Indie Music Interview: The New Congress – Congressional Improv

By: Mut Asheru

Introduction time. They’ve rocked with some of the best…individually and as a crew. As a matter of fact their first album as a band has netted them several award nominations. Their song “Make You Move” has won ‘Single of the Year’ in the R&B/Soul category at the 16th annual LA Music Awards. They also took home the ‘R&B Artist /Group of the Year’ award at the 06 Minnesota Music Awards.

The New Congress has a sound that can’t be placed in a box. The thing is they’re a band, meaning they can pretty much do it all. Form the first tender chords of their opening set to the end of the enjoyable ride they get the listener open with everything from funk, r&b and yes rock. It is easy to see where they’re headed and equally easy to tell that we’ll enjoy the taking the ride with them along their career path.

How does a band fit all this LIVE talent on an album and pull it off? It’s not easy and I look forward to hearing how this talented camp will figure it out. The first album is impressive but listening to it left me with the feeling of a caged lion pacing back and forth behind bars.

Since conception in 2005, TNC has performed with Faith Evans, Mint Condition, Jon B., and have headlined several major national clubs, festivals, and events. Morris Hayes, (Prince / New Power Generation), produced a pair of tracks on their debut CD, “Everybody Get’s Up,” released April 2006, and the album is receiving international recognition and airplay. .

The members of TNC have each held their own on the music scene before coming together as a band.

Aaron Cosgrove holds down the writing, singing, and guitars. Before TNC he fronted a popular Minnesota band for eight years; performed with Kip Blackshire (Prince), and was even invited up on stage to perform a song with Prince at a Paisley Park after-party during the Musicology tour.

Russ King (keyboards / background vocals) helped to pull all the cats together and contributes to some of the music writing. After a 6-year tour playing piano for the army band, he moved on to perform with Alexander O’Neal / Cherrelle, Kip Blackshire, and opened for Prince at Paisley Park as well.

DJ Dudley D (Turntables / backgrouind vocals) adds such an innovative and original aspect to TNC’s sound. He toured with Prince for two years, and was on the scene with him for six years. He is well-known around the hip-hop scene, and is featured at several Minneapolis hot spots.

Justin Blair (Bass / background vocals / guitar) is always a major addition to any group. He rips up the bass, and the last four bands he’s been part of are blowing up out of Minneapolis. Chris Koza, White Elephant, Kip Blackshire, and of course TNC.

Manny Fresh (Congas / percussion / bass) is a great addition to the TNC groove. He has shared the stage with several major Minneapolis musicians, and is well-known around town for bartending at the hottest place in town… View (Calhoun Beach Club).

Sean Smitty Smith (Drums) is one of the baddest drummers in town! He can play circles around most drummers, but for TNC he holds everything down until it’s time to go off… Smitty’s from the church, so he’s played with all the heavy cats.

The TNC beast is alive and virile on stage. But can they let the monster loose on wax? We’ll see…this band definitely has our attention.

Anguish Love & Romance


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