The Suffers Debut
Looking sharp, a Houston band gets a lot of love from David Letterman — and even a kiss — on national TV
Led by singer Kam Franklin, the band thrilled the studio audience at New York's iconic Ed Sullivan Theater with the song "Gwan" from their extended EP, Make Some Room. It featured strong vocals from Franklin, a bongo solo by Jose "Chapy" Luna and a killer horn section, with Jon Durbin on trumpet, Michael Razo on trombone and Cory Wilson on saxophone.
At the end of the performance, Letterman hugged and kissed Franklin and paid the band the highest compliment, declaring to the national audience, "If you can't do this, get out of the business, you know what I mean?"
The set also had a Houston touch as drummer Nick Zamora's drumset was emblazoned with a diagram of Houston's freeways, designed by Houstorian founder James Glassman.
The band looked particularly sharp, with the 11 male band members outfitted in attire from the new Strong Suit collection from M Penner. The suits, which retail for $595 to $795, are aimed at younger customers between the ages of 25 to 40 whose interests are likely to include pop music.
"They are just the sweetest kids," Karen Penner said.
When the band learned of the Letterman gig, a representative approached M Penner owners Murry and Karen Penner about being outfitted in suits for the show. "They knew they wanted to step it up," Karen Penner recalled.
The Penners jumped at the opportunity, picking suits in similar shades, either solid navy, solid charcoal, or navy-and-charcoal pinstripe. To add a pop of color to match the floral Modcloth dress worn by Franklin, who accessorized her outfit with Lucchese cowboy boots, the Penners selected a variety of shirts and ties from Eton and had the band members selected their favorites. Some chose bow ties; others long ties; men's shirts ranged from patterned to floral.
To thank the Penners, the band performed last week at a party at the store to launch the Strong Suit menswear collection and benefit Houston Grand Opera. "They are just the sweetest kids," Karen Penner said.
Watch the Suffers perform on Letterman: