Shiftless Layabout
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Shiftless Layabout

Bothell, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004

Bothell, Washington, United States
Established on Jan, 2004
Band Blues Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




"Loungey, luscious, horn-based funk music." -

"Confident & Soulful"

"It was a real pleasure working on Shiftless Layabout's recent release. these players can really play. They are confident and soulful, reminiscent of Tower of Power and an era when strong musical chops were a requirement." - Barry Corliss, Masterworks CD Mastering, Seattle

"super-funk, with a bit o' soul"

I first heard Shiftless Layabout about four years ago. Maybe five, even. My band had been playing a lot at this now-defunct club, and we were there one night to compete in a battle-of-the-bands, and Shiftless Layabout was one of the other bands on the bill. I don't think either of us won the battle; it was a Monday Night, and we were all just playing for the other bands anyway. I went home that night with a home-burned CD-R with 4 songs on it that they'd been giving them away from the side of the stage. The disc didn't even have a label, the words 'Shiftless Layabout' simply scrawled in Sharpie across the matte-silver lining.

A year or so later, in early '04, I began work producing an Oingo Boingo tribute album. When trying to think of unsigned bands to include on the album, Shiftless Layabout was one of the first on my list. They recorded an amazing version of 'Not My Slave', and the song is a soulful crooning that slips the funk in just the right places.

So why did I want these local guys, unsigned and untested, on a nationally-released tribute album?

Wow, that's a hard question... why did I set myself up with such a hard question? Why did I ask these guys to be on my album?

Oh yeah... 'Cause They Kick Funkin' Ass!

The thing is this: These guys are a bunch of former band-geeks. Real live music-reading, high-knee-marching, knows-the-difference-between-andante-and-antipasto Band Geeks! And, as someone who works with a lot of self-taught rock musicians, I can tell you: the Band Geeks make Better Musicians! Yup, I know it's crazy, but it's true.

And these guys prove it, both on stage and in the studio. When they recorded their contribution to our Boingo Album, it was the drummer who worked up the arrangement. Now that's a music geek!

The point is, these guys know their music. And their music of choice is super-funk, with a bit o' soul, and a humorous retro-70s-kung-fu-movie attitude that keeps the bootie shakin' and the tip-toes-tappin'. Oh yeah, and just enough cowbell to keep things interesting.

God Bless the Music Geeks.

Leland Hirschman
Big Cheese
Dep't of Records
06/01/2007 - Leland Hirschman, Dep't Of Records

"Here's What Some Fans Are Saying..."

"Pass my afro sheen NOW!!! and give me platform shoes!!! What can I say I'm a dancing machine, too. Horns have great presence... Lead vocal dude is CRAAAZZZYY. I like the energy." - Rihki Kennebrew, New York

"Bring it back to the Old School! ...Love the funkiness... fat, warm and juicy, just like funk 'oughta be!" - Heather, Fort Meyers, FL

"Love that brass section... quite raw funk, which is always refreshing." - Shannon, New South Wales, Australia

"This reminds me of all the old school funk I used to listen to as a kid." - Reynaldo, Santa Ana, CA

"Woohoo! It sounds like soulfinger baby! I can just see Fat Albert and the gang cruisin' down the street. Those vocals are kickin'!" - Matt Stetson, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

"4 Stars (out of 5)"

Let's go back to the 1970's for a moment. Platform shoes, fashions folks won't own up to even today and a divergence of musical styles were the way of the world. Bands like the Average White Band, Tower Of Power, Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago were dominating the charts with funk and/or lots of brass. Thirty-odd years into the future we find Shiftless Layabout, who in June of 2009 released their sophomore CD, Layin' It Down Eight Days A Week. Steeped in the funk of the 1970's and the big brass sound of rock bands of the era, Shiftless Layabout has taken Seattle by storm. Add in a little Southern Rock pedigree and you have the picture of Shiftless Layabout that I'd show you. Now let's talk about the music.

Layin' It Down Eight Days A Week eschews the excesses of the late '70's and 80's and returns to a time when songwriting was still dominant over displays of technical prowess substituted for song craft. Shiftless Layabout shows what they're made of right from the opening moments of Soul Steppin', providing a highly danceable music experience that recalls the joy that was music in the 1970's. About A Drummer is built around Tommy "Two-Tones" Miller's funky guitar work. He and bassist Matty "Good-Times" Wexler do a wondrous dance throughout About A Drummer, keeping the music lively and the vibe cooking. The brass section of Tim "TK" Kelly (also vocals), Brandon "Lunchbox" Keller and Heidi "Chico" Wischler fills out the sound perfectly, while Christian "The Squid" Krehbiel keeps everyone in-line on drums. Crazytown features some of the psychedelic spirit of the 1970's, and glorifies people willing to live their life on the edge. Miller is again superb on guitar. Falling Down reminds me heavily of Chicago, but the energy just isn't here. The Kid On His Own recaptures the energy Shiftless Layabout has been about for much of the album. Feels So Good finds Shiftless Layabout powering up for a bit of electric funk in a highly danceable tune with a sunny disposition. Shiftless Layabout closes out with She's With Me, another energetic, high-end Funk Rocker that's a kick in the brass guaranteed to get you moving and shaking.

Shiftless Layabout is a rather ironic name for a band that plays music that inspires listeners to do anything but stay still. Layin' It Down Eight Days A Week is one of those infectious albums you won't want to put down. The only thing that could make the experience complete is to find it on vinyl. This is great stuff.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
Wildy Haskell - Wildy's World (

"Funky, Fresh, Freaky"

Funky, fresh, freaky, and habit forming - Shiftless Layabout's music gets under skin. From the smooth instrumental stride of “Soul Steppin” to the burnin' groove of “She's With Me” this CD is for you. You must buy this CD and shake your booty daily.

Dave Newman, DJ - Dave Newman, Hollow Earth Radio


Still working on that hot first release.



TK - vocals, trumpet, funkulele

Lunchbox - saxophone, b/u vocals

Tommy Two-Tones - guitar, PBR

Matty Good-Times - bass, attitude

Baz - drums, rehearsal space

The Shiftless sound is a blend of rock and funk, grit and polish. They bring a fresh perspective to the old-school: combining wah-wah funk and ass-tingling brass with a crunchy dose of southern rock and blues. Their influences include: Average White Band, Tower Of Power, Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, The Allman Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Mofro, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Lynard Skynard and a fistful of 70's kung-fu.

Shiftless Layabout was founded in Seattle in the summer of 2002. It began with TK writing songs with his buddy Mike in a one-room University District apartment under the working title of SOULIO. Dreams of a full band soon grew to include The 'New England Rhythm' of Matty Good-Times super-solid bass (Emi Meyer, The Red Note, RB Reed) and Tommy's blues-soaked guitar (Deal, Sly Lothario). Further fueling the fire is the 'lunchbox' flavor - brassy saxophone and angelic back-up vocals. Finishing the job, keepin' it real, keepin' it steady, the punishing percussion of Steve Baz pushes the band in all the right directions (Bakelite 88, Golden Robot Army, Purty Mouth).

Band Members