Back in 2010 while living in London, Atlanta songwriter Randy Michael (formerly The Booze, currently Black Linen) started a variety show, “Now Dig This” with different bands such as The Biters (ATL), Tres Bien (Florida), Greatest Hits (Seattle), and more. The show had a “Top of the pops” vibe, where the audience of young kids are dancing to their favorite bands. Now, Michael has revived the series with his production company, InCrowd, kicking off “Now Dig This” with InCrowd artist, Mattiel.
InCrowd is a production company with a home studio equipped to record tracks in one take, founded by Black Linen bandmates Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley. Michael and Swilley write songs for soul singers and seasoned jazz musicians involved for the love of music. Armed with their own in-house band of jazz musicians that includes a percussionist, organist, horn section, and more, InCrowd is able to recreate authentic, classic sounding tunes with the artists they work with.
To go along with InCrowd’s throwback vibes, an old school variety show seems like the perfect addition for the company to tackle. This episode, shot at People TV on Saturday May 28th with the set built and shot all in 4 hours, features Atlanta-based retro-soul singer Mattiel performing with the InCrowd band. Mattiel, who recorded and released her self titled debut with InCrowd back in October of 2015, immediately grabs attention on “Count Your Blessings” with her thick, bluesy vocals opening with the simple “FaLa La La La”. In one way, it sounds like nothing else out there, making you pay attention not only to Mattiel, but to the surrounding band and backup singers providing precise psychedelic elements through a multitude of percussion and horns. On the other hand, Mattiel is everything that was great about 60’s psychedelia, and she seems poised to be a strong female lead in a retro garage soul revolution, much like the greats such as Grace Slick 222that were so prominent in their time.
The video, produced by Michael & Swilley, is beautifully filmed to look like it was shot back in the 60’s when color video was just becoming a real thing. It’s a perfect crock pot of what a variety show, InCrowd, and Mattiel are all about. With everyone dressed in vintage clothing, they capture an overwhelming trip while being in a room with you and just the band, spinning and shifting around to hone in on each moment, the details of the instruments and voices within the song, as if you were right there. “Now Dig This” is back, this time without the studio audience. Welcome back “Now Dig This” with Mattiel Performing “Count Your Blessings”: