Average White Band

Some musical pairings were just meant to be, as if ordained from the beginning of time: John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Brian Eno and David Bowie, Scotland and funk. Well, maybe not so much that last one — good thing nobody ever told the Average White Band. As their misleading moniker hints, AWB never really cared much about perceptions. In 1973, no white group (average or not) had ever made a go playing such tight, groovy, balls-out funky music; that AWB did while hailing from the foggy, soggy British Isles made their achievement that much rarer. One year later, AWB had a No. 1 smash with the infectious instrumental groove of "Pick up the Pieces." Flash-forward 33 calendar revolutions, give or take, and AWB is back and primed to take a generation that probably recognizes their music from hip-hop samples back to the old school.

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