Saturday, March 12, 2022

“100 Watts of Funky” by Jesse Johnson

With a bold title like “100 Watts of Funky,” you better make damn sure that track is as funky as humanly possible. And Jesse Johnson definitely delivered on the promise of the title–and then some. This is one filthy groove. It’s the type of funk that automatically makes you go into ugly stank-face mode as soon as it comes on. This electrifying funk assault features nasty rhythm guitar licks, heavy bass and some sizzling sax work from Eddie Mininfield and David Cochrane. And singers Kim Riley and Sue Ann Carwell provide some soulful support on the background vocals.

Johnson wrote and produced “100 Watts of Funky.” And he played all the instruments except for the horn parts. The track is from his 2009 album release Verbal Penetration Vol 1 & 2, a criminally underappreciated collection of stellar funk, R&B, rock and blues tracks. It's the only solo album he has released so far this century. However, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been keeping busy. He joined D’Angelo’s band, The Vanguard, in late 2011 after leaving The Time for good. Johnson has been recording and touring with D’Angelo ever since. Additionally, he played on D’Angelo’s Grammy-winning album Black Messiah (2014).

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