Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band Blowing Up The Funk Scene

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band (YMBFBB) is one of the baddest funk outfits on the scene at the moment. The Asheville, NC-based band has been killing it for several years now with their dynamic sound and electrifying live shows. YMBFBB was formed in 2002 and quickly established themselves as a great live act who brought massive doses of funk and excitement to each of their performances. And the band has shared the stage with esteemed groove masters such as Parliament-Funkadelic, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Galactic, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Bootsy Collins and Maceo Parker.

 In 2007, the Booty Band released their debut album, Now You Know. The album was well-received by critics and music lovers and was named Album of the Year by Home Grown Music Network. The network also crowned YMBFBB its Band of the Year. The band released their gritty second album, Doin’ It Hard, in 2012, which also received high praise from music critics and fans. The collection was followed up by the extra funkified remix album Re-Doin’ It Hard.

Over the years, YMBFBB underwent a few personnel changes before becoming the super-tight unit  they are today. The members of the talented quintet are the following: Mary Frances, aka “Mama Funk” (keyboards, vocals); Al Al “Sweet Nasty” Ingram (bass, vocals); John Paul “Smoke Machine” Miller (guitar, vocals); Derrick “Dr. Ock” Johnson (trombone, vocals); and Lee “Insta Funk” Allen (drums).

The band has a distinct and unique sound that encompasses funk, soul, rock and old-school rap. And they have a pretty eclectic selection of influences, which include P-Funk, James Brown, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dr. Dre, Frank Zappa, Bootsy, OutKast, Poets of Rhythm, Sly Stone, Snoop Dogg and Fishbone, among others.

 In October of last year, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band dropped their most recent album, titled ONWARD! The eight-song album is a marvelous collection of funk, rock, soul and rap. One of the album’s highlights is the Middle Eastern-tinged rock/rap cut “Precious Moments.” The track is superbly arranged, with powerful horns and keyboards and some sweet guitar riffs. And Lee Allen tears it up on the drums.

“Sanchez” is a sizzling, high-octane instrumental with a cinematic feel. I can imagine this full-throttle groove being used as background music for a high-speed car chase scene in an action flick. The infectious “Ante Up,” is another strong cut, which is elevated by Mama Funk’s soulful, sultry lead vocals. And “Trunk Fallin’ Off” is an irresistible hip-hop track that boasts a sick beat and a dope vocal hook from Mama Funk. And Al Al Ingram and JP Miller add to the booty-shaking festivities with their humorous rhymes.

Additionally, the band gets smooth and mellow on “Let Me In,” which features some stellar fret-burning from Miller. And “Juices and Berries” is a badass retro groove with percolating wah-wah guitars and blazing organ. Ingram accentuates the groove with a mackin’ bass line, and Derrick Johnson delivers the heavy-duty funk on his trombone. 

ONWARD! is a very strong and consistent effort; all the tracks are quality and nicely complement one another. The collection shows the band further expanding their singular funk sound. The guest musicians on the album are Greg Hollowell (saxophone on all the tracks and flute on “Reasons”), Mike Dillon (percussion on “Precious Moments”) and Cactus (aka “Agent 23”) wrote lyrics for “Precious Moments.”

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band have been busy bringing their powerful brand of funk to appreciative audiences across the U.S.  The band plays an average of 150 shows per year and has a bunch of tour dates lined up for this month. Their next show is scheduled for Thursday, December 11 at Holy Mountain in Austin, Texas.  Check out YMBFBB's website to learn more about the band and get tour info.

Live Version of  "Ante Up"

Onward! at Amazon

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