Recent winners of Vita.mn’s Are You Local? Showcase and named one of First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2013, Black Diet is a garage/indie/soul band with a sartorial flair. Indebted to Stax records, they put on shows that look like Baptist church services held at punk houses. Part of a stream of vintage sounding acts coming out of Minneapolis’ Piñata Records, they’re spitting out sharp, testimonial jams for the masses. Formed in the Fall of 2011, they’ve spent years playing show after show, session after session, a walking paragon of the “hard working Midwestern band.” Having recently released their debut album, “Find Your Tambourine” to positive reviews, they’re ready to move on up.
Standing at 6’5 with a spiky afro, singer/writer Jonathan Tolliver, a soul journeyman raised by a Baptist pastor father and a church singing mother, sticks out like a sore thumb. He rumbles and screeches through songs about abandonment, fear of loss, the devastation of endings. His singing is at once detached and extremely anxious. A former competitive dancer, he’s also got footwork for days. They’re rounded out by professional burlesque/cabaret singer Mugsy, afrobeat mavens Mitchell Sigurdson and David Tullis, blues rock wailer Sean Schultze, and funk/soul DJ/bassist Garrison Grouse. They form a rhythm unit that’s tight and percolating, always ready to fly off the rails if the feel demands.