Secret Hits of the Black & Blue Parade
Stymie and the Pimp Jones Luv Orchestra BAND BIO Stymie & the PJLO's instrumentation and presentation recalls classic funk groups like Funkadelic and Sly and The Family Stone, yet the music is 100% original, blending all the musical influences, modern cultural craziness, and cartoon humor that affect our lives. By eschewing cover songs to concentrate on crafting soulful, socially conscious originals, Stymie and his behemoth band have injected new life into the flailing SF music scene. Besides opening for funk legends Earth, Wind, and Fire at California's Shoreline Amphitheater and Concord Pavilion, Stymie & the PJLO have paid dues at such venerable SF clubs as Slim's, Bimbo's, the Elbo Room, the Bottom of the Hill, and the Paradise Lounge. The group's sound incorporates elements of rock, jazz, hip-hop, pop, reggae, Latin, and gospel, while maintaining a soulful funkiness and nastiness that throws audiences into a frenzy. At one show, P-Funk All-stars guitarist John Payne was inspired to leap on stage and jam with the band on 'Fan Club,' a bouncy mixture of James Brown grooves, whimsical horn vamps, and hot swing breaks. The song was described by All Music Guide's John Bush as 'the most entertaining' on that album. Billy Preston was impressed, too. When Stymie & the PJLO was hired to play a musical tribute to the funk icon, Preston was moved to join them on stage, later saying, 'I dig you guys. You remind me of early Sly & the Family Stone.' In fact, the legacy of Sly Stone was the very reason Sean 'Stymie' Sharp moved to San Francisco. Born in Hollywood, CA, Sharp's musical career began in Compton in the late 80's, singing for 'Stymie,' a funk-rock band named after the Little Rascal's character. Sharp's assertive nature soon got him kicked out, and the band assumed a new name as it turned into a heavy metal group. To get even, he adopted the name Stymie as his personal moniker, creating a comic book persona that would reflect his inner demons. 'My life is like a rubber band,' says Sharp. 'It's like there's a force that's constantly pulling me back, putting obstacles in my way. Then when I get onstage it's like somebody let go of the rubber band, and I can release all that energy.' Honing his skills through street performance and as a vocalist for many bands in both LA and New York, Stymie's first brush with fame was singing back-up for Ice Cube, on his 1993 version of Parliament's 'One Nation Under A Groove.' Striking out on his own, Stymie moved to San Francisco in 1996 to tap into the energy that had propelled groups like Sly and The Family Stone. He envisioned a massive funk band that would take the city by storm, and began recruiting musicians to join his 'Pimp Jones Luv Orchestra.