Surviving Hurricane Harvey, The Suffers bring soulful funk to Asheville


With its buttery horn arrangements, funky guitar riffs, and vocal prowess, Texas-based The Suffers open the Diana Wortham Theatre’s 2017-18 Mainstage Series Friday, Sept. 22 with some steamrolling soul.

The Suffers, based in Houston, was among thousands affected by Hurricane Harvey. Diana Wortham Theatre will have a collection point for monetary donations in the lobby during The Suffers’ Sept. 22 performance.

Shooting beyond the notion of soul revival, this outfit packs each position of the rhythm and horn section with talent and taste, providing the perfect foundation for front-woman Kam Franklin. Together the band delivers what it calls "Gulf Coast Soul."

The Suffers’ popularity has exploded in in the past two years. The band has played more than 300 shows across North America. It has visited National Public Radio for a Tiny Desk Concert, made its national television debut on the "Late Show With David Letterman" and officially released its much anticipated self-titled album. The band has been a headliner for the Austin City Limits Music Festival and enjoyed notable performances on "The Daily Show" with Trevor Noah and "Jimmy Kimmel Live." This year the band embarks on its first international tour to spread the sweet sound of Gulf Coast Soul across the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Australia. 

Established in Houston in 2011, The Suffers’ lineup was curated by bassist Adam Castaneda and vocalist/keyboardist Pat Kelly. With Jon Durbin on trumpet, Michael Razo on trombone, Kevin Bernier on guitar, Jose "Chapy" Luna on percussion, and Nick Zamora on drums (plus vocals), the group boasts a powerful rhythm section that supports Franklin’s soaring vocals.

The Suffers progressed quickly from packing Houston venues to accepting invitations nationwide to perform at notable festivals and venues, all while remaining a Houston favorite — receiving 23 Houston Press Music Awards in the last four years. In 2015, the band received 10 distinctive recognitions from “Best Live Act” and “Best Soul/Funk/R&B Act” to a number of individual awards including “Best Songwriter,” “Best Female Vocals,” "Best Drummer,” “Best Keyboards” and “Best Horn."

In the lobby during The Suffers’ performance, Diana Wortham Theatre plans to have a collection point for the Greater Houston Community Foundation's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Steamrolling soul

Who: The Suffers

When: 8 p.m. Sept. 22

Where: Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville

Cost: $35 regular, $30 student, $20 child, $10 student rush