One of the fresh faces on the pop and funk music scenes right now, Lexington, Kentucky’s, Joslyn and the Sweet Compression, is headed back to the Tri-State this weekend.
The band will perform at the V Club in Huntington on Saturday, Jan. 11. The show begins at 10 p.m. and will also feature opening acts Johnny Conqueroo and Crownover. Tickets for this 18-and-over concert are $7 in advance and $10 the day of show. More information can be found at vclublive.com and joslynandtsc.com.
The musical director of Joslyn and the Sweet Compression is veteran musician Marty Charters, who is also the stepfather of the band’s talented lead singer, Joslyn Hampton. Charters was raised in Lexington but then migrated to the Cincinnati, Ohio, music scene where he played with many musicians, including the local blues music great H-Bomb Ferguson. Then, Charters made his way to Chicago where he toured with blues legend Junior Wells.
In recent years, however, Charters became bored with the live music scene and was on the verge of quitting the business. After marrying Hampton’s mother and listening to Joslyn sing in various college musicals and in his living room, it was obvious to him that she was a talent worth encouraging.
The goal of Joslyn and the Sweet Compression is to compose, record and perform original pop and funk music free from the constraints and demands made by the bigger record labels. With a seven-piece band including a horn section in tow, the group has been touring hard and is ready to build up their fan base even more here in the Tri-State with this return engagement.
Joslyn Hampton began singing in church and then expanded her horizons by joining show choirs when she reached adulthood. Still a young and vibrant singer and performer, Hampton is excited about building up a new legacy with a band behind her that shares her musical vision.
“My musical heroes are Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan,” said Hampton. “I also have a little bit of an opera background as well, from my days in college. I like to listen to opera, and I like country music and rock music as well. I like everything. So, it is a mixed bag of chocolates over here. The musical training part of my life is something that I am reincorporating back into my routine and my daily muscle exercises. I lost that for a little while and I started to get laryngitis all of the time. So, recently, within the last couple of months, I have been revisiting vocal warmups and trying to stay hydrated. I’ve also learned to not do too much on the microphone, as in don’t scream over the mic. Sometimes, you can’t hear yourself onstage and you try to over-compensate, which can wear you out.”
The members of Joslyn and the Sweet Compression include Hampton on lead vocals, Charters on the guitar, Smith Donaldson on bass, Steve Holloman on keyboards, Rashawn Fleming on drums and horn players Joe Carucci and Chase Fleming.
During the band’s longer shows, they will add to their original music by throwing down some old-school funk favorites by artists such as Parliament-Funkadelic, Jill Scott, Randy Crawford and The Crusaders, Chaka Khan and more.
“When things are clicking with this band, it is a very high feeling, especially when everybody is of one accord and it feels like one machine moving together,” Hampton said. “It would be what I imagine being high would be like, even though I have never been high on drugs. It is even better when the audience is with us. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and I don’t know how to articulate it. It feels like all of your nerve endings want to combust. It is amazing. I don’t know how else to describe it.”
This will be the second time the members of Joslyn and the Sweet Compression have been to the Tri-State, and with a warm front coming through town and no snow in the forecast, Saturday will be the perfect time to experience this live dance party.
“We’re making all of the rounds in this part of the world,” Hampton said. “We had a great time at our first show here last year and we are looking forward to coming back, so we’re excited to be performing in Huntington again. As for this group, we want to take it as far as we can go. We want to do things our way and keep it real and homegrown.”