A Missoula funk favorite is back on stage Friday, celebrating a new album by sharing their rhythm and rhymes at the Top Hat Lounge.

Locksaw Cartel, who released their self-titled debut earlier this year, will again return to the downtown venue.

Singer Ruth Dada said there was a vast difference in approach from playing live shows to heading into the studio to put down tracks for an album.

“The hardest thing about making a record is capturing the energy,” she said.

Despite the new experience of recording, Dada said she’s very satisfied with the release and is already looking forward to the next album. In the year between when they began recording and now, she said the band has a lot of new material.

The only thing holding them back from starting work on a second album is when the money required to do it works out, whether that means paying for it themselves or trying some type of crowdfunding solution.

The preproduction work that went into the self-titled release for the band that started in 2012 was not just in writing and workshopping each individual song, but also trying to create a concept album where the transition between tracks that cover several genres was just as important, Dada said. She complimented guitarist Chris DuParri as the driving force behind writing the music for Locksaw Cartel’s songs.

“To truly be a good artist, you should be able to do anything. I’m not saying we’re doing that, but we’re trying,” she said.

Ben Schuberg’s piano skills are showcased on several tracks, which run the gamut from funk to deliberate throwbacks to jazz and blues. Matt Mischke on drums and recent addition Ed Wrzesien, who replaced Tal Slaughter, on bass round out the ensemble.

“We were trying to create a concept album where goes everywhere genre-wise but the importance is in the transitions between songs,” Dada said.

Since the album has come out, Locksaw Cartel has played shows in Spokane and Bozeman, and Dada said their hope is to start playing more festivals, but getting booked can be tricky.

“We make art, that’s what we do. I try to cold call festivals and send emails, but I don’t really know how to do all that,” she said.

Dada said the band enjoys playing shows at the Top Hat, and praised owner Nick Checota for being a responsible new owner who has pushed the venue forward while still respecting its roots and the music.

“I remember when I was a little girl and my mom’s boyfriend's band would play there and I would dance on the wood floors and there was the spirit of music and nothing has changed. There’s an energy there,” she said.

Friday’s show will feature a mix of songs off of the album as well as newer material, as well as “something special” that Dada isn’t willing to tip her hand on.

“It’s going to be entertaining. I’ll just say that,” she said.

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