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The Milford St Shakers, Beyond Hitsville: Motown to Muscle Shoals

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by Newt (subscribe)
Freelance writer, PR person, loving the Perth lifestyle of fabulous food and wine, great weather and wide open spaces.
Motown music to move the soul at Scarborough Fringe
They look slick and sound slicker. The Milford Street Shakers and their brand of sixties soul music have been taking WA by storm over the last year.

And now they are set to return to one of the year's successful stages for them, Summerset's Fringe at Big Top at Sunset Veranda, Brighton Reserve in Scarborough on Sunday February 11 at 6.15pm.

Milford Street Shakers, Beyond Hitsville, Motown, Fringe Festival, Summerset, Scarborough
The poster for Beyond Hitsville. Image supplied.

The Milford Street Shakers will be performing their Motown tribute Beyond Hitsville: Motown to Muscle Shoals, which this year won them a nomination for a Fringe World Music and Musicals Award for its show at the 2017 Summerset Arts Festival.

The nine-piece band features the big sounds of the M Street Horns and the voice of Lee Morunga, who spent 10 years touring with The Lion King with Disney both in Australia and Europe.

The show's upbeat music is a tribute to the soul music of people such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown and Etta James.

Milford St Shakers, Motown, Scarborough, Summerset, Fringe Festival, Stratosfunk, Lee Morunga
The Milford Street Shakers. Image supplied.

Band leader Dom D'Leno said it had been a wonderful year for them and they were looking forward to bringing Beyond Hitsville back to Scarborough.

It's the kind of music people love to get up and dance to and appeals to everybody, no matter their age. Joining the band to add another dimension of energy are the Beehive go-go dancers.

The music focuses on the American music of the era like the Motown sounds of Detroit, the music of Muscle Shoals in Alabama, from Chess Records where Etta James recorded a lot of her music, to Stax Records; and Atlantic Records in New York where Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles recorded much of their material.

The Milford Street Shakers follow a journey from the late 1950s to the early 1970s through Chicago, Memphis, New York, and Alabama. The band plays many of the hits of the era that people know and love to get involved and sing along to.

As well as Lee Morunga on lead vocals musicians include James Vinciullo on bass, Dominic D'Leno on drums, Imogen Thomson on percussion, Kallan Phillips on guitar, Austin Salisbury on keys, Robert Bresland on trumpet, Glyn MacDonald on trombone and Mark Sprogowski on baritone sax.

While the Milford Street Shakers has burst onto the scene in WA, the band is an evolution of 60s Soul band, Stratosfunk, which had a break when then lead singer Yara Neto left the band to have a baby.

The Milford Street Shakers was created when Dom brought back some of the former Stratosfunk members with a new style and direction.

Dom says the addition of the big voice of Lee Morunga took the Milford Street Shakers to a whole new level, providing fabulous warmth and depth to the songs.

Early release tickets are available for Fringe World Friends, which is easy to register for a small fee and can be accessed at
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Why? Glorious American soul music of the 1960s.
When: 6.15pm
Where: Brighton Reserve, 204 The Esplanade, Scarborough WA
Cost: Full price $34.50 plus $2.20 booking fee
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