funky

Smack Thompson @ The Fox Theater

Smack Thompson is a rock, funk, jam quartet fresh out of Boulder, Colorado. In the year that Smack has been playing together, they have won many fans with their deeply funky grooves and infectious melodies. Sky King, from Baltimore, Maryland, plays a nasty guitar and engages in a diverse range of appealing vocal styles. Otis Lande, from Boulder, Colorado, is the master of the low end and plays with a precise funkiness. Joe Havens, from Granville, Ohio, lays down funky beats like a metronome wish it could. And Stephen Thurston, from Boulder, Colorado, ties it all together with his virtuosic keyboard playing. You will hear original vocal and instrumental tunes mixed with the finest selection of covers. Come check out a show and get your Thompson Smacked!

Smack Thompson will play the Fox Theater on January 8th, so be sure to check them out. 

Cas Haley at the Fox Theater on 12/1/2010

Cas Haley is breaking out on his own terms.

Connection, his Easy Star Records debut, is aptly named. It’s all about those deep-running connections that make him what he is—those unbreakable links between artist and audience, between styles of music, between art and life, and most of all, between all people. As Cas points out, reggae’s core message is, after all, "one love."

His crystalline voice and funky, easygoing beats earned Cas a second-place finish on America’s Got Talent, which in turn netted him a measure of fame and a following. But the contest also locked the Texan singer/songwriter/guitarist into a major label deal that didn’t feel right. So, not wanting to be turned into a manufactured product, he struck out on his own. The superb result: Connection, a collection of songs basking in the philosophical and musical maturity that comes from staying true to his artistic vision.

Raised by musician parents, Cas grew up surrounded by the sounds of blues and 60s-70s rock. He got serious about the guitar at age 12 and was "taught by the tribe" of musicians passing through the house. "The kitchen would be turned into the practice room or for jam sessions, so I was pretty much born into that lifestyle," he says. And from the very beginning he was more inclined to create his own music than to slavishly learn covers.

Also prominent at home were the Bob Marley records his mother would play, which made a profound impression. After a period of heavy immersion in the sounds of the ska/punk/skateboard culture, Cas was blown away by the classic reggae-pop of bands like UB40 and Sublime, and his mature style began to take shape.

Those pop-inflected island grooves and his joyful, versatile voice helped bring Cas to the brink of stardom on America’s Got Talent and sell 30,000 copies of a debut album with virtually no promotion. And they’re fundamental to the soul of his music—what he calls the "relaxing, effortless playing where everything fits together." Elements of soul, blues, and pop swirl through Cas’s strong reggae beats. Just like disparate musical styles, "we’re way more connected than we think," Cas says. "We separate ourselves in so many different ways, but the whole theme of the album is that we’re all connected."

"Every color," he sings in the title track, "is created from the same light."

Easy Star, the leading U.S.-based independent reggae label, is the ideal home for Connection. The label has been stretching beyond its strictly roots-reggae format, signing progressive bands and artists like John Brown’s Body, Tommy T, and The Black Seeds. “Cas’s sound is unique, accessible, and a great way to keep expanding the Easy Star audience," says CEO Eric Smith. "And it’s not often we come across a singer-songwriter this talented, regardless of genre, so we had to work with Cas.”

Mixed by Danny Kalb (Ben Harper, Beck), Connection bristles with chill grooves, rocking guitars, and funky horns, all fueling Cas’s irresistible melodies. Meanwhile his lyrics effortlessly balance simple, spiritual truths with thoughtful reflection. Cas’s songs recognize the complexities of life—love, family, worldly troubles and uncertainties—but always come back to the central message of connection.

It’s the journey that matters; Cas is aiming for success on his own terms. "If I’m not doing it authentically then I don’t want it," he says. His only goal: "To authentically express myself and help others do the same. Because it’s a sweet life to be able to do that."

Catch Cas Haley at the Fox Theater in Boulder on December 1st, 2010.

7 Walkers, featuring Bill Kreutzmann and Papa Mali, Announce Dates

Legendary drummer and co-founder of the Grateful Dead, Bill Kreutzmann, together with funky bluesman and voodoo electronic pioneer Papa Mali, officially unveil 7 Walkers’ spring plans. 7 Walkers, which also features bass virtuoso Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green, JFJO) and multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard (Willie Nelson and Friends), will stop at select markets and festivals through out the country, all in anticipation of a new album release. The complete list of currently confirmed tour dates is included below.

7 Walkers recently spent time at an Austin, Texas studio, recording an album to be released later this year. In addition to a brand-new batch of Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan lyricist) originals that were co-written with the band, the new album offers up favorites from the Grateful Dead repertoire, Papa Mali originals, and some New Orleans and Southern songbook interpretations. Overall, the result is a fiery and funky collection of tunes that quite brilliantly capture the unique collaboration between these two very different musical shamans.

Bill Kreutzmann (who played every show in the Grateful Dead’s illustrious 30 year career as well as The Dead incarnations since) first met funky Papa Mali at a festival in 2008. Bill recalls in a recent interview, “We first met at the Oregon Country Fair last year. He was the headliner on the main stage, and I sat there and watched him and went, ‘This guy's for real man, I like this guy.' Then we met, after that he came over to my trailer that I was staying in and you couldn't separate us, we talked for hours. It was just one of those natural things, you know? You can't plan it; You can't make it happen. And then we started playing together.”

Live audio recordings of the 7 Walkers can be heard at the newly re-launched www.billkreutzmann.com.

Meanwhile, at nugs.net, fans can now download live BK3 recordings from their 2009 Colorado shows. Another potent Kreutzmann musical project, BK3 first toured in 2008 and featured a rotating lineup including such players as guitarist Scott Murawski (Max Creek) and bassists James "Hutch" Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt), Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers), and Mike Gordon (Phish).

Bill Kreutzmann is also working to support the efforts of University of California at Santa Cruz, who has committed to helping to archive all things Grateful Dead. As Kreutzmann explains, “I am incredibly happy that the kind archivists at UC Santa Cruz understand the social value of [the Grateful Dead’s] priceless archive, and its hallowed meaning to our most beloved ‘Dead Heads.’ Without the care it is now going to receive, these treasures would be lost.”

7 Walkers Spring/Summer Tour Dates:

(*Please note guest bass player George Porter Jr. will perform these dates with 7 Walkers)

Tuesday, April 6 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Big Room Chico CA
Wednesday, April 7 Red Fox Eureka CA
Thursday, April 8 Crystal Bay Club Crown Room Crystal Bay NV
Friday, April 9 Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA
Saturday, April 10 Moe's Alley Santa Cruz CA
Friday, April 16 Spirit of Suwanee Music Park Live Oak FL
Saturday, April 17 The Salt Lick Driftwood TX
Friday, April 30 Mahalia Jackson Theatre New Orleans, LA
Thursday, June 3 Wakarusa Festival Ozark AR
Friday, June 11 Sonoma County Fairgrounds Santa Rosa CA

Big Sam's Funky Nation & Sullivan Hall

Big Sam's Funky Nation had an amazing Halloween weekend & the party's not over yet! Put on your dancin' shoes, BSFN is making their way back to New York for a night of pure, booty-shaking funk this Friday, November 6th.
Recently awarded the Big Easy Music Award for "Best Funk Group of 2008," Big Sam's Funky Nation is a driving force of urban funk. The band is led by trombone powerhouse, Big Sam Williams, formerly the trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who the San Francisco Chronicle calls "the top man on the slide trombone in the birthplace of jazz." Combining his distinctive trombone riffs with a call-and-response MC style, Big Sam refuses to let the audience sit still. Between the band's solos and his trombone riffs, Big Sam second-lines (a uniquely New Orleans style of street-dance) and gets the crowd going. Big Sam's Funky Nation is not a one man show; the members of the Funky Nation, a group of well trained and experienced musicians with impressive credentials of their own, meet the challenges of their funky band leader. BSFN masterfully combines a rock sensibility with improv-style associated with jazz and the horn-heavy front section that's the hallmark of big band funk. The energy level is high voltage when this band takes the stage, and as Jambase Online proclaims, "as long as groups like Big Sam's Funky Nation helm communal happenings like this one the funky fever is bound to spread."
Kicking the night off will be the Honey Island Swamp Band. Come out and show your love at the upcoming Big Sam's Funky Nation show at Sullivan Hall--you'll be sure to Shake Yo Thang!

DATE: Friday, November 6th TIME:  10:30pm

A Frightfully Funky Halloween Weekend in New Orleans

Get ready for a Shaketacular Halloween Weekend!

Fri, Oct 30th 10:30 Show @ Blue Nile
Eric Lindell w/ Mia Borders +

LATE NIGHT Show: Brother Joscephus & The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra
$15.00
Fri, Oct 30th 11:30 Show @ Tipitina's FQ
Bonerama & PBS (Porter Batiste Stoltz)
$20 Adv/ $25 Doors
Sat, Oct 31st - HALLOWEEN NIGHT
Tipitina's FQ - 10pm Show
Dirty Dozen Brass Band &

Big Sam's Funky Nation
plus opener Brother Joscephus & The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra 
$20.00

Don't miss these frightfully funky shows! Costumes are encouraged, Shaking it is mandatory!
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