Posted June 21, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes

Greyboy Allstars Return to Their West Coast Boogaloo Roots on New Album

Greyboy Allstars
Greyboy Allstars

Greyboy Allstars, the self-described boogaloo revivalists that got their start in San Diego in the ’90s, just released “Como De Allstars,” the breezy first single and title track from a new studio album due out on July 3. The band’s first new music in seven years captures “a relentless Caribbean funk groove buoyed by an inspired message of unity.”

Originally, the group aspired to provide a live band alternative to the rare groove DJs who were spinning records from the catalogs of labels like Blue Note and Prestige. Featuring saxophonist Karl Denson, guitarist Elgin Park, organist Robert Walter, bassist Chris Stillwell and drummer Aaron Redfield, Greyboy Allstars debuted with West Coast Boogaloo, an album featuring James Brown trombonist Fred Wesley as a special guest. 

Coinciding with the band’s forthcoming new album, the reissue label Light In the Attic Records will deliver a fresh pressing of that album on Aug. 7.

“What ties all of our records together is that we always come back to the basic premise established from the beginning. The musical food that sets the table for the West Coast Boogaloo record sets the table for Como De Allstars as well,” explains Park in a press release. “For better or worse we are the same band with the same objective: funky soul-jazz boogaloo that’s danceable, while simultaneously setting the stage for inspired improvisation.”

Greyboy Allstars have slowed their recording and touring schedule down considerably over the years as demand has grown for individual members in other capacities: Mike Andrews (aka Elgin Park) is renowned for his film scores, including The King of Staten Island; Karl Denson tours as the saxophonist in the Rolling Stones as well as his own Tiny Universe; Robert Walter plays keys for Phish bassist Mike Gordon and fronts his own ensemble 20th Congress; and rhythm section Chris Stillwell and Aaron Redfield are in demand sessions players whose resumes stretch from Elton John to Charli XCX.

“This band had such undeniable chemistry,” says Walter. “So it’s never that hard to get back to it, even if we haven’t played for a year.”

“When we’re in a room together, we have such a great time and the music we make reflects that,” adds Park. “Getting the physical bodies together is almost impossible, given our schedules, but it immediately feels like it did back then.”

Photo by Robbie Jeffers


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at jeff@whopperjaw.net.