Arguably best known now for the song “Pick Up The Pieces” which has appeared in every American film and TV show in the last 30 years (see video below), the Average White Band are still widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in the history of music.They will be playing to US audiences again this summer before returning to Scotland in August.
In the decade when funk music grew up, a number of self-contained bands made their mark on the music world, and none more than a seemingly out-of-place group of white guys from Scotland. With a self-deprecating group name, great guitar work and the tightest horn section this side of Tower of Power, the Average White Band stormed onto the U.S. charts in 1974 with their self-titled “White Album.” A blistering set of soul and funk masterpieces, AWB featured the across-the-board instrumental hit “Pick Up the Pieces” and a slew of now-classic cuts, including a sizzling remake of the Isley Brothers’ “Work to Do” and the smooth “Nothing You Can Do” (later covered by Tavares). The alternating turns at lead by tenor Alan Gorrie and gravelly falsetto singer Hamish Stuart gave the perfect front to the hot arrangements and tight playing of group members Onnie McIntyre, Malcolm Duncan, Roger Ball, and Robbie McIntosh (who tragically died of a drug overdose in late 1974 and was replaced by Steve Ferrone). By 1975, AWB was perhaps the hottest — and coolest — band in the world.
The band have a new album out now. The follow-up to their live 2006 release, Soul & The City, “Times Squared” includes thirteen more AWB favourites, recorded live in March 2009 in front of a New York City audience . The CD is only available at AWB shows and on the official website. Tour dates below.