Psychedelic soul band Monophonics’ timeless sound returns to Jackson

Bandleader Kelly Finnigan says soul music is “rooted in a lot of pain, but also a lot of hope and a lot of love.”
Kelly Finnigan (center) and Monophonics perform live at Treefort in Boise, ID. The band is excited to bring their energetic show back to Jackson on October 27 at the Center for the Arts. (Matthew Wordell)

by | Oct 24, 2023 | Music, Music Interviews

Weaving together psych-rock with soul and funk, the Bay Area-based band Monophonics are immersed in the sounds of the late 60s and early 70s while maintaining a stern focus on the future.

Led by singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Kelly Finnigan, Monophonics have taken their live shows full of soulful songwriting and skilled musicianship to dozens of countries around the world.

The band will perform at the Center for the Arts on Friday, Oct 27, bringing a slice of psychedelic soul to Wyoming.  


‘Something magical about it’

Finnigan said he and his bandmates formulated their style by digging through and listening to records that most resonated with them, like Sly & The Family Stone, Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes. 

“These were all records that were really influenced by what was at that point [the cross section] of rock, funk and psych culture. So that spoke to us and we wore that on our sleeve. And what we really felt best about was [the fact] nobody else was really doing that [at the time],” he said.

Aside from his role as lead singer and multi-instrumentalist, Finnigan also helms the boards as the band’s producer. He described his love of using vintage analog equipment during the recording process and why it feels like the best way to capture the music they’re trying to create.

“I’ve been a fan of how it affects the people in the room and the musicians and how it affects the performance and obviously the way it sounds,” he said. “It’s just like a lot of things that are older. There’s just something magical about it.” 

When asked about the music he loves, Finnigan touched on the genre’s deep roots in spirituals, the church and its maturation into rhythm and blues and rock and roll, before becoming what we now know as soul music.

“When you have a music that’s so rooted in a lot of pain, but also a lot of hope and a lot of love, and all the ups and downs that life brings, when you’re dealing with that subject matter, it automatically speaks to people,” he said.“There’s nothing complex about struggle or falling in love or heartbreak, or just the obstacles that we all face every day.”

Finnigan said Monophonics have had some memorable moments performing in Jackson at the Pink Garter Theatre and are excited to return. 

“We’re trying to bring you up and then bring it down nice and gently,” he said. “We like to make the crowd feel like we’re all there doing this together. It’s a synergy thing. We look forward to having the music be infectious and have a great time.”

Listen above for KHOL’s full conversation with Kelly Finnigan of Monophonics.

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About Jack Catlin

Jack is KHOL's music director. He says all music is in some way connected no matter the style and his mission is to provide listeners with a unique and memorable experience each time they tune in to KHOL or see him DJ live.

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