It’s Time To Get Funked Up
It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been busy exploring that groovin’ fonque, the type of music that when you start listening to it you feel compelled to move every part of your body, not just toe tapping or head nodding, you gotta shake everything you got. It seems like there’s been a resurgence in it’s popularity, at least within certain scenes. While I’m sure many of you are already familiar with the work of bands like P-Funk and Sly and the Family Stone, a lot of the newer bands aren’t fully getting the attention they deserve. So without further ado, I think it’s time we delve into the music that Maceo Parker says is “3% jazz and 97% funky stuff.”
To start this off, a band that I have been listening to for a while now and when I saw them at last years Jazz Festival, thought that they threw down the hardest, the band is of course the one and only Soulive. Every year the trio takes up a ten day residency at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York aptly named, Bowlive. Each night Eric Krasno and brothers Alan and Neal Evans are joined by fantastic special guests ranging from jazz guitar guru John Scofield to ?uestlove from the Roots and almost every night is accompanied by a spectacular section of horns. All of these songs come from this years Bowlive and if you feel like this just isn’t enough for you, you can purchase the shows here.
Both of the Evans brothers have new albums out as well on Royal Family Records, a label that they help to run along with Krasno and Adam Deitch. Drummer Alan Evans assembled another organ trio, proving with Soulive that this is a format he thrives in bringing the groove, there is no shortage of energy from him. He even plays some guitar, bass and does some vocals on the Alan Evans Trio’s debut album, Drop Hop.
Neal has been hard at work over the last few years writing songs for his long awaited solo album, Bang. I haven’t heard the entire album yet, but he’s got a pretty solid track record for putting out great music, so I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume that the album is awesome. Neal also encourages all DJs/producers to remix his music and has put the stems up on his website for his song ‘Octapus’ for anyone to experiment with.
I don’t know much about basketball, so I don’t know if the Knicks are a good team, but I do know that they are the team with the best taste in music as their games and advertisements are accompanied by the sweet sounds of Lettuce. All year I’ve been anxiously waiting the release of their new album Fly, which is finally set to be released on June 5th. The band was kind enough to release the song ‘Bowler,’ to hold us over until then, but they’ve been dropping new songs at their shows for a while now, so I’ve also got a few live songs for all y’all.
Now it’s time we move to the south to the great city of New Orleans where Ivan Neville’s Dumptaphunk calls home. This group is no stranger to the funk with Ivan and Ian Neville being sons of members of the legendary band The Meters. Dumpastaphunk has one of the fattest sounds around, utilizing not one but two bass players. Listening to the band will quickly leave you saying, “Put it in the dumpsta!”
Galactic is another band out of Nawlins, lead by the extraordinary drummer Stanton Moore, these guys know how to bring the funk. But in 2008, they release an album called From the Corner to the Block that shows they can take their grooves and lay down some some filthy hip hop. Just about every song on the album features notable members of the New Orleans music scene like Juvenile and Trombone Shorty.
While I’m on the topic of hip hop, a group called Quakers released their self-titled album. The group consists of 36 members, so there is a huge diversity of voices that you’ll hear on the album and it was produced by Geoff Barrow of Portishead along with 7-Stu-7 and Catalyst. The group is also a testament to the way musicians can come together in the digital age as many of the rappers that are featured on the album were discovered through the now dying, MySpace.
Michal Menert, long time friend of Pretty Lights and part of the Pretty Lights Music family has put out a new album recently that like all music off PLM can be downloaded for free on their website. Break Science described Even if it Isn’t Right as being, “vibey, uplifting, golden era hip hop influenced electronic bangers” and I couldn’t have said it better myself.
As a bonus check out this clip of Menert playing along side of everyone on the Pretty Lights Music label.
Finally, I leave you with Tom Caruana‘s mixtape, Black Gold. Mixing together the instrumentals of Jimi Hendrix with the raps of the Wu Tang Clan makes for a helluva combination, two artists who have mastered their crafts, I can only imagine that if Jimi were still around and played with the Clan, this is exactly how it would sound.
- Signed Sincerely, Hooch