By Dave Pehling

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Ably setting backsides in motion since the late 2000s, all-star R&B revue Marc & the Casuals has earned a solid reputation as one of San Francisco’s premiere party-starting outfits. Led by session veteran and keyboard/trumpet player Marc Capelle, his core wrecking crew of Bay Area luminaries features such talented musicians as guitarist Bart Davenport (a solo artist who played with Capelle in the Kinetics and also fronted the Loved Ones and Honeycut) and his Persephone’s Bees partner guitarist Tom Ayers, drummer Todd Roper (Chuck Prophet, Cake), and onetime Dwarves bass player Pete Straus.

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Augmented by a horn section (trombone player Carroll Ashby and saxophonist Tom Griesser) and additional auxiliary players — among them Capelle’s own son Evan on percussion — the group backs a rotating who’s who of local guest vocalists like Karina Denike (Dancehall Crashers, NOFX, The Cottontails), veteran rock heroes Bob Reed (Overwhelming Colorfast, the Titan-Ups) and Mark Eitzel (American Music Club) and established songwriters Virgil Shaw and Brad Brooks through marathon sets that range from deep soul and funk covers to revamped rock classics.

While the performances of this live R&B jukebox have become more rare in recent years as Capelle focused on his soundtrack-focused project the Red Room Orchestra — which not surprisingly features many of the same players —  Marc & the Casuals still re-emerge for shows periodically.

They served as the house band for the Make-Out Room’s annual Holiday Craptacular fundraising food drive in 2018 and 2019, and Capelle has been appearing regularly at the Chapel’s attached restaurant Curio, leading small groups featuring his main foil Ayers on guitar.

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This “Winter Soul Celebration” at the Chapel on Friday will feature the band and some of the usual singers in attendance squeezing up onstage along with guest guitarist Xan McCurdy, who is best known as a member of Cake, but also played with the Kinetics as well as Kinetics precursor, the ’90s mod R&B band the Loved Ones fronted by Davenport.

Also appearing Friday will be another of Capelle’s collaborators, Bay Area gospel legends the West Coast Spiritual Corinthians with lead vocalist Melvin Booker. A product of a musical East Texas family (his father was a gospel singer and brother Ernest sang with Texas groups the Pilgrim Travelers and the Soul Stirrers), Booker founded the Corinthians in the Bay Area during ’60s, featuring such talented musicians over the decades as blues shouter Esther Phillips, Tony! Toni! Toné! founder and solo star Raphael Saadiq, blues guitar giant Joe Louis Walker and longtime Frank Zappa guitarist/vocalist Ray White. The group’s performance at the Chapel will help celebrate Booker’s 90th birthday.

Opening the show will be Harold Ray & East Side Dynamite. Fronted by kinetic singer Jason Morgan (who had previously wielded the mic with similarly minded punk/R&B crew Harold Ray Live in Concert and early Bob Seger tribute band Total BS), the group of seasoned scene veterans and Mission District ringers deliver sweaty, swaggering takes on ’60s soul classics and raw rock chestnuts that have been regularly filling dance floors on both sides of the Bay for a number of years.

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Marc & the Casuals Winter Soul Celebration with the West Coast Spiritual Corinthians and Harold Ray & East Side Dynamite
Friday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m. $25
The Chapel