Tag Archives: funk

Re-energized Brownout

Brownout – Over The Covers (2017)

Brownout, the Tejano kings of funk rock have a new EP released this month titled Over The Covers. The new recording features 4 superb tracks inspired by funk beats and guitars, soul, psychedelic rock, 1970s West Coast Chicano rock, Afrobeat brass, Latin American beats, and a final instrumental that has a delicious psychedelic prog rock flavor.

The band features a new lead singer and songwriter named Alex Marrero, who fits perfectly well.



Over The Covers leaves you wanting to listen more of this excellent multi-faceted band from Austin.



Buy the digital download version of Over The Covers


Artist Profiles: Ivan Neville

The Neville Family is a gifted musical and creative family in the United States. Ivan Neville began absorbing the musical attitudes of his family at birth and learned to play keyboards guitar bass and drums.

It wasn’t long before he became a pivotal member of Bonnie Raitt’s band Rufus Keith Richards & the Xpensive Winos and the Spin Doctors.

Ivan launched his solo career with the acclaimed If My Ancestors Could See Me Now and Thanks. Ivan also wroteand co-produced Saturday Morning Music which includes a timeless hybrid of soul, rock and New Orleans Funk that translates into an incomparable modern musical gumbo.


MarchFourth’s New Orleans Adventure

MarchFourth – Magic Number (MarchFourth, 2016)

Despite being based in the West Coast, the music of brass band MarchFourth has deep roots in the sound of New Orleans. MarchFourth is a very large ensemble featuring a considerable brass and percussion section plus electric guitars and bass. Additionally, MarchFourth includes gymnasts, costumes, dancers and entertainers on stilts in its live shows.

The band’s latest album Magic Number was recorded in New Orleans and features an irresistible mix of jazz and funk along with some rock numbers, fiery blues harmonica and some Latin American influences. All the music is original, composed by band members.

MarchFourth’s sound has evolved and features more guitar and vocals than previous albums. The band’s name has also changed from MarchFourth! Marching Band to simply MarchFourth.

The lineup includes Katie Presley and Paul Chandler on trumpets; Daniel Lamb and Anthony Meade on trombones; Michelle Christiansen on alto saxophone; Cameron DePalma and Andy Shapiro on tenor saxophone; Jon Vancura on baritone and bass saxophone; Jenny DiDonato on drums and percussion; Cheo Larcombe on bass drum and percussion; Will McKinney on toms and percussion; Dan Stauffer on cymbals; and Jake Wood on snare drums and percussion; John Averill on electric bass; Jon Vancura on guitar; and Taylor Aglipay on guitars and baritone saxophone.



Magic Number features the following guests: Trombone Shorty on trombone; Stanton Moore on drums; Matt Perrine on tuba; and Ben Ellman on harmonica.



MarchFourth’s Magic Number is a delightful and highly entertaining explosion of brass, drums and much more.

Buy Magic Number


Ibibio Sound Machine to Perform at Skirball Cultural Center

Ibibio Sound Machine

Ibibio Sound Machine is set to perform on Thursday, August 3, 2017 in Los Angeles. This concert is part of the Skirball Cultural Center’s Sunset Concerts. Admission is free.

Led by London-born Nigerian singer Eno Williams, Ibibio Sound Machine combines African and electronic elements with ease, inspired by the golden era of West African funk, disco, and electronica.

On March 3, 2017 Ibibio Sound Machine released Uyai (Merge Records).

Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepúlveda Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90049. Phone: (310) 440-4500.

More information at: skirball.org


Artist Profiles: Billy Preston

Billy Preston

Billy Preston’s career spanned five decades, starting as a child prodigy playing the movie role of young W.C. Handy and then playing organ for Ray Charles and Little Richard. His accomplishments are highlighted by a seriesg of hits, including collaborating with some of the most celebrated names in the music industry, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Jackson Five, Sly and the Family Stone, Barbara Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr., Quincy Jones and perhaps the most famous of all, The Beatles.

Billy’s relationship with The Beatles led to his signing with Apple Records in the 1960s. Billy is widely acknowledged as the “Fifth Beatle” having been the only party to ever hand his name included in the label credits of the Let It Be and the Abbey Road albums as well as the landmark The White Album. Billy also appeared with them in the films “The Complete Beatles” and Let It Be as well as performing as part of them during their historic rooftop final concert.

In the late 1960s Billy worked with John Lennon and Yoko Ono on their solo Plastic Ono Band album as well as Ringo Starr’s solo single “Oh My My” and he participated in George Harrison’s American Tour. In addition Billy Preston was a leading character in the movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band also featuring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees, performing a stunning version of “Get Back”.

Preston’s name and fame were solidified as a solo artist when he scored a series of Number 1 hit singles including the Grammy winning “Outta Space”, “Will It Go Round In Circles”, “Nothing From Nothing” and “Space Race”.




A prolific writer, Billy Preston composed the multi-platinum standard “You Are So Beautiful” that was performed by his friend Joe Cocker. He also wrote the title songs for a series of box office hits  including “Never Gonna Say Goodbye” “Fast Break” and “O’Hara’s Wide”. The title song from “Fast Break” became a Preston classic hit when performed as a duet with the late Syreeta Wright. Billy also co-wrote the score for the Sidney Poitier movie “They Call Me Mr. Tibbs” with Quincy Jones.



Billy Preston was the first black musical director of a late night television show “Nightlife” starring David Brenner, was a regular on the UPN series “Good News” and made a cameo appearance in “Blues Brothers 2” as part of the super group that included Eric Clapton and Stevie Winwood and B.B. King among others.

Billy’s participation in the tribute concert “Concert for George Harrison” at Royal Albert Hall and his performance of “My Sweet Lord” received critical acclaim. Billy recorded on the last album his mentor Ray Charles was to record, toured with The Funk Brothers and Stevie Winwood in Europe in early 2004 and then hit the road, touring extensively and garnering rave reviews for his performances with his dear friend Eric Clapton through Europe and North America. Billy’s keyboard dominance was highlighted with the release of the “Let It Be–Naked” album issue.

With his extensive touring and studio involvement Billy Preston found the time to create special project tribute to his dear friends The Beatles. He even wrote two new songs, one in tribute to George Harrison and another to all four of the fab fellows, “John, Paul, George and Ringo”.

Billy Preston died June 6, 2006.


Louisiana Soul Revival’s Persuasive Grooves

Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey - Louisiana Soul Revival
Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey – Louisiana Soul Revival

Louisiana Soul Revival featuring Doug Duffey – Louisiana Soul Revival (2016)

Composer and keyboardist Doug Duffey takes you back to the classic sound of 1970s soul and funk on Louisiana Soul Revival’s debut album. The self-titled release features funk beats, a splendid brass section, wah wah guitar and some northern Louisiana spice.

The band features up to 11 musicians on stage, representing several generations, from twenties to sixties. The lineup includes Doug Duffey on vocals, piano and keyboards; Daniel Sumner on guitar; Ben Ford on bass; Adam Ryland on drums, percussion; Cody Holder on baritone saxophone; Jonathan Patterson on trombone; Mason Howard on alto saxophone; Bert Windham on trumpet; Betsy Lowe on backing vocals; Naomi Holder on backing vocals; and Alex Noppe on trumpet.

Louisiana Soul Revival delivers a tight set of persuasive soul and funk songs.

Buy Louisiana Soul Revival


Savagely Hip M.A.K.U. Soundsystem

M.A.K.U. Soundsystem – Mezcla (Glitterbeat Records, 2016)

Done your stretches? Done your deep breathing exercises? Well, you’re going to need them when you get an earful of the eight-member, New York City based group M.A.K.U. Soundsystem’s Mezcla set for release on May 27th on the Glitterbeat Records label.

With a ferocious sound that comes with a bite and a message with an even bigger bite, M.A.K.U. Soundsystem whips up a mix of Colombian and Afro-Colombian with dashes of funk, Afrobeat, jazz and hip-hop thrown in for good measure. Savagely kickass, Mezcla rips the bindings of polite recordings in favor a live sounding recording all the while examining the immigrant experience.

The group’s bassist and singer Juan Ospina explains, “They’re putting their lives at risk to come to El Norte, but the borders they cross have all been created by man. Look down from space and you won’t see them.

This message is apparent as Mezcla’s liner notes dedicate the album to “The Everyday People of all races and backgrounds, [e]specially to those who find within their spirit the strength to outgrow the hardship inside themselves to promote a positive life for all amidst the wickedness of the few who constantly rule this world to turmoil and despair.”

So, take that, tyrants!

Filling out M.A.K.U. Soundsystem is drummer and backing vocalist Andres Jimenez; electric guitarist and backing vocalist Camilo Rodriguez; keyboardist and synth player Felipe Quiroz; clarinetist and saxophonist Isaiah Richardson Jr.; electric bassist and lead vocalist Juan Ospina; tambora and maracon player, percussionist and lead vocalist Liliana Conde; tambor alegre player, percussionist and backing vocalist Moris Canate; and trombonist Robert Stringer.

Thrilling and electrifying fans from the opening “Agua” with its sizzling blend of percussion, brass and keyboards, M.A.K.U. Soundsystem makes short work of drawing listeners in with offerings like the uninhibitedly wild “Thank You Thank You,” the savagely cool Afro-Colombian percussion of “Let It Go” and the sultry “Positivo.”

Some reviewers have called the music “raw” and “gritty,” but for those looking for an authentic, non-overproduced recording Mezcla is the real deal. That often sought after live performance energy comes across loud and clear on Mezcla. Other goodies include the fun filled “La Inevitable,” the sassy bright “La Haitiana” and infectiously danceable “Happy Hour.”

Mr. Ospina says, “We try to keep it human, to give people something they can relate to.”

The brightly colored music of M.A.K.U. Soundsystem’s Mezcla is savagely hip and restlessly sharp so you still have time to build up your stamina before May 27th.

Buy Mezcla in North America

Buy Mezcla in Europe


Wake Up You! Vol. 1

Wake Up You! Vol. 1
Wake Up You! Vol. 1

In 1967, newly independent Nigeria descendant into a Civil War to stop a secession of Biafra known as at the Biafran War. Families were asked to choose sides. Friends were separated by ideological cleavages. The war lasted three years. A million Nigerians were killed. Right after this war a phenomenal music scene was created in search of a new society.

A newly released album and an accompanying book Wake Up You! Vol. 1  tells the story of this after Biafran War Nigerian music that sought to heal social ills and unite a very young Republic through explorations in Funk, Psychedelia, and Rock, that led all the way to Fela Kuti, by compiling songs of several bands that participated in the before-mentioned scene.Wake Up You! Vol. 1 is released by Now Again Records.


Heavy Mardi Gras Indian Funk Sound with Modern Recording

Cha Wa – Funk ‘n’ Feathers (Upt Music, 2016)

Superb New Orleans multi-ethnic band Cha Wa brings together the vibrant Mardi Gras Indian tradition and irresistible polyrhythmic funk beats. Although the ensemble has been around for several years, carrying out numerous live performances, Funk ‘n’ Feathers is Cha Wa’s first album. “Cha Wa” is a slang phrase used by every New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian tribe, indicating “We’re comin’ for ya.”

Cha Wa injects street funk into New Orleans classics such as Dr. John’s “All On A Mardi Gras Day” and “Jock-A-Mo” (also known as ‘Iko Iko’). The group is led by singer and percussionist Honey Banister and drummer Joe Gelini. Honey Banister is a member of the Creole Wild West tribe. He appeared in the wonderful HBO series Treme. Gelini moved to New Orleans after graduating from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Joe saw the Mardi Gras Indians appearing on Mardi Gras day to parade down Dryades Street. “I was hooked,” says Gelini. “It’s a spiritual thing. It’s more than the music.”

Cha Wa
Cha Wa

The lineup on Funk ‘n’ Feathers includes Irving “Honey” Banister on lead vocals and tambourine; Spy Boy J’Wan Boudreaux (grandson of Big Chief Monk Boudreaux of the Golden Eagles) on lead vocals and tambourine; Joe Gelini on drums, percussion and background vocals; John Fohl on guitar and background vocals; Sheizo Shibayama on guitar; Stephen Malinowski on organ; Yoshitaka “Z2” Tsuji on acoustic and Rhodes piano; and Norwood “Geechie” Johnson of the legendary Wild Magnolias on bass drum and background vocals.

Special guests include: Haruka Kikuchi on trombone; Irving Banister Sr. on rhythm guitar; producer Ben Ellman on alto saxophone; Dave Crawford on lead vocals; and Colin Lake on lap steel guitar.

Upcoming concerts:

03/31- Lafayette’s – Memphis, TN
04/01- Blue Nile [Album Release Show] – New Orleans, LA
04/07- French Quarter Fest – New Orleans, LA
04/10- d.b.a – New Orleans, LA
04/21- Ogden Museum of Southern Art – New Orleans, LA
04/23- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – New Orleans, LA
04/30- French Broad River Festival – Asheville, NC
06/04- Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Festival – Augusta, NJ

Buy Funk ‘n’ Feathers


Go Go Juice by Jon Cleary Wins the Best Regional Roots Music Album Award at the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Go Go Juice by Jon Cleary
Go Go Juice by Jon Cleary

The Recording Academy announced today the winners the 58th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Go Go Juice by Jon Cleary (FHQ Records) won the Best Regional Roots Music Album Award.

Other nominees included

La La La La by Natalie Ai Kamauu (KEKO Records)

Kawaiokalena by Keali’i Reichel (Punahele Productions)

Get Ready by The Revelers (The Revelers)

Generations by Windwalker And The MCW (MCW Productions / PK Productions LLC)