You can't argue with a good thing.
Winnipeg music vet Darryl Reilly (Subcity, the Afterbeat) and Zimbabwe-born vocalist Noma Sibanda first formed Guerrillas of Soul in 2010. After playing a few gigs as a democratic five piece, things fell apart but the duo kept going.
"We had fun with everybody and played some good shows but there was kind of a ceiling we were hitting," Reilly, 30, says. "Noma and I decided after that that we wanted to keep working as a two piece and take complete creative control from there."
The duo, which also shakes the dance floor as a full-on nine piece (if you missed the group opening for Lee Fields at Jazz Fest, you missed out big), is a politically charged soul act reminiscent of Nina Simone and K'Naan - music that can get you moving and get you thinking.
"It's really fun for us to look at the songs in different ways and changing the instrumentation forces you to keep re-evaluating the material," the multi-instrumentalist says.
The band's next gig is an album fundraiser at which they'll be playing two sets - one acoustic, one as the complete soul machine.
"With a full band on stage, unless you're Bruce Springsteen, you're not going to be able to tell the full story behind the song because you wanna be able to keep the tempo up and get people dancing," Reilly says of the storytellers-style evening the Guerrillas have planned. The songs are political but delivered with hope, and this event will allow the artists to speak frankly about that.
"Look at everything that's happened in the last three weeks,” he says. “There's scandals on every level of the government right now. It doesn't exactly make it easy to look through the rose coloured glasses about the way society is, but I don't think putting a gun to your head is the way to go about things. If we don't have hope, what do we have, right?"
The album, which the band has been demoing with engineer Lloyd Peterson (Greg Macpherson, Death Cab for Cutie) won't see the light of day until later next year, but Reilly is excited to make music his job again after a break from Subcity, which ended its run in 2012 after a decade of touring and recording.
"(Subcity was) touring a shit tonne and I was out of the city a lot and we pushed really, really hard," he says. "What we wanted to have as a band wasn't happening. I took this time to get myself set up in the city a little bit.”
Before going into the studio, there's the age old question: do you replicate the live sound on the recording, or do you try to play your album live?
"We're certainly not looking for a super polished sound," he says. "I wouldn't want the sound to be exactly what you see in the live show. Then there's the Beatles and the crazy stuff that they would do with their latter albums. They'd basically stopped touring by that point because they had found it was too hard to recreate what they were doing in the studio. We're gonna try to find ourselves somewhere in between the middle of that. Theoretically down the line if we're getting booked for a big show, that's when we'll bring in the sax and the trumpet."