Many music aficionados say that the Funk movement is dead. Well, I’m here to say with authority that FUNK IS ALIVE & WELL, and I have proof! A couple of weeks ago Chubby Howard and the good folks at the Old Crow Bar in Middletown summoned the music gods and conjured up a Friday night Funk Free-For-All! The show featured two of the area’s best ambassadors of Funk, MAGIC JACKSON and FREEKBASS as the two bands joined forces for one of the Funkiest nights of the year!
Magic Jackson got the party started with a barrage of original Psychedelic Funk classics! The band kicked things off with “Queen of Roses” and “Confrontation” from their 2012 release called Venus in Transit. On point was vocalist Nathan Lewis, who always brings his own electric energy to every show!
From there, the guys went old-school channeling the great Rick James with a killer version of the tune “Give it to Me Baby” featuring special guest, Tracey Smith, on backup vocals and Saxophone mad man, William Hogg.
Guitarist, John Gentry Jr., put on a clinic
demonstrating his skills on tunes like “Messin Round” and “Meatfinger”. Not to be out done though, Drummer, Chris Ellison, and Bassist, Mike “McNasty” McKewen, were in top form proving why they are one of the best rhythm sections in the business!
The 60 minute set was filled with Magic Jackson gems including “Fight the Pimp” and the guys polished us off with a sick version of “Psychobabble” that left heads spinning! But hey! This show just getting started!
Local Funk legend, Freekbass, seized the Old Crow stage with authority! He and his crew, which includes Sax man, Dan Barger, and Drummer, Big Bamn, gave the Middletown faithful a show they’ll never forget!
Growing up in Cincinnati, Freekbass has always drawn comparisons to his mentor, the great Bootsy Collins, but he is no cookie cutter wanna be! This cat is the real deal! Freekbass has a knack for pushing the boundaries of progressive Funk while keeping that old school flair!
That experience, both in the studio and his years of live performances really showed this night! The Old Crow was thumpin as Freekbass broke out tunes from his 2014 release, Everybody’s Feelin Real, that included “Mama’s Like a Cowboy” and my favorite called “Rise”. The band also threw in a couple of surprises that delighted the crowd, including kick ass covers of David Bowie’s “Fame”, Kiss favorite “Detroit Rock City” and the funkiest version of Rush’s “Spirit of the Radio” I have ever heard!