Winner: 2010 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards: Group of the year.
“What a surprise! Fifteen years after their last independently released album, this Montreal duo of multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Howard Forman and singer Irene Marc roar back out of nowhere with a third release (Blood Red) overflowing with up-tempo R'n'B, breezy jazz tunes, catchy pop-rock and smouldering ballads. After a very long hiatus, the two have teamed up once again and released a collection of tasty, groove-driven songs. Geared to adult radio, Groove Kings don't disappoint. Marc possesses a gutsy, full-bodied voice full of passion and verve, while Forman masterfully crafts each song with a finely tuned ear. This is certainly an extraordinary return”.
**** Montreal Hour/Ottawa Xpress, Martin Siberok
Groove Kings: What’s Real. Montreal R&B duo Irene Marc and Howard Forman kill on this bar-band slammer. With Marc’s amazing, rough-and-ready voice deftly navigating the classic-rock verses and a memorable soul-drenched chorus, this is irresistible. Available on: Blood Red. Hear it at .
Bernard Perusse-Montreal Gazette
“Rich in classic soul and R&B sensibilities, the Groove Kings serve up plenty of sultry sonic gems on their latest CD Blood Red...Ultimately, the magic of this disc springs from the fruitful collaboration between Marc and Forman. A better creative duo, particularly in their chosen genres, is tough to imagine”.
Red Deer Express ****4/5
“Howard Forman and Irene Marc make some mighty fine smooth R&B here. The album is called Blood Red, and this track (Chore) is a fine example of how it’s done. Anybody having trouble finding good Canadian content these days is just not paying attention”.
"...lead vocalist Irene Marc sings with such a fierce conviction that it shatters you
to the core."
“Groove Kings are simultaneously cutting edge and approachable; each track on this album could (and should) make it onto rotation throughout the United States and abroad”.
Album : Blood Red. Top Tracks: Temporary Man, Bury Me
“Blood Red” by Groove Kings is a keeper! It not only bridges old-school and the current vibe of the genre, it subliminally pushes the music forward.
Jersey Beat - Phil Rainone
Groove Kings are back, picking up right where they left off with stellar writing, outstanding musicianship, and a voice, in Irene Marc, that will stop people in their tracks.
Wildy's World Rating: ****
“Howard Forman jammin’ away on guitar and Irene Marc belting out the vocals make up the heart and soul of Groove Kings. These two musicians seem to have a special connection when it comes to creating a musical groove. The combo between Forman’s precision on guitar stacked with Marc’s passion at the mic = a slam dunk! “
**** 4/5 Skope Magazine-Boston
“If Santana and Aretha Franklin had a musical lovechild, they would’ve named it the Groove Kings”....”From the bluesy Blood Red to the soul-infused Real Love, the Montreal-based Groove Kings deliver a poignant soundtrack for the summer that is chill, relaxed and contemplative all at once”. *****
"Powerhouse lead vocalist Irene Marc and multi-instrumentalist Howard Forman, prepare the way for a rock-infused, bluesy soul workout that canonizes the torchy ‘70s rock of Santana and the soulful gusto of a modern Stax record on their latest indie project Blood Red. "
-J. Matthew Cobb, SoulTracks-Recommended
…”they have a very driving mix of R&B, Blues, Jazz, Rock and Lounge that is unique all to themselves”.
“Expect to hear a good deal more from this dynamic duo. Howard Forman is a triple threat, and Irene Marc was custom designed for his talents”.
“...female blues fans, in particular, will enjoy the oft-romantic, occasionally wistful style of the Montreal-based duo. Vocalist Irene Marc does an exceptional job. Recommended!”
-The Edmonton Sun
“It’s been fifteen years since their last independently released album, but the Montreal-based band Groove Kings have suddenly re-emerged from the shadows. After you listen to their new album, “Blood Red,” it makes you feel like those fifteen years were much too long to have had to wait.”
”Blood Red is a solid affair from beginning to end. Hopefully it will be their breakout release and gain them some popularity south of the Canadian border.”
-The Daily Vault B+
“This is a CD that is one to take the listener to a different place from song to song. It is escapist in that regard, and we all need that at times. Nicely done indeed.”
-Yorkton This Week
"Forman has a feel for classic soul and R&B forms and some of the stronger
songs here,...funky Burn It Down or Moon To Moon, Sun To Sun, wouldn't sound out of place on a Stax or Atlantic album from the late 1960s"
-The Globe and Mail National Edition
"Amid the post-Nirvanic squalor (comes) The Groove Kings' polished R&B
groove, highlighted by singer Irene Marc's powerful, soulful voice...avid listener response from across the country is undeniable. . ."
-Montreal Mirror, QC
"Forman has cooked up a stew of rock, soul, big band; served with Marc's gutsy singing, it's a meal that'll have you calling out for seconds and (the heck with the diet) even thirds."
-The Hour magazine, Montreal, QC
“The songs are strong pop tunes in an R&B vein, with many of them radio-friendly. Tell Me, the lead single, has already made a bit of noise on the RPM Hit Tracks chart , and one or two more charted songs isn't out of the question. Marc is a tremendous singer, sort of a cross between Annie Lennox and Janis Joplin, and her rough-edged tone gives the songs just that right amount of character”.
"...the songs by guitarist Howard Forman are bright and blustery (oh how I wish a big up tempo song like Never Gonna Give Myself Away could get played on the radio so I could crank up the volume in my car) ..."
-The Kingston Whig-Standard, ONT.
"I can listen to the Groove Kings until I die"
-The News at 6, CBC-TV Toronto
'It's wonderful music...if we could have a house band, we decided we'd
like to have The Groove Kings"
-The Dini Petty Show -CTV, National
"Them's whatchtya call great pipes...She has got a beautiful voice...Boy can she sing..."
-MIX 96, Montreal, QC
"What a voice, wonderful, you guys are soooo good...buy it (CD Into The Groove Age) you'll play it over and over, you'll wear it out"
-Entertainment Desk Global-TV, Toronto, ONT.
"This (Everybody Knows) is so cool, man. It's like, amazing. Does the bitch really look good in real life?"
-Grainstore Tavern, Melbourne, Australia
"Cordes vocales sablees avec soin par la vie, eraillements signifiants,
puissance et maturite remarquables. Irene Marc est certes une chanteuse de premier ordre"
-La Presse, Montreal, QC
"...une voix de blueswoman comme celle-la (Irene Marc) ne s'oublie pas..."
-Le Devoir, Montreal, QC
"...your Hot' CD...yes!!, I liked it very much... Your playing and producing has surely arrived!!! I have nothin' but praise as well for Irene's incredible vocal performance..."
-Jimmy Johnson, legendary studio guitarist for Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon
and many others..