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Thursday, May 28

Album Review: Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band - Funk Life - June 2nd, 2015

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band
Funk Life
June 2nd, 2015

Forged in a little mountain town called Boone, North Carolina, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band has gradually made its voice heard over the past 13 years, bringing its message of funk to the masses. The band consists of Al Al Ingram (bass, vocals), Mary Frances (keyboards, vocals), JP Miller (guitar, vocals), Derrick Johnson (trombone, vocals), and Lee Allen (drums). The band is set to release its newest album, Funk Life, recorded at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, NC, on June 2, 2015. 
The album starts off hot with “24/7” and lots of energy right off the bat. The somewhat graphic, playfully narcissistic lyrics are laid over some sexy funk. “Brand New Day” switches gears completely with a laid back groove and smooth, jazzy vocals. The rolling bass in the chorus provides a deft change in texture. The title track, “Funk Life,” simply tells it like it is. The primary lyrics, “I can’t stop, I won’t stop, livin’ the funk life!” embody not just the entire album, but the band as a whole. The tune is led by flange swept guitar swells, tight horns and a driving drum beat, while a massive, sparkling keyboard solo tops it off. “Quick E” gets deep and dirty to close out the first half of the record. The song is primarily instrumental, led by the horns section, and some vinyl scratching is mixed in, which provides more of a modern feel. Highlights include a monster trombone solo in middle, percussive bass and a wailing, harmonic keyboard solo. Finally, a quick drum solo, leads into a blast of deep funk.
“Wake Yo ‘Self” starts off the second half of the album with a deceptively slow intro. The track skyrockets into an even dirtier groove than any of the other tunes. This one is a true banger, featuring staccato horn leads and distorted keys. Another powerful, dreamy and psychedelic keyboard solo takes over the second half of the tune, while the lyrics remind us to open our minds and see the world for what it really is. The seemingly simpler beat of “Nah Brah” kicks up a notch with some crafty syncopation from the drummer at times. Trippy synth tones and waxy, distorted swells complement a gritty guitar solo, followed by an explosion of bold horns. “Mama Feel Good” is just straight ahead funk, reminiscent of classic James Brown. There is no better way to describe it. “Living the Dream” ends the album in a tidal wave of energy. The album closer features massive horns, fast guitar and forceful vocals. After a lengthy, spirited guitar solo, the band leaves room for a nice surprise in the last couple of minutes, but I’ll leave that part for you to find out yourself.

If funk is your thing, then there is no better band for you than Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. Funk Life is an excellent addition to the band’s discography, embodying the funk spirits of the past, present and future. The record is the band’s fourth studio album and is their self-proclaimed “best album yet!” I think I agree with them on that one!
Review: Randy Harris

 ©Grateful Music LLC

Monday, May 18

Busty and the Bass 5/11/15 Brooklyn Bowl Review and Photos

When Busty and the Bass made their way to Brooklyn Bowl this past Monday evening I knew little about this band other than their name and that they were a 9 piece techno-funk group out of Canada. I never expected a band capable of delivering a set ranging from straight hip hop to instrumentals and almost everything in between, but that is exactly what they are.

They began softly with an intro that saw each of the 9 members mesh and grow, reaching a crescendo as the leaping Nick Ferraro (Singer/Alto Sax) landed back on both feet. This was just the beginning and the energy was already palpable throughout the crowd. The room which seemed to steadily fill-in as the set progressed, had a buzz about it as the band provided a set-list that seemed to span genres, as if you had hit scan on the car radio. Ranging from a foundation of soul, provided by a solid trio of horns, to the electro portion of the band consisting of 3 separate keyboard/piano players as well as bass and guitar, there wasn’t much this band didn’t offer up. There were pure energy fueled tunes dripping with funk to moments where I closed my eyes and felt as if I could be decked out in black-tie dancing the night away with my favorite lady. This band was far from done as they bust into “Right Kind” which showed their ability to deliver some quality hip hop. From tight vocals to rhythm and horn hits, this song shows the bands ability to take you on a musical journey to anywhere at any time all while keeping the music extremely tight. This was clearly evident as the band took the room even deeper into their musical journey with “Mmhmmm” an all instrumental piece that beautifully displayed each member’s musical ability as they seamlessly took turns soloing throughout the song.  

This night was full of the unknown and unexpected from the start and with each and every turn I was drawn in more and more by a group of musicians that clearly not only love what they do, but who they do it with. The final two songs perfectly summed up what the night was all about for me, with the band taking “Latch” (Disclosure) for a spin, using soothing vocals with powerful horns making this song as much their own as any song they play. Ending the night with an original “Tryna Find Myself” a tune that has some funk some pop and a small dash of almost everything else the band offers in one tune. If you like music of any kind, dancing and just being out and having fun this is a band you should check out. Regardless of what you’re looking to get out of your evening, catching these guys do their thing will likely give you just that and more each and every time.

Here is the evenings set list:
Models III
The Real
Right kind
Light Blue
Latch (cover Disclosure)
Tryna Find Myself

Words: Chason Heins
Photos: Mike Geller

 ©Grateful Music LLC

Phish Preorder - Live Release: 8 disc/3 show Box-Set From Amsterdam's Paradiso - Spring/Summer 1997 (J.Pollock Artwork)

On June 16, Phish will release Amsterdam, a brand new eight-CD box set featuring three complete shows (February 17, July 1-2) recorded live at Paradiso in the Netherlands in 1997. The shows have been fully mixed and mastered from the band’s multitracks.

The new box is available for pre-order now at Phish Dry Goods. Everyone who pre-orders the new Amsterdam box set from Dry Goods will get an official embroidered Amsterdam backpack patch featuring Europe 1997 art by Jim Pollock, while supplies last. In addition, you’ll be automatically entered to win a special camping package Phish’s upcoming Magnaball festival in August, including Two Glen Close tickets, a 2-person tent and some camping supplies.

On February 17, 1997 Phish first played Paradiso, a converted former church turned rock-club/cultural center with a capacity of about 1500. Over the next four months, Phish logged three breakthrough shows at this historic venue where the intimate setting pushed the music to new heights again and again. 

From the Soul Shakedown party opener and fluid, psychedelic improvisation-clinic-of-a-set II (Down With Disease > Carini > Taste > Down With Disease) on 2/17/97 to the “back of the worm” Ghost opener, Reba and another peak transcendent Set II [Fish Keyboard Jam > Timber (Jerry) > Bathtub Gin > Cities] on 7/1/97 through the Mike’s Groove Sandwich and must-hear Stash > Llama > Wormtown Jam plus the double encore of 7/2/97, these three shows spread over 8 CD’s comprise some of the most experimental music Phish ever played.

The three shows on the Amsterdam box, the only Phish shows to-date at Paradiso, combine to deliver the full impact of a shared peak experience in an exotic locale seamlessly integrated and sizzling with creative intensity. 

Bundles are available at Dry Goods with this release, including a new Jim Pollock poster to commemorate the release and a reprise of an original Europe 1997 Tour t-shirt. 
Pre-Order HERE
 ©Grateful Music LLC

Friday, May 15

Couch Tour: Hangout Music Festival - Friday / Saturday / Sunday - 2 Channel Online Streaming Schedule via MTV.Com is streaming Music all weekend long for those of us who didn't make it to Hangout this year, or just wished to avoid the aggressively profiling police presence.  Either way enjoy it safely

Grateful Music's recommendations come underlined and in BOLD!!!
Friday Schedule (all times ET, subject to change)
12:30 p.m. - Snbrn (Channel 1)
12:30 p.m. - Jamell Richardson (Channel 2)
1:30 p.m. - Joywave (Channel 2)
1:30 p.m. - Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires (Channel 1)
2:30 p.m. - Trampled By Turtles (Channel 1)
2:30 p.m. - Five Knives (Channel 2)
3:30 p.m. - Zella Day (Channel 1)
3:30 p.m. - Dirty Heads (Channel 2)
4:45 p.m. - Jenny Lewis (Channel 1)
4:45 p.m. - Lupe Fiasco (Channel 2)
6:00 p.m. - Umphrey's McGee (Channel 1)
6:00 p.m. - Cold War Kids (Channel 2)
7:15 p.m. - Gramatik (Channel 1)
7:15 p.m. - Spoon (Channel 2)
8:30 p.m. - Paramore (Channel 1)
8:30 p.m. - Galactic with Macy Gray (Channel 2)
10:00 p.m. - Jack U (Channel 1)

Saturday Schedule (all times ET, subject to change)
12:30 p.m. - Xavier Rudd & The United Nations (Channel 1)
12:30 p.m. - Skylar Spence (Channel 2)
1:30 p.m. - Toro Y Moi (Channel 1)
1:30 p.m. - Knox Hamilton (Channel 2)
2:30 p.m. - Sylvan Esso (Channel 1)
2:30 p.m. - Beats Antique (Channel 2)
3:30 p.m. - The Mowgli's (Channel 1)
3:30 p.m. - Jeff The Brotherhood (Channel 2)
4:30 p.m. - Future Islands (Channel 1)
4:30 p.m. - Talib Kweli (Channel 2)
5:45 p.m. - Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley (Channel 1)
5:45 p.m. - Odesza (Channel 2)
7:00 p.m. - Drive By Truckers (Channel 1)
7:00 p.m. - Adventure Club (Channel 2)
8:15 p.m. - Skrillex (Channel 1)
8:15 p.m. - Father John Misty (Channel 2)
10:00 p.m. - Zac Brown Band (Channel 1)
10:00 p.m. - Major Lazer (Channel 2)

Sunday Schedule (all times ET, subject to change)
12:30 p.m. - Iration (Channel 1)
12:30 p.m. - Goldroom (Channel 2)
1:30 p.m. - Misterwives (Channel 1)
1:30 p.m. - Rubblebucket (Channel 2)
2:30 p.m. - Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls (Channel 1)
2:30 p.m. - Robert Delong (Channel 2)
3:30 p.m. - Tove Lo (Channel 1)
3:30 p.m. - St. Lucia(Channel 2)
4:45 p.m. - Vance Joy (Channel 1)
4:45 p.m. - GRiZ (Channel 2)
6:00 p.m. - TV On The Radio (Channel 1)
6:00 p.m. - Lake Street Drive (Channel 2)
7:00 p.m. - Foster The People (Channel 1)
7:00 p.m. - Krewella (Channel 2)
8:15 p.m. - My Morning Jacket (Channel 1)
8:15 p.m. - Phantogram (Channel 2)
10:00 p.m. - Beck (Channel 1)

 ©Grateful Music LLC

B.B. King (born Riley B. King; September 16, 1925 - May 14, 2015) - Passes Away In Las Vegas at age 89

Here in Memphis (where I learned to talk the jive) our hearts are heavy this morning. We have lost our greatest & our last true legend. Memphis & B.B. are one, akin to Memphis & the blues. The only thing bigger than King's famous chops was his heart. We have lost a true ambassador. A little bit of our city died last night. The only thing worse than our tears, is we will never hear Lucille cry again. We have his legacy and that will never fade away. Rest Easy old man, you did your family proud.

-Kevin Long 
Chief Admin and Memphis Office Director
 ©Grateful Music LLC

Monday, May 11

The Main Squeeze Review and Photos 5/2 B.B. King's Blues Club - Memphis

The Main Squeeze
B.B. King’s Blues Club, Memphis, TN
May 2, 2015

The road from the Gulf of Mexico up to the Home of the Blues is always a busy one in the first weekend in May. New Orleans, Louisiana hosts its second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival that weekend, while Memphis hosts its annual Beale Street Music Festival to kick off Memphis In May. The Main Squeeze, a Chicago-based funk band, boldly braved the road and hit both cities during the hectic opening weekend of May 2015. After a late night set in New Orleans, the band immediately set off to Memphis, and with little or no rest, The Main Squeeze brought the heat to The Home of the Blues!
The five-piece band wasted no time bringing a wave of energy with “Dr. Funk,” immediately setting the tone for the rest of the evening with a funky, laid back bass line and fleeting vocals. One of the big highlights of the first half of the set included a great cover of Ray Charles’ “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” with a funky little twist to it. Soon after that came one of the band’s latest singles “Message to the Lonely,” which heavily features the powerful vocals of Corey Frye, followed by the insanely funky “Ebeneezer,” led by Ben “Smiley” Silverstein on keys and Jeremiah Hunt on bass. “Colorful Mist” added a smooth, jazzy element to the set, while the “Where Do We Go? (Interlude)” > “Where Do We Go?” slowed things way down, gettin’ sexy with it, before slamming down a dynamic groove, alternating between four-to-the-floor dance beats and half time explosions of synth-led aural blasts.

After a brisk and tactful “Jungle,” the band rocked out a massive cover of Pink Floyd’s “Have A Cigar,” and when I say they rocked it out, I mean it was absolutely mind-blowing! Guitarist Max Newman had been on fire all night, but he really got a chance to branch out and show his true colors on this one, tapping into David Gilmore’s minimalistic approach, while at the same time strategically adding his own aggressive style to the solo at times. The Main Squeeze ended their set in Memphis with a vigorous string of tunes, starting with an extremely energetic “Mamma Told Me,” followed by some more laid back, ultimate funk from “In A Funk.” Finally, the band ended the night with “I’ll Take Another,” showing a heavier rock side of the band and capping the evening off on a high note. Frye’s vocals screamed out the chorus of “Give me one moooooore!” while the band rocked out behind him relentlessly.
I am definitely looking forward to the future of this band. Their Chicago roots have provided them with all of the necessary influences of funk, blues, jazz and rock to form a unique sound of their own. It is also worth noting that, in a modern live music scene that seems to lack the classic “frontman” on vocals that was so prevalent in rock & roll throughout the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, The Main Squeeze thrives on Corey Frye’s epic voice, which allows the rest of the members to focus on the instrumentals. The resulting powerhouse of musical expertise allows for a combination of Western genres that forms the ultimate dance party.

Full Setlist:
Dr. Funk
2 Steps
I don’t Need No Doctor1
Space Age Celebration
Message to the Lonely
Colorful Mist
Crazy Women and Croquet
Where Do We Go? Interlude >
Where Do We Go?
Pink Piano
Have A Cigar2
Tank Xing
All In
Mamma Told Me
I’ll Take Another

1 Cover; Ray Charles
2 Cover; Pink Floyd


Words and Photos: Ragin' Randy Harris

 ©Grateful Music LLC