Passion motivates. It drives people to persevere. And passion makes great music. Case in point: the upcoming EP, Way Down Deep, from Chicago funk, soul, and R&B group Bumpus. The new EP will drop April 6th, 2018, and will be celebrated with a hometown release show at Martyrs’.
The Bumpus name has spawned a musical family, steeped in Chicago’s thriving music culture. Its hard-working current and former members contribute wholeheartedly to offshoots spanning the musical spectrum. Bandleader James Johnston was aiming to do just that by writing songs for a groove-friendly project titled Dance Floor Plans until his plans got derailed by a serious case of vocal cord polyps. Not to be sidelined from his passion, James rerouted his energy. He set his mind on bringing a new perspective into the mix.
The earthquake-adaptable foundation laid by Johnston and the rest of the band served as the perfect platform for a new star to emerge, and that star is Tina M. Howell. Ms. Howell’s lyrical substance and powerhouse vocals have become the clear focal point of Way Down Deep, reinvigorating Bumpus along the way. From the EP’s opener “Already Mine,” a stalker-themed retro funk burner, to the soul-searching “Anything,” Way Down Deep marks a bold new direction for the band expressed through heavy doses of Ms. Howell’s unfiltered personality.
The band will be playing around the Midwest in support of the album, with more dates in the works for the summer and fall. Way Down Deep showcases a new direction for an entity that has stood the test of time and has become a staple in the Chicago scene. With veteran leadership and a young core, Bumpus have built a new beginning, set to launch on April 6th, 2018.
Way Down Deep Tracklist:
1.) Already Mine
2.) Way Down Deep
3.) Deeper Still
4.) Keep Standing Up
6.) Step Sure (Or Step Aside)
April 6 – Martyrs’ - Chicago, IL w/ Naughty Professor (Official Bumpus Record Release)
April 7: Company Brewing, Milwaukee, MI
April 20: Al’s Bar, Lexington KY
April 21: Motr, Cincinnati, OH
May 11: Acme Feed & Seed, Nashville, TN
May 18 & 19: Union Street Station, Traverse City, MI