TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 38: Bass Race

Laura Benack and Steven Mertens are a duo that go by the name Bass Race. They may have created a 21st century fusion of music on their new release Tender Vittles, but something about them feels comfortably old fashioned. You can feel their familial connections to music and the arts, the respect they have for old-school Los Angeles, and the way they nurture their own relationship in a respectful and fruitful way.

As you’ll hear, their musical influences are rich and tasteful and pull inspiration from some of the best r&b, soul and funk music of the last 50 years: they love their Earth, Wind and Fire and Donny Hathaway records. They lean on analog recording techniques and instruments, but fuse them together with modern-day beats and technology to create something fresh, but pleasantly familiar. There’s something about a duo that’s a little forgotten and underappreciated in today’s day-and-age: Sonny and Cher, Louis Prima and Keely Smith, Ashford and Simpson, or Marty and Eliane: they all work best when they work together; their teamwork makes the dream work.

Laura and Steven bring that same harmonious synergy to Tender Vittles making it more than just a geat record; perhaps the album serves as a love-letter or a representation of the relationship Laura and Steven have together, but it’s also a testament to all of the good things that a mighty duo can accomplish when they make a choice to set aside their own needs and focus on their partner.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector, and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Evan Toth Show and TVD Radar on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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