Words by Audra Tracy | Photo by Todd Spoth

Kam Franklin stood under the spotlight at House of Independents, ready to introduce “Do Whatever”, a new carefree tune by her Gulf Coast soul band, The Suffers. “There’s never a right time to chase your dreams”, she said to the Asbury Park audience on this 4/20 evening. “Roll your eyes if you want, but I’m up here livin’…”

Damn right Franklin has been ‘livin’ lately – since the Houston native quit her day job as an investment banker in 2015 to pursue music full-time, she and The Suffers have crossed some major musical moments off their bucket lists. They’ve toured with Lake Street Dive, performed on The Daily Show, played a killer set on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, and this July, the eight-piece band will release their sophomore album, Everything Here.

Songs from Everything Here peppered the set list at House of Independents, including “I Think I Love You”, and the title track, which Franklin broke down for the crowd with her signature sass. “This is about the little bit of time after someone rips your heart out, and all you wanna do is eat, and watch Netflix, and maybe get a little stoned”, she quipped. “You ain’t the only one eating chips in the dark.”

The tight, soulful instrumentals concocted by The Suffers onstage are definitely the fuel that keeps this neo-retro vehicle in motion, but it’s Franklin who is behind the wheel. Her effortless charisma (not to mention her supremely smooth vocals) exude pure girl power – captivating and inspiring the congregation below.

There were a few more highlights before the show came to close – most notably the tune “Make Some Room”, where a fan’s hash-brown recipe incited an impromptu freestyle about those delicious crispy fried potatoes.

For a band called The Suffers, they sure know how to put some love in the air.


TheWaster.com | Asbury Park