Artist of the Week: Planet EarthMay 11, 2010
Seventies funk meets twenty-first century soul might be the best way of describing the heady vibe that characterizes Planet Earth’s newest platter, Twenty Miles from Buffalo. Released on the band’s own Sleeping Eddie Music label, Twenty Miles from Buffalo is the third disc from what has become an impressively mature, seasoned funk outfit of hellacious proportions.
The core group consist of Ron Littlejohn on lead vocals; Ben Riley, son of Canadian music icon Doug Riley, on drums; Glenn Olive on bass and the Juno Award-wining Dylan Heming on the keys. For Twenty Miles from Buffalo they are augmented by guitar wizards Dan Noordermeer, Kevin Breit, Jake Langley and Sean Baillie; Adele Armin on violin, Holly Cole and Courtney Farquhar on backing vocals and a crack horn section consisting of Steve Donald, Kevin Turcotte, Tim Rutledge and Perry White. Holding down a six year residency at the Orbit Room, Toronto’s emporium of all things soulful, Planet Earth’s ascendancy among local hipsters is reflected in the fact that they routinely are tapped to open up for visiting hip hop, funk and jazz artists such as K-OS, Maestro, Maceo Parker and Joey DeFrancesco.