FLYJACK got its start in 2007 playing a weekly residency at TCâ€™s Lounge on Austinâ€™s deep eastside â€“ a dilapidated but much-loved holdover from Austinâ€™s â€œchitlinâ€™ circuitâ€ days. In 2008, the band initiated a funk/soul series called â€œSuperfly Soul Partyâ€ â€“ featuring other like-minded groups, performing at the Victory Grill and other establishments in and around Austin. In April 2008, FLYJACK moved their residency to Antoneâ€™s â€“ Austinâ€™s Home of the Blues â€“ initiating the successful â€œSuperSoul Mondays.â€
In 2008, FLYJACKâ€™s deep-funk single â€œBlack Water Goldâ€ was featured on the tastemaking Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show on the BBC in the UK â€“ gaining the ear of several influential DJs and musicians in the UK deep soul scene, including DJ Snowboy, who introduced the group to Hammondbeat Records. Later that year, the group performed at the ASPEN-SNOWMASS JAZZ FESTIVAL with Widespread Panic and the New Mastersounds. More recently, the group has shared the stage with DJ Numark (of Jurassic 5), Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Stanton Moore, Marc Broussard, The Scabs, Honey Island Swamp Band, New Mastersounds and Brownout.
In 2010, FLYJACK released its second EP â€œOn The Oneâ€ on Portland, Oregon-based label Hammondbeat Records. The platter features legendary James Brown drummer Jabâ€™o Starks on the tubs; Paolo â€œApolloâ€ Negri from Milan, Italy on keyboards; and Austin chanteuse Tameca Jones on vocals.
On March 31, 2017, Flyjack released its third record, â€œNew Dayâ€ â€“ a love letter to late 60â€™s/early 70â€™s underground soul and funk. The record was painstakingly assembled at guitarist Buck McKinneyâ€™s Rocky Coast Studio, and features seven carefully curated underground rare groove classics â€“ including crate diggerâ€™s gold â€œItâ€™s a New Dayâ€ â€“ originally recorded by the Skull Snaps and released in 1973 on the tiny GSF label. The remaining five tracks on the album are Flyjack originals, including the propulsive â€œMotherlodeâ€ â€“ featuring the Hellfire Horns, Grupo Fantasma alum Rudy Canales on congas, and a honking, gut-bucket saxophone solo by Topaz McGarrigle (Golden Dawn Arkestra).
In January, 2020, Flyjack released its fourth record â€œSoul Catcherâ€ to rave reviews, picking up a nomination for best album in the funk/fusion/jam category of the 18th Annual International Music Awards. The album features nine originals and two covers of the rare-groove tracks â€œFunky to the Boneâ€ by Freddi Henchi and the Soulsetters, and â€œDamn Right I Am Somebodyâ€ by Fred Wesley and James Brown, and may be Flyjackâ€™s most fully-realized funk statement to date.
In August 2021, Flyjack will release its latest and most ambitious album to date, â€œPan Am,â€ featuring 8 instrumental originals and a cover of soul jazz classic â€œDig On It,â€ by Jimmy McGriffâ€“â€“all recorded while the band was on hiatus during the Covid pandemic. Three sneak peek singles will be released in the weeks leading up to Pan Am, beginning with â€œIce Stormâ€ July 8, 2021. Pan Am marks Flyjackâ€™s first label affiliation to date, teaming up with Austin/UK independent Big Indie.
Flyjackâ€™s founding members â€“ guitarist Buck McKinney and bassist Brad Bradburn â€“ hail from the groundbreaking Austin alternative-jazz group Gnappy, which released 3 well-received albums between 2001 and 2006, and was featured in the 2003 book â€œJambandsâ€ by Dean Budnick. Flyjackâ€™s current line-up is rounded out by David Hunter Thacker (Keyboards), Jose Guitierrez (Drums), John Voss (Percussion), Paulo Santos (Sax), Mike Shields (Trumpet), Liam Lord (Trumpet) and Will Wright (Trombone).
In a time of confusion and hostility among humanity, the Gods sent their only son â€“ Viben â€“ down to the Earth, hoping to bring about a new understanding. Upon his entrance through the stratosphere, Viben immediately plummeted to the bottom of the ocean, where his interactions with the creatures of the sea taught him a submersible musical language, Scuba Funk. Equipped with only Scuba Funk, Viben surfaces to bring this sound to the humans of earth, optimistic that the language of the sea can also heal the wounds of humanity.