funk

Black Seeds + Katchafire @ The Fox Theatre

Originating from Wellington, New Zealand, The Black Seeds have carved out their reputation through platinum selling albums, a masterful 8-piece live show, and a unique sound that fuses infectious grooves and melodies with undiluted roots music. With numerous European festival tours and releases behind them, and a successful 2009 North American release, their following continues to spread quickly around the globe.

Led by the vocals of Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman, at its core The Black Seeds music is a boundary-crossing sound fusion of big-beat funk, dub, soul, and afro-beat, mixed with vintage roots-reggae. Described by Clash Magazine as ‘one of the best reggae acts on the planet’, their legendary 8-piece live show brings the raw energy and good vibes wherever it goes. They now have countless sell-out New Zealand and Australasian tours behind them, and regularly perform at many of Europe’s biggest festivals.
The Black Seeds manage to play beyond the normal boundaries of reggae without compromising the music’s heart. While “Rotten Apple” has all the thump of a vintage Parliament-Funkadelic jam , “Afrophone”’s punchy horns and get- on-the-good-foot rhythm recall James Brown and the J.B.s at their peak – and the Seeds manage to pull it all off while retaining their voice. They make the blend of sounds feel absolutely natural. This is not a reggae band dropping a nov- elty funk cover into the middle of a set, this is simply Black Seeds music.” - Jambase.com (U.S.A) – Nov. ‘09
Reggae is one of the bloodlines of New Zealand music -- which accounts for the extraordinary success of Hamilton's Katchafire who, emerged as the hardest working band in the country. Their astonishing debut album, the prophetically named Revival, sold in excess of 30,000 copies (double platinum). The success of the band was evident in album sales, opening shows for the likes of Michael Franti and Spearhead, gigs all across the country (three in one day on Waitangi Day 2004, in Hamilton, Manukau and Nelson), three tours to Australia and New Caledonia, and most recently a stadium-filling headlining show in Fiji.
From humble beginnings ‘jamming’ in a garage, Katchafire is a melting pot of unique members, including two generations of one family and diverse musical perspectives – yet this blend is exquisitely aligned with the essence of reggae which can be an expression of social and political persuasions, hardship and pain, relaxation and reflection. Dubbed New Zealand’s hardest working band by national media, Katchafire have now completed numerous national and seven international tours. The band has moved audiences around the globe with three tours in New Caledonia, one tour in each Fiji and Hawaii and 10 Australian tours.
Katchafire’s unique, proudly New Zealand reggae style envelopes cross-cultural and cros-generational audiences in the revitalising vibes of healing music, encouraging sing-alongs and regeneration of soul. The Katchafire flame continues to burn ever brighter and stronger.

Sat, July 10th, 9:00pm
BLACK SEEDS + KATCHAFIRE

Internet 24-7 at www.foxtheatre.com | Phone: During box office hours: 303.443.3399

AUSTIN’S STONE RIVER BOYS FLEX THEIR BRAND OF “COUNTRY FUNK”

After tearing it up in the Lone Star State and across the country for nearly two years, Austin’s Stone River Boys will issue their recording bow Love on the Dial on June 1 via Northampton, Mass.-based Cow Island Music.

The Texas-based quintet features the talents of two well-traveled roots music practitioners — guitarist Dave Gonzalez, formerly a driving force in the Hacienda Brothers and the Paladins, and vocalist Mike Barfield, “The Tyrant of Texas Funk” and onetime leader of the Hollisters. Together, Barfield and Gonzalez have fashioned a gutsy crossbreed of country and R&B they’ve labeled “country funk.”

The Stone River Boys’ sound extends the direction of Gonzalez’ previous band, the Hacienda Brothers, who recorded three studio albums with producer and country-soul legend Dan Penn. Gonzalez was partnered in the Haciendas with Southern California-bred singer Chris Gaffney.

After Gaffney was diagnosed with liver cancer in early 2008, Gonzalez organized a benefit tour for his ailing bandmate, drawing musicians from Austin’s fertile talent pool. One of the principal members of the touring group was Barfield, whom Gonzalez had known since the early ’80s, when he fronted the top Southern California rockabilly band the Paladins and Barfield led the Houston bands the Rounders and the Hollisters.

Gaffney succumbed to cancer in April 2008, but the tour went on. “We went and did it anyway, and sent the money home to his wife Julie,” says Gonzalez. “A buddy of mine had a recording studio up in Nebraska, and while we were out on tour he invited us to come over there. We went in and cut a couple. I said to Barfield, ‘If you want to do a record, I’d love to, man.’ And we just started making a record.”

Barfield says, “We really naturally just started keeping it going. The name of the band came from the first place we rehearsed for that trip, in this little subdivision in deep South Austin, on a street called Stone River.”

Gonzalez recalls, “When I hooked up with Barfield, he had a whole pocket full of tunes. I felt, ‘We need to record these things right away.’ We wrote a couple right on the spot together. He had a few that were unfinished I kind of helped him with. But he wrote the majority of the material on the record.”

Produced by Gonzalez, the album was recorded during several sessions in 2008-09 with a band that included bassists Scott Esbeck (formerly of the way-out instrumental combo Los Straitjackets), Hank Maninger (Hacienda Brothers) and Kevin Smith (Dwight Yoakam), pedal steel whiz Dave Biller, and drummers Justin Jones and Damien Llanes. It extends the seamless fusion of country and soul influences essayed by both the Hacienda Brothers and Barfield, whose over-the-top funk shows at Austin’s Continental Club have become the stuff of legend.

“Chris Gaffney was a great Western singer,” Gonzalez says, “but he also had a knack for singing R&B and soul tunes, too. When I hooked up with Barfield, it was the same thing. He’s a country bro’, but he’s a funky soul bro’, too. In that sense, it does lean toward the way the Hacienda Brothers were. Dan Penn called our music ‘Western soul.’ Mike is real funky; I was telling everybody it’s more country soul. Lately we’ve been calling it ‘country funk,’ because we’ve got a little more funk and a little more up-tempo material in this new band than we did with the Haciendas.”

Barfield sees a natural connection between the sounds of country and R&B: “There’s a picture of Solomon Burke and Joe Tex, and maybe James Brown, and they all had cowboy hats on. A lot of those soul performers will talk about how they used to listen to the Grand Ole Opry. Some R&B songs, especially the ballads, are very close to some of the honky-tonk ballads. To me, it’s all very similar.”

Love on the Dial features 10 original songs written or co-written by Gonzalez, Barfield, Esbeck, and Biller, plus four musically diverse covers — the late Stephen Bruton’s “Bluebonnet Blue”; a cover of Tyrone Davis’ 1968 hit “Can I Change My Mind”; Gerry Goffin and Carole King’s “Take a Giant Step” (recorded by the Monkees, the Rising Sons, and Taj Mahal); and Nashville hitmakers Jerry Foster and Bill Rice’s “Special.”

Gonzalez says of the new unit, “I feel really refreshed. We have a different take on the country side of things. Mike is a Gulf Coast country Texas boy, and at the same time he’s got this funky up-tempo R&B thing going. I’m working a new style of guitar that I’ve always loved, but I’ve never had the opportunity to play it. People are saying they love the new band, and they’re glad to hear me playing a lot of guitar again.”

“This is the first band where I’ve had a full-time steel player,” says Barfield. “That’s something in this band I like — there are so many voicings. It gives you what a horn section might do or an organ might do.”

Gonzalez, Barfield, and Esbeck are joined in the current edition of the Stone River Boys by pedal steel guitarist Gary Newcomb and drummer Mark Patterson, who both played with Esbeck in Austin singer-songwriter Bruce Robison’s group. The band will support the release of Love on the Dial with a summer 2010 tour of the Southwest and the West Coast.

Lubriphonic to Tour SE With The New Mastersounds in April

Lubriphonic has announced it will hop aboard an April tour with The New Mastersounds for their Southeast run, culminating in a House of Blues performance during the peak of the epic New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. In celebration the group has offered a download of over 90 minutes of live recordings for free via its website.

Chicago’s Lubriphonic tight and raw sound is immediately familiar, fusing the roots of soul with explosive in-your-face delivery and sensuous R&B dance music.  The New Mastersounds is an instrumental four-piece British export offering a modern take on vintage soul-jazz, funk and rock delivering gritty grooves and deep rhythms.

Lubriphonic will open for The New Mastersounds on the following dates:

April 17 – Club 828 - Asheville, NC

April 18 - Blue 5 - Roanoke, Virginia

April 20 - Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC

April 21 - Pisgah Brewery - Black Mountain, NC

April 22 - Barley's Tap - Knoxville, TN

April 23 - Vanderbilt University - Alumni Lawn - Rites of Spring

April 24 - 412 Market - Chattanooga, TN

April 25 - Visulite Theatre - Charlotte, NC

April 27 - Blazers Tavern - Valdosta, GA

April 28 - Engine Room - Tallahassee, FL

April 29 - Soul Kitchen - Mobile, AL

April 30 - House Of Blues - New Orleans, LA

The Lubriphonic sound is full of precision orchestrations made up of blazing guitar work, unison three piece horn lines, soulful songwriting, bluesy vocals and the habit to cut the funk loose. The best description of the band’s sound comes from Relix Magazine: “Superb, adventurous, diverse, simply mesmerizing instrumental work. Steeped in soul, rock, pop, and blues Lubriphonic's members play with a tenacity and precision that sets them apart from equally proficient bands.”

In addition to the live sampler offering on its website, Lubriphonic is also offering free downloads of recordings of four additional shows to registered members of the website here.

Maceo Parker at Cervante's Ballroom - March 12th

Maceo Parker: his name is synonymous with Funky Music, his pedigree impeccable; his band: the tightest little funk orchestra on earth.

Everyone knows by now that he’s played with each and every leader of funk, his start with James Brown, which Maceo describes as "like being at University"; jumping aboard the Mothership with George Clinton; stretching out with Bootsy’s Rubber Band. He’s the living, breathing pulse which connects the history of Funk in one golden thread. The cipher which unravels dance music down to its core.

“Everything’s coming up Maceo,” concluded DownBeat Magazine in a 1991 article at the beginning of Maceo Parker’s solo career. At the time Maceo was a remembered by aficionados of funk music as sideman; appreciated mainly by those in the know. More than a decade and a half later Maceo Parker has been enjoying a blistering solo career. For the past sixteen years Maceo has been building a new funk empire, fresh and stylistically diverse. He navigates deftly between James Brown’s 1960’s soul and George Clinton’s 1970’s freaky funk while exploring mellower jazz and the grooves of hip-hop.

His collaborations over the years performing or recording or both have included Ray Charles, Ani Difranco, James Taylor, De La Soul, Dave Matthews Band and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. His timeless sound has garnered him a fresh young fan base. It is almost impossible to separate which came first, Maceo or the funk. The amazing P-funk Parker has been at it with his legendary alto horn for some time dating back to the 1960’s. That’s when Maceo and his drummer brother Melvin climbed on board the James Brown funky soul funk train. It wasn’t long before James coined the solo summoning signature, “ Maceo, I want you to Blow!” . To most musicologists it’s the muscially fertile group of men from this period of James Brown’s band who are recognized as the early pioneers of the modern funk and hip-hop we still jump to today.

Tickets are $20.00 Advance / $25.00 Day of show
Doors are at 8pm, show begins at approx. 9PM
Tickets are available at the Cervantes’ box office or online at Cervante's Ticketing

Portland’s Black Prairie Offers Debut Album

Sugar Hill Records is proud to announce the upcoming release of Feast of the Hunters’ Moon, the debut album from Portland, Oregon-based Black Prairie. Featuring three-fifths of The Decemberists and two of the city’s finest folk stylists, the heavily acoustic debut was produced by Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie) and embodies the rich sonic landscape of the Portland music scene while integrating the diverse backgrounds of its members. As described by dobroist Chris Funk, the band’s sound “bridges the music of Clarence White and Ennio Morricone” in a way that defies genre characterization.

Decemberists guitarist Funk and bassist Nate Query hatched the plan to start a primarily instrumental string band while on the road.  Funk began to spend time playing the square-necked Dobro guitar, and the pair recruited fellow Decemberist Jenny Conlee to play accordion.  Portland musicians Annalisa Tornfelt and Jon Neufeld then filled out the ranks on violin and guitar, respectively.

Black Prairie's songs consist mostly of instrumentals; their arrangements draw from bluegrass and old-time string band traditions, while Conlee’s accordion and Tornfelt’s violin instill klezmer and gypsy elements to the band’s unique and vibrant sound. The quintet sometimes takes an almost-classical approach to composition, with songs containing multiple movements that ebb and flow in a way that differs greatly from traditional pop or bluegrass structure.  The band decided it would be a shame not to make use of Tornfelt’s vocal ability, so she sings on a handful of tracks.
The thirteen album tracks include mostly original compositions by the five band members, with a smattering of traditional material intertwined throughout.  “All my weird songs have finally found a home in this group,” laughs guitarist Neufeld.  Sugar Hill Records will release Feast of the Hunters’ Moon on April 6, 2010.
The band will play select club dates and festivals through the fall of 2010, including:
February 27 - Noise Pop Festival San Francisco, CA
April 1 - The Woods, Portland, OR
April 2 - Sam Bonds Garage, Eugene, OR
April 3 - Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA

33rd Cape May Jazz Festival April 16-18, 2010

Immerse yourself in jazz vocals from ballads to low-down blues, mellow sax, high-pitch trumpet, Latin piano at the 33rd Cape May Jazz Festival April 16-18, 2010, presented by Bank of America and New Jersey Department of Travel and Tourism. Spyro Gyra opens up the festival Friday night with music that encompasses straight-ahead jazz, blues, Latin, Brazilian, instrumental pop, funk and fusion.  For more than 3 decades  Spyro Gyra has been dominating the contemporary jazz scene and still has a snap, originality and fresh sound which appeals to both old and new fans. Blues singer Shemekia Copeland opens up Saturday night with her huge, blast-furnace voice which gives her music a timeless power and heart-pounding urgency.  Her music comes from deep within her soul and from the streets where she grew up.

Friday night tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield, one of the most impressive young tenors around, will pay Tribute to Shirley Scott with his organ quintet. Warfield wanted to pay tribute to Shirley using the Hammond B-3 to relate his happy, soulful experiences with music they performed together, songs introduced by her or original compositions Warfield wrote with her in mind.  Continuing Friday night guitarist Monnette  Sudler will perform in Carneys Main Room with tenor Bootsie Barnes, trombonist Steve Turre and Aaron Graves on keys for a slamming hard-bop groove.  For a total change of pace vocalist Marta Topferova, who moved from Prague to New York City and immersed herself in the dynamic clusters of Latin American life, will entertain in Carneys Other Room with her elegant, low-key misty voice backed by stellar musicians who include Latin sounds from Cuban, Argentinian tango to Venezuelan rhythms. Mississippi Heat is one of Chicago’s hottest blues bands playing traditional Chicago blues with their  band leader’s golden tone on the harmonica and vocalist Inetta Visor permeating Cabanas  Friday night.

Saturday afternoon starts out with prejams  in both rooms at Carneys with the up-and-coming youth bands Tom Zmuda and Thursday Night Jazz and the Divine Jazz Combo followed by jam sessions.  Georgie Bonds, a world-class singer, songwriter and blues entertainer, will continue the blues tradition with Delta blues in Cabanas.

Saturday night continues with the exciting Cuban piano player Chuchito Valdes returning for 2 shows in the Grand Hotel Ballroom.  Chuchito raised a mountain of rhythmic intensity with power and passion at the April 2008 festival   following in the footsteps of his grandfather Bebo and father Chucho Valdes blending elements of Afro-Cuban music, jazz, bebop, mambo and cha-cha-cha.   Another jazz festival favorite vocalist Juanita Williams along with Fred Hughes on piano will perform at the Jazz Dinner and 11pm show in Aleathea’s Restaurant.  Juanita came up musically by way of gospel, was inspired  by  blues greats Etta James and Aretha Franklin and sings sweet soul music and gritty blues with originality, sass and flair.  Pianist Fred Hughes, another festival favorite, compliments Juanita playing dynamic piano solos.  Appearing in Carneys Main Room B. D. Lenz has been described as one of the hottest new contemporary jazz guitarists on the scene today fusing  jazz and rock complemented by warm chords of funk, soul, rhythm and blues to dance to.  Carneys Other Room presents The Shook-Russo Quartet who is composing their own original music within the jazz idiom honoring the masters by carrying on the mainstream tradition with the huge sound and driving groove of Amy Shook on bass and the incredibly skillful Frank Russo on drums.   Jesse Andrus, a favorite tenor/alto sax and flute player seen at the jams, will be in the Boiler Room with his group Absolute Truth Saturday night.  Absolute Truth weaves jazz with soul, R&B, African and Latin rhythms, gospel, blues and funk which creates a sound that is at once fresh and familiar honoring the masters who came before them while creating a sound all their own.   Performing in Cabanas the multi-talented  Ray  Schinnery  will stir the soul with his vocals, move you to hilarity with his lyrics and woo you with his guitar.
Pre-Jam Sunday opens up with the Little Jazz Giants and the Young Lions in 2 rooms at Carneys followed by 2 Jam Sessions along with the Charles Walker Blues Band in Cabanas.  Hailing from Wisconsin the 5-piece Walker band performs various styles of blues, R&B and funk with Walker’s expressive saxophone stealing the show along with Shanna Jackson’s  powerfully deep soulful voice.

The schedule, musician’s pictures, information and sounds bytes are found on the web at www.capemayjazz.org.  For more information on reduced price All Event Weekend Pass including reserved seating or to be put on the mailing list please call 609-884-7277.  An All Event Weekend Pass to attend 18 events beginning 8pm Friday through 4pm Sunday is $150 general admission. Individual Friday or Saturday Night All Event Wristbands are $55.  Saturday Afternoon Jam Wristbands are $35, Sunday Jams $25.  Reserved Seating is available at the Theatre at Lower Regional High School for an additional $25 per person. Complimentary Festival Transportation running every 10 minutes is available between venues all weekend.

The 33rd Cape May Jazz Festival is presented by New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism VisitNJ.Com and Bank of America and sponsored by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, Barefoot Wines, Jazz Times, WRTI Temple Public Radio, WBGO Jazz 88, WMGM  TV40, WCFA 101.5, WTTH the Touch, Cape May Star and Wave, Verizon Wireless with generous support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey Cultural Trust, local businesses and donors.

Grand Funk Railroad to play Elitch Gardens, May 16

Grand Funk Railroad will be playing the Elitch Arena, in Elitch Gardens, in Denver on May 16 at 7 PM.  Tickets to the show are free with the price of admission to the gardens.   There are different kinds of tickets to the Gardens, from daily tickets to season passes. The venue phone is 303-595-4386, and the web site is http://www.elitchgardens.com.

Formed in 1969, Grand Funk was born out of the ashes of Terry Knight & The Pack, another band from Flint, Michigan.  Currently the group includes original founding members Don Brewer (vocals and drums, writer and singer of the hit, "We're An American Band") and bassist Mel Schacher.  Joining Don and Mel are true "ALL-STARS"-- Max Carl (38 Special, Jack Mack and the Heart Attack, Max Carl and Big Dance), lead guitarist Bruce Kulick (12 years with KISS and credits with Michael Bolton, Meatloaf and Billy Squier), and keyboardist Tim Cashion (Bob Seger and Robert Palmer).

Together, Brewer and Schacher have created a dynamic and multi-talented five piece band that will not only carry on the tradition of Grand Funk hits, but also has the potential to create a new chapter in the legacy of Grand Funk Railroad.  With Grand Funk reforming in 2000, this new chapter in the band's biography is being written daily.  Both seasoned Grand Funk lovers and contemporary rock fans-- discovering the group for the first time on CDs and VH-1-- will be able to see and hear firsthand that Grand Funk Railroad's train is back on track.

New Mastersounds Give Denver the Funk of its Life

When we Yanks think about England, what comes to mind? High tea? Mary Poppins? The Queen Mum? The Stamp Tax? What about gumbo? How about fur-lined bucket hats and matching full length mink coats and platform shoes with the goldfish in the bottom? No? Allow me to spot you three letters and that should be a hint at where I'm headed: "U-N-K."

N'awlins Funk Visits the City of Brotherly Love

"Y'all wish Ben (Ellman) a happy birthday," Papa Mali preached to the crowd as he strolled off the stage after a fun set of music.  It was the first night of February at the Theatre of the Living Arts in Philadelphia on its famous South Street.

Stanton Moore Trio Brings the Funk

On a night where Colorado music fans could have seen G-Love and the Special Sauce, another Zero reunion, and numerous other acts it was exciting to see folks completely pack the Bluebird Theater in Denver to witness the latest incarnation of the