Groovement, with The Maytags
The Yacht Club — Friday, Feb. 12 at 10 p.m.
The members of the Maytags — Dustin Smith, Andy Poppen, Tim Sanders, Nick Leo, Ben Chappell, Daniel Kreipke, Sam Mogerman — have been playing together off-and-on, in various iterations, for years, and you can tell.
The tight, hot, soul-rock sounds on their debut EP Nova, cut less than six months after the band’s formal formation in July of 2014, are a dead giveaway. Now, with their first full-length album on the horizon, the Des Moines-based band is finally trekking east to play for their fans in Iowa City. Frontman Dustin Smith says they’ve been trying to make it out over the past year, so when the Yacht Club reached out to them, they jumped at the chance. This is a one-off gig in support of the Arkansas six-piece funk outfit Groovement. However, “We plan to pop our heads up there as much as possible this year,” Smith says, to support the upcoming album.
The Maytags are known for a new spin on soul, or as their website says, “making a brand of soul that’s all their own.” Smith attributes that to a sense of freedom he finds in playing soul and jazz in the Midwest. “I spent some time out in New York,” he says. “I went to school out there and studied music … Being in Des Moines, and being in Iowa in general, there’s a sense of having an open canvas … not bound to as many expectations.”
While they may be free of stylistic expectations, the band certainly places high expectations of quality on itself. Both their EP and their upcoming album were recorded at The Bomb Shelter, a studio in Nashville that records all in analog. Smith says he was first introduced to the rewards of recording in analog thanks to a Daytrotter session with his earlier band, Dustin Smith and the Sunday Silos. There’s “no excuse to not have your shit together,” he says of the format. He loves the push to pull together the best possible sound, and he calls himself “super lucky,” in his Maytags band mates, to be working with “a team of people who are really good at their craft.”
Smith notes that Nova was written while they were “submerged in early Motown,” evident in the vocals and the horns. He insists that, overall, their style — drawn from a long history of deep Iowa influences of all genres — is more rock and roll. Still, he says, “when the soul comes in … we do our own thing with it.
See the Maytags do their thing at the Yacht Club on Friday, Feb. 12. Doors are at 9:30; the show starts at 10. Tickets, available at the Yacht Club website, are $7.