Space Capone Brings the Intergalactic Funk

Summer is the best time to be in Southern Illinois. It is time is for wading at Bums Beach, cliff ju
Brett Haynes


Summer is the best time to be in Southern Illinois. It is time is for wading at Bums Beach, cliff jumping at Lake Kinkaid, kicking it at the Spillway... and the Sunset Concerts!

The Sunset Concerts are a local tradition celebrating live music and all things summer in Carbondale. Each Thursday (with a week off on July 4), seven free concerts rotate venues, starting June 13 at the steps of the Shryock Auditorium and then moving the next Thursday to Turley Park. Close to the whole town comes out for these, so be ready to party. Those who don’t want their names in the police blotter each Friday after the event, however, should use Porta Potties and obey other concert rules (no pets, no glass containers, no kegs, and no underage drinking).

The lineup for the thirty-fifth year of this awesome Carbondalien tradition is pretty darn exciting and diverse, beginning with the most definitely talented soul group Space Capone.

Hailing from Nashville, Tennessee (although apparently from outer space, like Sun Ra), Space Capone plays original music infused with tributes to the soulful rhythm and blues that came out of the 1970s and 1980s. Space Capone is far from corny– the music is totally energetic and fresh while still infused with old, feel-good soul. Spin magazine also named Space Capone one of fifteen must-see acts out of more than seventy-something at Hangout Festival.

The band contains frontman Aaron Winter; Ben Stix on drums; Clinton Wilson on bass and synth bass; Neal Dahlgren on keys and synth; Joe D. Douglas on sax, synth, and percussion; Sam Farkas on guitar; and Mikie Martel on trumpet and keys. They just released the self-titled, full-length album Space Capone, produced by Hot Concrete and featuring horn arrangements by Jerry Hey (Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan) and guitar work by Jay Graydon (Earth, Wind, and Fire, Steely Dan).

Though their studio work is killer, the band prides themselves on their live show.

For more information, check out Nightlife’s interview with Winter, and visit the band at <>.

You have some new music in the works. What’s up with that?

I’m constantly writing. We’re about to begin tracking on another album, which we hope to release sometime early next year.

Tell us what your music sounds like– as if you were describing it to someone who has never heard it before.

It sounds like classic [rhythm and blues] from the late seventies and eighties.

What does the name Space Capone mean?

Whatever you want it to mean.

What inspires you to make music?

Music in itself. I write music that I would like to hear.

You claim to be from another planet, like Sun Ra. Tell us about it.

I can’t tell you about it. I can, however, tell you it’s a wonderful place filled with very passionate people who throw down their lives for what they love.

Who are the best soul groups from the seventies?

Heatwave; the Whispers; Brothers Johnson; Jackson Five; Earth, Wind, and Fire. Too many to mention.

What planet are you guys from?

Again, if I told you, everyone would know how to get there.

Is space the place?

Most definitely.

What is the band’s spirit animal?


If the band was to be described in three colors, what would they be?

Purple, Blue, Lime Green.

How long have you all been performing? How did this project get started?

We’ve been together for about three years. I just wrote some songs, put together a band one piece at a time, and then played out.

What is the future for Space Capone?

Hopefully a busy tour schedule. It’s how we survive. It’s all we want to do. And it’s also how we improve at what we do.

who: Space Capone

what: Sunset Concerts (soul)

where: Steps of Shryock Auditorium

when: Thursday, June 13