Queens of Funk: Brides of Funkenstein

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Today’s history of Funk lesson is about the Brides of Funkenstein – Dawn Silva and Lynn Mabry. Silva and Mabry were backup singers for Sly and the Family Stone before joining the P-Funk family.  George Clinton named the band to go along with his Dr. Funkenstein character. I guess you could say their marriage was drenched in funk.

Brides of Funkenstein were the opening act for P-Funk, as well as the backing vocals for P-Funk. They recorded three albums but only two were released. In the absence of Silva, their second album, Never Buy Texas From a Cowboy, recorded with Sheila Horne and Jeannette McGruder. It was probably their most popular album. It should be – it brings the funk.

 

 

 

Brides of Funkenstein on Spotify

Brides of Funkenstein on Facebook

Queens of Funk: Mavis Staples

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Artwork by Jude Kane/ Freakoutville; © Copyright Jude Kane

 

Mavis Staples can do what she wants. She wanted to sing and there’s almost no one better.  She’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Staples has also been a Kennedy Center Honoree.

She’s still singing and writing music. Her newest album, If All I Was Was Black, was released last year. This year, she collaborated with Hozier on “Nina Cried Power.” God willing, she will always want to sing.

Bob Dylan proposed to her but I guess she didn’t want to get married so she didn’t.

 

Mavis Staples website

Freakoutville on Facebook

Interview with . . . no mad

no mad, not nomad – that’s a different band, is a funk-rock band from London. So it’s funk-rock but fancier.

They agreed to do this interview. Then I forgot everything – like to think of questions and then where their email was. Did I send them already? Did I imagine the whole interaction? No, apparently I’m just super forgetful lately.

Before I forget to tell you, please check out the interview and the links to no mad’s music.

Thanks for your patience!

 

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Where was your first show?

One of our first shows was at Café1001 in Brick Lane. The drummer at the time was temping and wanted to stand in the room for soundcheck while asking someone to hit the drums for him. Our lead singer, the Allien, started drumming and everyone went: wow! this guys can drum! So the “A” has been drumming-singing ever since! All because of that soundcheck at Café1001 !

 

How far is the farthest that you’ve traveled from home?

Mmmm …. Australia? That’s pretty far, right?

Do you prefer loud or funky?

Our genre is funk-rock. So we prefer loud AND funky!

Who is the funkiest band?

We’d like to say the no mad, but seriously, it would be a blend between Cage the Elephant, Jamiroquai, Lenny Kravitz, and Wolf Alice. Something like a flying giraffe with a rhino head …

Do you guys celebrate Halloween?

Of course, we do. We go around houses asking for sweets (NOT).

Have you ever worked or stayed anywhere that was haunted?

Yes at home. One of us lives in a house where the ghost of his great grandma goes up and down the stairs most nights. It’s just a question of getting used to it.

Would you ever go back in time to change anything?

Sure, if we could! We think there are so many things that a wrong about society and right now. Too much inequality, too much violence, not enough love. If we could, we’d avoid a vote on Brexit, it’s been too divisive. We’d make music and art compulsory at school to everyone because artists don’t start wars. And we’d make sure elephants are born without tusks so nobody kills the for ivory.

What do you want people to know about no mad?

We’re very excited about our 10-track album titled Motions in Black which is getting amazing spontaneous reviews and can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, and most other streaming apps. One of our videos has just been prized and we’re proud of playing this Friday 19 Oct at Spice of Life in Soho. Check out the latest news, music and video on nomadtheband.net – Thanks for your support! Cheers!

 

https://nomadtheband.net/

no mad on Facebook

Bring the Funk Music Review: Wolfmother

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This is a non-review review. Obviously. There weren’t even any words until a few seconds ago.

Wolfmother is a noisy band with some elements of funk. Go listen to them. Just go.

Wolfmother website

Wolfmother on Spotify

Bring the Funk Review: West End Blend

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West End Blend came out with a new album this month but I haven’t heard it yet. If it’s anything like their last album, Attitude, then it’s probably super awesome with lots of funk.

This is going to be a short blurb. All I want to say is that West End Blend brings the funk. I’ve included links to their music so please visit.

I would never tell you to listen to a band that isn’t worthy.

 

 

 

West End Blend website

West End Blend on Spotify

Interview with . . . Trevor James

If you can catch up with Trevor James, then you are lucky and also possibly a stalker. The only reason that I could get an interview was a bit of luck and persistence (i.e. stalking). Anyway, there some links to do your own reconnaissance mission on finding out about Trevor James.

P.S. Don’t really stalk him. Or anyone else. No one likes stalkers. They’re so sneaky and demanding.

Just listen to his music and read this interview.

 

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Where was your first show as a performer?

My first performance was on a cruise ship that went to Europe when I was 14 years old. I played bass with a 9 piece orchestra.

What band is the funkiest?

I’m my opinion James Browns band, nothing but a solid pocket and thick groove.

How many stamps do you have in your passport?

I honestly don’t even know. Hahaha, I have had to get new pages in my passport and the new pages are almost full.

If you could back in time, where would you go?

I think I would go to the 70s and live it all the way through to the 90s. I’m a big 70s and 80s Music fan and that was a time when Music was just amazing!

What do you do in your free time?

Most of the time I’m at the gym or writing music or just lazying around. When I’m off the road I just want to sit back and relax

Is there a real Maxine?

Haha, there is a real Maxine…I just don’t know one haha. This song came about after me and some friends were having some beers and 1 beer turned into 4 and 4 turned into 10 and we started talking about crazy relationships and my buddy was telling me about this crazy girl that kicked him out and threw his clothes out, so I asked him what her name was and he said Maxine. So in that drunken moment, I said to my self “Maxine….that would be a cool song” so I took out my phone and wrote in my notes “make a song about Maxine” and a year later Maxine was written.

Do you like social media or would you rather go without it?

Social media has its pros and cons. I like social media because you can get you point across fast and to many people at once. What I don’t like about it is that everybody is doing the same thing and there soooo many people promoting themselves and everybody is so forced on likes and followers that the quality of what they’re putting out is so low. If I wasn’t a musician and using social media as a business I probably wouldn’t be on there. I like to live in the moment and experience things without always having to take a picture or a video of everything

What do you want people to know about you?

For those that don’t know I used to be a tennis player and not just your local park tennis player, I was nationally ranked but that was another life haha. I am a bass player first and have had the opportunity to perform all over the world and now it’s my time to break out as a solo artist rather than always performing for someone. I’m just a normal guy that likes coffee and beer….not in that order but you know what I mean haha I’ve got big goals and hope to achieve all of them. I just want to rock out on a big stage for as many people as possible and put a smile on there face and to inspire.

Trevor James on Instagram

Trevor James on soundcloud

Trevor James on Spotify

Trevor James on Twitter

Bring the Funk Review: Land of Panda

Land of Panda is an Indie Rock band from Akron, Ohio. They play a mix of jazz, psychedelic rock and reggae. It sounds like funk to me.

They released an EP in 2018 called The Funk. My favorite song on the EP is “Never Let Me Down.” So far Land of Panda hasn’t let me down.

What else can I say? Check out their music and decide for yourself. Happy Funktober!

 

 

The Funk on Spotify

Old School Funk: Sly and the Family Stone

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Sly and the Family Stone were super talented musicians. Unfortunately, Sly was not a great businessman. The word is also that he did a lot of drugs back then which probably impaired his judgment.  I read somewhere that he carried his drugs in a violin case. (That is a genius idea- illegal or not.)

I don’t think the band stayed together for as long as they would have under normal circumstances. But what is normal in show business? It’s too bad that they didn’t have a super talented lawyer and a rock star accountant that they could trust.

Sly and the Family Stone left an impression.  At the end of the day, they are still in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

 

Gretel: #bookreview

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It took me a few extra days to read Gretel by Christopher Coleman due to something spooky happening at work. I’m pretty sure that the place is haunted anyway but then something unnerving happened. For the sake of my own sanity, I had to stop watching serial killer documentaries as well as take a break from reading Gretel.

I thought that it was an interesting take on the original story of Hansel and Gretel. In the original story, Hansel and Gretel are sent away from their home because their parents are poor and cannot afford to feed them. They leave and come back – only to be sent away again by their mother. Their father feels terrible about sending them away but the mother is mostly worried about herself. After they are sent away again, they find the witch’s house.

In Gretel, Anika, the mother of Hansel and Gretel, is in a car accident. She’s alone and lost so of course, she ventures into the woods.

The witch is starving and is desperate for a human meal. If she doesn’t eat soon, it will be the end of her. The witch hears Anika call for help. So she captures Anika and begins to prepare the potion.

In the meantime, Hansel and Gretel have to deal with their terrible father. Months pass and there is no word about what has happened to Anika. The family is also about to starve. Gretel gets a job to help buy food and some things for Hansel.

I cannot tell you anymore of the plot without giving away too much of the story. However, I will tell you that I did like the story and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys stories about witches or creepier versions of fairy tales.

 

 

Gretel on Amazon

Queens of Funk: Millie Jackson

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Millie Jackson is sassy. Sassy may be an understatement. If you hear her music, you will not forget who she is.

Her career began when someone dared her to enter a talent contest. She won the contest and the bet.

I didn’t know who Millie Jackson was before this year. I had heard one of her songs but I thought it was Gladys Knight. Their voices are so similar.

Jackson’s songs are funnier and naughtier than Knight’s. She is funnier than most people.

She’s not one to be ignored or pushed aside. Jackson started her own record company and had her own radio show for many years.

Weird Wreckuds website

Millie Jackson on Spotify