America may be singing the praises of San Diego’s funk-soul master Stevie Harris and the rest of the boys in the Styletones on Super Bowl Sunday after they see a commercial featuring the local act.
SoundDiego LIVE fans will remember the band from October’s party at Quality Social, where the Styletones shared a bill with Neon Cough. The Styletones' latest gig is a licensing deal with the Got Milk? folks, who selected their version of the Sam & Dave classic “Hold On! I’m A-Comin’ ” to provide the music bed for a 60-second spot that also features the Rock, aka Dwayne Johnsonm of The Mummy Returns fame.
In his latest role – the spot was directed by Peter Berg of “Friday Night Lights”; the pair worked together on 2003’s The Rundown -- the Rock plays a heroic type too busy to foil any of the crises he’s confronted with, choosing instead to get milk for a trio of little girls apparently waiting for breakfast. With the full-throated Harris going full-bore behind him, he passes up opportunities to rescue a cat in a tree, foil a bank robbery and tangle with a lion on the loose, all in his quest for milk. Having safely delivered his gallon container, he gets ready to handle an alien invasion.
Local music producer Ben Moore, who plays keyboards for the Styletones, said that while the musical connections that made the ad possible had been created long ago, the commercial itself could not have happened more quickly.
“This has all been really exciting,” Moore said. “It’s all been happening so fast.... Everybody, including Brent Asbury of [music supervision and licensing company] Beta Petrol, was surprised they would put the ad out this far in advance…. A few years, back, Brett Asbury -- he’s from San Diego -- I had given him an album I had for a previous band I was in called Pocket. And he called me up [recently] to explain they needed someone to do an updated version of this song -- a lot more raucous -- in about 48 hours.”
Not a problem for the Styletones.
“We went into the studio the next day, had a great time recording it and sent mixes to Brent,” said Moore, who also mentioned that while the band members knew the song, they had never played it as a group. “I produced, there was some rearranging involved. The original version was produced consistent with the genius of those old soul records…. We decided to change a couple things to make it our own.”
The attention – big and small -- is more than welcome.
“It’s always difficult for a small band to get national television exposure, so we couldn’t be more happy,” Moore said, adding that, while he was never into sports, he’ll be watching with family on Sunday for sure.
Be sure to head out to Winston’s in OB on Feb. 23 to catch the Styletones’ next local show.