Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Prince and Sheryl Crow Performing “Everyday Is a Winding Road” at Lilith Fair

With the recent one-year anniversary of Prince’s death on April 21, I’ve been binging out on his music and videos over the last few days. During the binge, I came across this great clip of him sharing the stage with Sheryl Crow for an electrifying performance of her song “Everyday Is a Winding Road.” The performance took place on August 22, 1999 at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and was part of the Lilith Fair music festival.

This clip illustrates Prince’s incredible versatility as both a musician and performer. He was right at home in this country-rock milieu; he contributes some sweet country licks on guitar and brings some church to the proceedings with his gospel-infused vocals. And Crow delivers a bluesy vocal performance. She can definitely get down when she wants to.

Additionally, the Purple One transfixes the audience with a soul-stirring guitar solo. You can see the  passion and pure joy he had for the act of playing and performing here--a true artist in every sense. He and Crow elevated an already terrific song with this powerhouse performance.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"Funk on Friday" by Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band are known their good-time funk music and creating a fun party atmosphere at their shows.  The Asheville, NC-based groove outfit definitely brought the funk and fun on their 2007 track “Funk on Friday.” 

The freewheeling funk groove boasts a superb horn arrangement with Greg Hollowell on sax and Derrick Johnson on ‘bone. And lead guitarist John-Paul Miller serves up some fantastic fret work while Ric Bennett holds down the groove with his extra-funky drumming. The song has a loose Fat Tuesday jamboree flow goin’ on and features a cool old-school-style rap from Josh Phillips. It's the perfect track to kick off the weekend on a funky note.

“Funk on Friday” is from the Booty Band’s critically acclaimed debut album, Now You Know, released in 2007. The band’s full lineup at the time of the album’s release was Al Al Ingram (bass and vocals); Greg Hollowell (alto and tenor saxophone); John-Paul Miller (lead guitar and vocals); Derrick Johnson (trombone), Ric Bennett (drums); Josh Phillips (vocals, percussion and rhythm guitar); Grady Gilbert (rhythm guitar); and Suzanna Baum (vocals).

Since the Booty Band dropped Now You Know, they have consistently released great music and are a badass live act; their concerts are like one big funky party. The hard-funkin’ band has some concerts lined up for May, July and August. Check out their website for show dates and music release info on new music releases.

The Booty Band performing "Funk On Friday" at the Emerald Lounge in Asheville

Related blog entry: Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band Releases New Album Funk Life

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Commodores Drop Some Southern Funk on “Gimme My Mule”

In addition to Lionel Richie’s chart-topping ballads, the Commodores were known for Southern-fried funk jams such as “Gimme My Mule," one of the Alabama-bred band’s funkiest releases.

The gutbucket groove is anchored by Ronald LaPread’s insanely funky bassline and boasts a wicked horn arrangement, nasty guitar licks and some sweet clavinet work from Milan Williams. And Richie delivers a raw, earthy lead vocal performance.

The song was written by LaPread, and its title references the unfulfilled promise of "40 acres and a mule" to newly emancipated slaves following the Civil War. It also touches on the virtues of living in a small country town versus the hustle and bustle of the big city.

"Gimme My Mule" was the first single from the band’s third album, Movin’ On, released in 1975.  The song peaked at #11 on the U.S. Dance Club Songs chart. The album’s big hit was Richie's soul ballad “Sweet Love,” which climbed to #5 on the U.S. pop charts and #2 on the U.S.  R&B charts.

Following “Gimme My Mule” the Commodores continued to release great funk tracks throughout the mid and late ‘70s, including these groove nuggets: “Fancy Dancer,” “Thumpin’ Music,” “Brick House,” “Funky Situation” and “Too Hot To Trot."

Monday, April 10, 2017

George Clinton To Be Honored At SESAC Pop Music Awards

Funk legend George Clinton will receive the SESAC Legacy Award at the 2017 SESAC Pop Music Awards, which will take place on April 13 in New York City.  Clinton was the key architect and guiding force behind Parliament-Funkadelic, one of the most iconic and influential funk bands of all time.
With Clinton at the helm, P-Funk set the music world on fire in the 1970s with its rich gumbo of funk, rock, soul, gospel, psychedelic-soul and blues. The innovative groove outfit has had a significant impact on contemporary music, particularly in the genres of R&B, funk, dance, electro funk and hip hop; P-Funk’s massive influence on hip hop is probably second only to James Brown’s.

Some of the big-name artists and bands that have been majorly influenced by P-Funk include Prince, OutKast, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Gap Band, Dr. Dre, Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy and Digital Underground, to name of few.

Clinton, who was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, wears many hats as P-Funk’s leader: producer, songwriter, singer, impresario, talent wrangler and prolific idea’s man. Clinton’s boundless imagination, charisma and strong production skills coupled with the stellar talents of some of the baddest musicians on the planet made P-Funk of one the most important music acts not only of the 1970s but of any era.

And in addition to his work with P-Funk and its many offshoots, Clinton has released top-notch music in his solo efforts, including the acclaimed in 1982 album Computer Games, which contains the influential funk anthem “Atomic Dog.”

Over the last several years, the P-Funk mastermind has become an outspoken advocate for creators’ rights, particularly in copyright reform and royalty collection. His advocacy coincides with SESAC's focus on artists' rights.

Established in 1930, SESAC Holdings is the only U.S.-based Music Rights Organization that administers public performance, mechanical, synchronization and other rights. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Jackson 5 Get Funky On "Get It Together”

By 1973 the Jackson 5 had begun to shed their bubblegum-soul sound in favor of funk-laced dance grooves. The sizzling “Get It Together” exemplifies this new sonic direction. This was the funkiest single the J5 had released up to that point, and it still ranks as one of their funkiest tracks. The percolating groove features crackling clavinets, dynamic strings, poppin’ congas, funky bass and nasty guitar licks.

Michael delivers a gritty lead vocal performance, displaying a newfound maturity in his voice. The 15-year-old pop/soul star adapted well to the changes in his voice brought on by adolescence. Additionally, his brothers provide their signature smooth harmonies with some very soulful turns from Jermaine.

“Get It Together” was the lead single and title track from the group’s ninth studio album, released in September of 1973. The song was written by Hal Davis, Don Fletcher, Berry Gordy, Mel Larson and Jerry Marcellino; and arranged by session guitarist Arthur Wright. It performed extremely well on U.S. R&B singles chart, peaking #2, and was a modest hit on the U.S. pop charts, climbing to #28.  Of course, the album’s breakout track was the Grammy-nominated smash “Dancing Machine,” which went on to become a J5 classic.

The J5 would bring the funk whenever they performed “Get It Together” live. They performed it on The Bob Hope Show, Soul Train, One More Time and The Jacksons TV Series. The group would also raise the roof with this hot cut in concert.

The Jacksons performing "Get It Together" in New Orleans during the 1979 Destiny Tour