KISS co-founder & frontman, best-selling author and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer PAUL STANLEY has spent the last few years developing a project close to his heart. Soul Station is a band gathering some of today’s leading musicians to pay tribute to the greatest artists and songs from the R&B and soul catalog to keep this vital music current. While a surprise to many, Stanley’s early pivotal roots in this music has quietly turned this passion into a celebrated touring and recording band. Stanley’s 15-piece ensemble group has toured the U.S. and Japan, and recently recorded an album of nine classic soul songs and five new original songs. NOW AND THEN will be released March 5 on UMe available for pre-order NOW, the first single “O-O-H Child” (The Five Stairsteps) is available today HERE.
Speaking to now music, Stanley said: “Between us doing some great Soul Station shows and starting the album I started to think that neither the band or the music we love should depend only on the past so I started writing with the goal of seamlessly taking songs into the present. From what a lot of people I respect have told me, that mission was accomplished.”
When Stanley conceived Soul Station, the group excelled in the live venue setting, playing smaller, intimate clubs – a setting where Paul Stanley would reflect on those classic hits that were his early inspiration, playing the songs with a reverence and respect for how he and the band believe they should be performed and heard.
“Long before I ever heard the great British bands, I grew up listening to Philly Soul, Motown and so much more. I was lucky to see Otis Redding and Solomon Burke among others. That music and its storytelling gave me strength and hope even in some tough days. The great classics of that era are magical medicine for most and I felt myself drawn back to that era for some sorcery I think we could all use.”
Soul Station Band Members
Stanley’s legendary band members will include: Rafael “Hoffa” Moreira (guitar & backing vocals), Sean Hurley (bass), Alex Alessandroni (Musical Director, keyboards), Ely Rise (keyboards), Eric Singer (drums & backing vocals), RayYslas (percussion), Gavyn Rhone (backing vocals), Crystal Starr (backing vocals) and Laurhan Beato (backing vocals) and Jon Pappenbrook (lead trumpet).
The band is augmented by three string players and two horn players of the same stature enabling Soul Station’s wall of sound to be firmly rooted in the past while staking claim to both the present and future.
As co-founder of KISS, Stanley has piloted the band’s music and business through its 50-year career as one of the biggest bands in the history of rock. In addition to 100 million in world sales, their 30 U.S. gold albums make them the #1 American band for most certified gold albums. Stronger than ever, the KISS legacy continues to grow, generation after generation. Stanley has further established his legacy when his memoir Face The Music: A Life Exposed debuted at #2 on the New York Times best seller list upon its April 2014 release and was followed by his second best seller Backstage Pass.
Alex Alessandroni (musical director & keyboards)
Alessandroni has performed, directed and/or recorded with artists such as Babyface, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, Pink, Nelly Furtado, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Evans, Tony Braxton, Bobby Brown, Natalie Cole, Mike Patton and many more.
Rafael “Hoffa” Moreira (guitar & backing vocals)
Moreira has performed and recorded with the likes of Pink, Christina Aguilera, Steven Tyler, Backstreet Boys, New Kids On The Block, Sheryl Crow and Stevie Wonder in addition to being featured on television shows The Voice, American Idol, Rockstar INXS and Supernova.
Sean Hurley (bass)
Hurley is an LA-based recording and touring bassist for John Mayer and many others including Robin Thicke, Annie Lennox and Ringo Starr.
Ely Rise (keyboards)
Rise has performed on television shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live! in addition to having written and produced for acts such as Adam Lambert, Macy Gray and Mike Posner. He stands as the go-to session player for some of today’s biggest producers.
Eric Singer (drums & backing vocals)
Singer has been a member of KISS for over 20 years, recording and touring worldwide to millions of fans. He has also toured with Brian May, Black Sabbath, Lita Ford and Alice Cooper.
Ray Yslas (percussion)
Yslas is one of modern music’s most accomplished in his field, having done world tours and performances with platinum artists including Christina Aguilera, Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Lopez and the Backstreet Boys. He has made numerous network television appearances with the likes of Stevie Nicks, Martina McBride and Carlos Santana on shows such as Saturday Night Live, Oprah, American Idol, The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman and is currently a touring member of Chicago.
Jon Papenbrook (Trumpet)
Papenbrook has played lead trumpet with Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Paul Anka and Frankie Avalon to name a few. He has also played lead with the Harry James Orchestra, Louis Bellson Big Band, Buddy Rich Big Band as well as performing on various TV shows, film dates and recordings.
Gavyn Rhone (backing vocals)
He’s toured/shared the stage with Pitbull, Nick Jonas, Stevie Wonder, Trey Songz, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Babyface and is currently the lead singer for The Gap Band. Gavyn is also featured on 7-time Grammy nominated Keyshia Cole’s hit single “Party Ain’t A Party.”
Crystal Starr (backing vocals)
Starr has backed artists such as Jessica Simpson, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West and Ariana Grande in addition to competing on American Idol and starred on Broadway’s Baby It’s You. Starr has also been a background vocalist on The Voice.
Laurhan Beato (backing vocals)
A veteran of the Los Angeles music scene, Beato’s credits include shows from The Video Music Awards to The Academy Awards with artists and artists ranging from Tori Kelly to John Legend.