Tank and the Bangas are a New Orleans-based R&B band fronted by Tarriona Ball (aka Tank), a singer and poet who can wail like Patti LaBelle, scold like Millie Jackson, and soliloquize like Jill Scott. Established with their highly energized live show and a handful of independent releases beginning with 2013's Think Tank, they won NPR's Tiny Desk Contest in 2017, leading to a major-label contract with Verve and the 2019 release of Green Balloon, their second studio album.
Capable of shifting from classic soul and funk to hip-hop, reggae, and rock, the instrumental core of Tank and the Bangas consists of musical director and drummer Joshua Johnson, keyboardist Merell Burkett, keyboardist and bassist Norman Spence, and saxophonist and flutist Albert Allenback. Since taking shape in 2011, the Bangas and Ball have been joined by a cast of supplemental musicians that has included background vocalists Angelika Joseph and Kayla Jasmine. Think Tank, the band's debut studio album, was released independently in 2013. It was followed by live recordings of hometown gigs, including The Big Bang Theory: Live at Gasa Gasa in 2014 and subsequent documentations of their regular performances at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. In 2017, the band reached a new audience when they prevailed over 6,000 fellow aspiring acts to win NPR's third Tiny Desk Contest. The vote, conducted by a panel of musicians and experts, was unanimous. Tank and the Bangas signed with Verve and made their major-label debut with Live Vibes in 2018. Live Vibes 2 followed in 2019 and led to the band's second studio album, Green Balloon, later that year. ~ Andy Kellman