Local Wire

Kongos @ Crescent Ballroom

When you're born with the surname Kongos, you're destined to become a musician. Not just because it brings to mind the conga drum, but because it probably means you actually are related to a South African singer-songwriter, John Kongos. Father Kongos scored a hit with "He's Gonna Step on You Again" in 1971, a song that the Guinness Book of World Records cites as the first to use a sample. He fathered four boys after he settled down with his model wife in Scottsdale. The kids grew up around music — that was a given — but getting them to go in a musical direction themselves was something that took a delicate balance of coax, push, and repeat. "The group was always something we knew we were going to do," John Junior said, in a 2007 interview with New Times. "It was just a question of Dylan and Danny still being in high school. Jesse and I are closer in age, so we started Law of Seven, an experimental jazz thing. As they got older and further along with their music, we started Kongos." Their 2011 record, I'm Only Joking, shows a new side of the brotherly quartet. It's animalistic, yet refined and mature. Catch the band before they take off for their South African tour in December.

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Christina Caldwell