Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns Continue to Evolve

Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns brought in the new year with a stellar performance at the Tempe Block Party on New Year's Eve. Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns may be the Arizona version of the nationally known group Roomful of Blues. Both bands have been around for decades with constant changes in personnel, but they always get the best musicians and have good followings.

Rich Brydle, rhythm guitarist and band manager for Cold Shott, was happy with the crowd's reaction. "People were dancing, laughing, clapping and giving us high fives," he says. "Folks were telling us that our stage was the best, so I think we hit the mark."

The Tempe Block Party has four main stages, with bands playing at the same time. This keeps bands on their best behavior: If the crowd doesn't like them, the music-lovers will go elsewhere.

Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns play a mix of rhythm and blues, funk, soul and blues. Regardless of the genre, it worked on New Years Eve. "A lot of the people didn't go for the harder stuff that some of the other bands were playing. Our stage area was packed," Brydle says. "Our goal is to reach everyone in the crowd, and we got everybody dancing."

The Hurricane Horns were founded in 1990, thanks to the late Ted Kowal. Brydle was a friend of Kowal's when the band started; over time he went from friend to groupie to roadie to band member to band manager.

"Kowal's vision was to form a band like Delbert McClinton's -- a roadhouse band."

During the Tempe Block Party, Cold Shott played three sets over and three-and-a-half hours before wrapping up at 12:30 a.m. "We have a depth of repertoire. Our musicians are so well versed that we could have done three more sets," he says. "A few musicians have come in and out over the years, but we're always maintaining the concept. We're fortunate for 23 years to hold true to the concept of our formula for reaching the widest audience while remaining true to our music." On New Year's Eve, Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns performed cover songs by Wilson Pickett, Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder and one song by Daft Punk -- "Get Lucky." "It's a soul song that they made modern. We started playing it this summer and added the horns. It's a retro, rhythm and blues, funk tune."

Daft Punk aside, Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns likes playing songs from the '60s, '70s and '80s. The current members of the band are Tony Flores on lead vocals, Rick Brydle on rhythm guitar, Anita Benavidez on lead vocals and keyboards, Rick Benavidez on lead guitar and backup vocals, and Dan Mueller on drums, along with the Hurricane Horns: Frank Blanco, Jake Gabow, and Tim Matteson.

They've played the Tempe Block Party several times in the past, but they spent the last five New Years Eves before this one at the Rhythm Room, where they play at least once a month. (Their next visit is tonight.)

Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns will perform Friday and Saturday, January 31 and February 1, at Ak-Chin Casino; in March, they're set to play at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts and the Scottsdale Culinary Arts Festival.

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Stan Bindell