-strength charm to blag a job as a record label executive, fitting maths classes around business calls. Aged just 16, he was touring the States with one of his signings. “I grew up too quick,” he reflects. “I fell in love with the road and I just kept going. Failure was not an option for me.”
In his early years as a hype man, Frasco always had charisma in spades, but he’ll admit that he “bullshitted my way til I finally learned how to sing and play piano”. In 2007, he pulled together The U.N. from the cream of the international scene and set out on a world tour that has never really ended. “This band is a group of gypsies,” he says. “We’ve been living in a van for ten years straight, doing 250 shows a year. That’s really not the norm. We’re basically blue-collar musicians, on the road every day, making a living. We might be sleeping on guitar cases, guitar amps, someone’s floor – but we’re happy. We’re fulfilling our dream.
“The Van Morrisons and The Bands of this world,” he continues, “in the early years, they’d play in every coffee shop and grungy bar, y’know, getting pink eye from a dirty couch. But you’re gonna have to deal with all that for the bigger purpose. And the bigger purpose is about trying to make people happy, as much as you can.”
Since the release of 2016’s Happy Bastards, everyone wants a piece of them. With material that took in funk, soul, rock, roots and the band’s self-styled “party blues”, this was an album that you knew would sound amazing live. Sure enough, as The U.N. take the stage in Bamberg, songs like the funky Tie You Up and the stomp singalong of Mature As Fuck have never sounded better. “That song is basically about doing stuff for yourself and not worrying what other people think of you,” explains Frasco, “because you’re a grown-ass man.”
You’ll also find highlights from The U.N.’s back catalogue, with Frasco revisiting his acclaimed 2014 album Half A Man for songs like Sunny Day Soldier and Stop Fucking Around. “I don’t have a setlist,” he says. “I like to see who the audience is. Big influences of mine as a frontman are the Frank Sinatras and the James Browns, and how they controlled the show.”
And Frasco certainly does that. As night falls in Bamberg, his megawatt energy only seems to crank up, whether he’s leaping onto the monitors, bringing local kids onstage to dance or directing the crowd to either side of the town square (“Left! Right!”). At last, just when it seems the performance can’t get any more anarchic, the band pulls out a bristling cover of Rage Against The Machine’s classic Killing In The Name, with Frasco encouraging the crowd to raise their middle fingers in defiance. “Be whoever you want to be,” he tells them as a parting shot. “Now let’s get the fuck out of here…”
If you haven’t seen Andy Frasco & The U.N. on the stage yet, you’re missing one of the great live bands of our times. But with Songs From The Road, you get a front-row seat. “I try to make our live shows a celebration,” says Frasco. “We’re just trying to get people out of their heads for a couple hours and live in the moment. I feel like Songs From The Road emulates what our band really is, better than any recording we've done to date.”
Andy Frasco, vocals, piano
Ernie Chang, saxophone
Shawn Eckles, vocals, guitar
Jelmer Olsman, bass
Andee Avila, vocals, drums
Matt Owen, tuba
Niels Kant, trumpet
Arno Bakker, trombone, sousaphone
the 27-year old Los Angeles, CA native singer / songwriter / band maestro / entrepreneur / party starter / everyday hustler, and his band of gypsies “The U.N.” have been cited frequently as “Party Blues,” but the band’s musical inspirations and influences run much deeper incorporating elements of Soul, Funk, and Rock as well as tones of Roots, and Americana, creating a much more diverse sound and style that is distinctly Andy Frasco & the U.N. Frasco’s shows have been described as infectious, entertaining, and feel good. His performances are recognized as orchestrated chaos, inciting frenzied, undeniable good times, dancing, and perhaps even a good ole fashion freak out.
Touring independently across the U.S. and Europe since he was 18 years old, Frasco first got his taste of the music industry managing and promoting bands when he was 16 years old -booking bands like Hello Goodbye, and working with labels such as Drive Thru and Atlantic Records, as well as venues like The Key Club in Hollywood, CA. Since his start, Frasco has embodied a DIY attitude and work ethic, making the road his home; averaging 200+ dates a year, trekking over 200,000 thousand miles spanning the country dozens of times over, blowing minds and building a loyal following everywhere he goes.
2014 marked a breakout year for Frasco, highlighted by the release of the band’s 3rd full-length studio album Half A Man, a host of high profile festival performances both domestically and overseas, and recognition from national press outlets such as Pollstar, Live For Live Music, and Relix. Produced by Grammy Award Winning, Charles Goodan, Half A Man received warm praise from press and fans alike, charting in the top 10 of Relix/Jambands.com Radio Chart for nearly 6 months, while the road highlighted featured performances on festivals like Wakarusa, Electric Forrest, and YSMB’s Harvest Festival in the US, and festivals like Zwarte Cross (NL), King’s Day Festival (DE), Bamberg Jazz Festival (DE), Guezenpop Festival (NL), and the COTAI Jazz & Blues Festival in Macau, China.
To date, Andy has shared the stage and performed with artists such as Leon Russell, Galactic, Jackie Greene, Gary Clark Jr, Jakob Dylan, Butch Walker, Deer Tick, John Mayer, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Fishbone, Lukas Nelson, JJ Grey & Mofro, Lettuce and more. Continuing to build off the success of 2014, Frasco & the U.N. continued to pick up momentum both at home and abroad in 2015 with featured performances at SXSW, Wakarusa, Phases of the Moon, and Backwoods Music Festival in the U.S., as well as Totaal Festival (NL), a return to Zwarte Cross (NL), Open Flair Festival (DE), and Open Air Gross Lindow (DE) overseas.
Amidst another heavy year of touring the band also recorded their 4th full-length studio album, Happy Bastards, set for release by Ruf Records on February 26, 2016 with producer Rick Parker (Lord Huron, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Sugarcult).