Review: TÜN — ‘Mercury Retrograde’

When like-minded souls come together and fuse their talents and ideas into a focused common message, that is when they move from being a group of players to being “a band.”

The members of south Seattle five piece TÜN have been working together for years in other projects but finally sharpened their direction and came together to record the debut album Mercury Retrograde for an April of 2019 release. The nine song collection of all original tracks is a mixture of dance floor ready poppin’ funk, gritty blues rock and scorching hot neo-soul.  Keyboardist and vocalist Chris Cootsona leads the band that features powerhouse lead vocalist and lyricist, Chicago born Lauren Santi, along with guitarist, Nick Fair, Will Bagby on drums, and Bill DeHart on bass. The funky love song “Magic,” opens the set followed by shifting modern blues about Santi’s hometown “Cicero” that features some groovy drumming and piano work. Fair opens with some howling guitar before Santi get down and dirty on the gritty “Lonesome Road.”

Cootsona takes over the lead vocals and does his best Adam Levine for “Match Like You.” Santi takes us to church on the lovely Gospel fueled ballad “Water Bearer.” TÜN then blends old school and new school on the clavinet driven “Trouble,” the dynamic nod to Diana Ross, “Invincible,” and a call out to “Move Your Body,” on the dance floor anthem “Filthy Fifth.” The set ends sweetly with the mid temp neo-soul of “Fade Away,” allowing each player to shine one more time.  Titling their debut album Mercury Retrograde must certainly be a tongue in cheek contradiction, for TÜN is certainly moving in a forward direction with this harmonious release.

(Check out the album below via Spotify and get more information about TÜN HERE.) 

Rick Bowen

Rick grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan playing in school band, choir and show bands. While earning a BA at Western Michigan University in History and Social Science, he was a member of the Bronco marching band and jazz ensemble Gold Company. Moving to the Northwest in 1994, Rick soon landed gigs and sessions with many diverse local artists and is currently a member of the award winning Stacy Jones Band and the host of the all ages School of Jam. Rick is also an associate producer and session musician for Critical Sun Recordings, a contributing writer at Innocent Words, Seattle Examiner, No Depression, The Washington Blues Society and S.T.E.A.M magazine, and serves on the board of directors for the Washington Blues Society. Rick is endorsed by and plays THUMPER CUSTOM DRUMS. Awards: Washington Blues Society “Best of the Blues” award 2009 Best New Band –Stacy Jones Band WBS “Best of the Blues” award 2012 Best Blues Jam - Oxford Saloon Monday Night Jam 2013 & 2014 WBS Best Blues Writer award. 2014 WBS Chris Leighton Blues Drummer BB Award. Nominations: 2009 & 2013 Best Blues Drummer WBS BB awards. 2012 Best NW recording “No Need To Spell it Out –Stacy Jones Band (Rick J Bowen co producer)

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