After listening to the deep funk, Afro-disco, soul, soul-jazz and New Orleans grooves of Orgone (pronounced with a long second “o”), it feels perfectly proper that the Los Angeles band named itself after the universal life force conceptualized by Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich. Libido and good mental health are couched in Reich’s work, and Orgone’s music is both sensual and cleansing.
Orgone’s 42-year-old guitarist Sergio Rios started playing at age 15 by learning the opening to Metallica’s “Fade to Black.” “After playing for a while, I got into blues,” said Rios during a phone call from the band’s North Hollywood home base, KillionSound Studios. “Then it was Stax (Records) and R&B. And I just naturally evolved to what was next, Parliament-Funkadelic and (guitarist) Eddie Hazel. That just blew me open.” Then a friend turned Rios on to the Meters, the New Orleans-based funk band. He had found his sonic calling.
Rios was just out of high school when he began playing in cover bands with keyboardist Dan Hastie and a rotation of friends in the San Fernando Valley. “We reached a point,” said Rios, “where we were so into the Booker T. and the Meters sound. And Grant Green. A lot of the soul-jazz stuff, with Idris Muhammad on drums. We got so deep that, you know, that’s what we wanted to do. That’s how Orgone pretty much started.”
Rios and Hastie co-founded the band around 1999 as a versatile, lean rhythm section that could back hip-hop and other musicians while maintaining its own identity. The band was also influenced by the J.B.’s, James Brown’s band, and later added horns. “That opened up a whole new style that we wanted to do,” said Rios, “and it just kept growing. And then we were working with different singers.”
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Orgone dropped a 2001 self-produced, self-titled instrumental album, and a small label in England released their 45 rpm cover of “Funky Nassau” with Fanny Franklin on vocals. That single put the band on the radar and led to the 2007 release “The Killion Floor” on Ubiquity Records and five subsequent albums.
Rios, who plays a Fender Telecaster Deluxe reissue with humbucker pickups, and Hastie are the only remaining original members.
Vocalist Adryon de Leon has been with the band for more than two years and is featured on their last album, “Beyond the Sun.” Her voice is as cathartic as her stage presence. “It’s awesome,” said Rios, “that we have grown, evolved, and had a mutual history of having been deep into all these different subgenres under the whole soul music umbrella. She’s an absolute powerhouse. People love her. She’s an integral part of the show.”
Adryon joined the band when the previous vocalist could no longer tour.
“We reached out and pretty much laid it out,” Rios recalled. “She had about a week to learn eight songs and met us (for the first time) in Bloomington, Indiana. That night we did a rehearsal at our sound check, and she killed it. We jelled – and we haven’t stopped since.”
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, June 2
Where: Harlow’s, 2708 J St., Sacramento
Information: 916-441-4693, www.harlows.com