A Sanctuary for Our Souls in The Daze Between:  Erica Falls CD Release:

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This may very well be the best thing I do this year during Fest and here’s why…

“Wash, rinse, repeat” becomes our motto as we foray night-after-night into the clubs that host the shows during the New Orleans Jazz Fest.   From sundown to sunrise we tend to seek the funkiest collaborations that make up the core of our show selections, and even for the most seasoned Fest veterans, it can become a blur.   It is downright addictive.

So when we hear about a little known performance to take place outside of a traditional venue — by a vocalist who feeds our souls in a way that brings tears to our eyes — our ears perk up!  That’s what happened when I heard about Erica Falls and her ”soft” CD release of HomeGrown to be performed in the courtyard of a private home in historic uptown New Orleans.  Erica calls it ”The Sanctuary” and I suspect it will be just that for us fans too.

Most know Erica from her performances with Galactic, but here’s a chance to meet this soul singer in her own surroundings where she performs her new record HomeGrown in its entirety and covers a few of her all-time favorite songs.  It is R&B, soul, rock, and so much more!  I conjure up a history lesson of sorts about a beautiful soul singer and her life and destiny in a setting that is heady, sweet, and very much New Orleans.    It isn’t just about her range of high soprano moments to deep sultry tones, it’s how she looks each and every one of us in the eye and touches something deep inside us all.

Erica told me that this record is a reflection of her life growing up in the 9th Ward in New Orleans with her family, the church and their music together.   She was the youngest of eight children and she grew up under the musical tutelage of her mother and the church choir.     When I asked about how she became a vocalist she told me that it was after she initially played both the piano and the violin.   “I was so in awe of my mother’s singing that at times I felt intimidated to sing.”

With  unwavering love and discipline,  her gift prevailed and like all great talent,  something fired deep inside her that pushed through the barriers to make Erica one of the most poignant modern day soul singers we will ever have the chance to witness.  We will be able to tell our great grandchildren, nieces and nephews… ”We saw her when…..”

Catch this ‘very special’ performance on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 8 p.m. at “The Sanctuary”.   Limited advance tickets are available and there will be a pop-up food vendor serving authentic New Orleans fare, Vintage Soul Martinis and other icy cold beverages to refresh.  I have compiled all the details and links at www.funkybatz.com.

Howlin’ Wolf 2017 Fest By Nite

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As we click-and-ponder the night show grids, we would be kickin’ ourselves later if we missed the “Howlin’ Wolf 2017 Fest By Nite” stellar line-up! It’s nicely situated in the New Orleans warehouse district, starting on Thursday, April 27 and running through Sunday, May 7th. Just about every artist we hope to see brings a unique groove to this long-standing venue — in both the main room and the den.  Fans definitely want to pick up some advance tickets so they won’t miss out!

Check out this year’s shows – They’re all nicely laid out for our readers, along with links and more.  Plus FunkyBatz has a pair of tickets to give away for just about every night show!  Check it out! See you in New Orleans!

Howlin’ Wolf 2017 Fest By Nite Shows

Dumpstaphunk • The Motet • Roosevelt Collier • Gravy atThe Howlin' Wolf New Orleans, LA
Live For Live Music Presents Breakscience (Live Band), The Russ Liquid Test and The Werks in The Den atThe Howlin' Wolf New Orleans, LA
Live for Live Music Presents Fu*k 2016 Tribute with Members of Turquaz and The Motet atThe Howlin' Wolf New Orleans, LA
Lady Peace Productions & The Howlin' Wolf present Funkify Night at The Howlin Wolf atThe Howlin' Wolf New Orleans, LA
Live For Live Music Presents "Earth, Wind, and Power" ft The Nth Power + All Brothers Band and Organ Freeman atThe Howlin' Wolf New Orleans, LA
Megalomaniacs BallMike Dillon Band • Mike Dillon's Punk Rock Percussion Consortium • Stanton Moore Trio atThe Howlin' Wolf New Orleans, LA
Jurassic 5 • plus Blackalicious atThe Howlin' Wolf New Orleans, LA
Satisfied Productions Presents The 15th Annual Bayou Rendezvous atThe Howlin' Wolf New Orleans, LA
Anders Osborne & Friends, The Pimps of Joytime, The NO Suspects and more! atThe Howlin' Wolf New Orleans, LA
Live For Live Music Presents Michael Jackson vs. Stevie Wonderfeaturing Eric “Benny” Bloom, DJ Williams, Adam Deitch, Will Blades, Nigel Hall and MonoNeon atThe Howlin' Wolf New Orleans, LA

On Robert Walter, His 20th Congress, The New Record & Jazz Fest in New Orleans

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It’s challenging enough to describe live music in words that entice the reader to go out and buy a ticket to a show.   Try describing a record you have never heard!  But when it comes to funk and soul-jazz and the artists who play in this genre, nothing is certain except that they perform a groove that is familiar to us and one that we want to come back to time and time again.

One minute we have a notion as to what the music will be like and the next minute our pre-conceived ideas are in the wind.   That is one reason we keep following the artists we love and continually get surprised with each and every note, rhythm and transition.  It’s the same as it never was!

I caught up with Robert Walter, master of the B3 and most any keyboard he puts under his fingers for that matter, and asked him to tell us about his new 20th Congress record that’s planned for release this fall.  You may know Robert from his works with the Greyboy Allstars, Stanton Moore Trio, and recently Mike Gordon.   I had noticed his photo from his session at The Parlor in New Orleans that he recently posted on Facebook, and of course like all super- fans with inquiring minds and no advanced tracks to listen to… I asked “What’s it like”?

The answer was surprising:  “Barb – it will be like nothing you have ever heard from me before.   Wild, unique and not the ‘usual’ funk you will expect.  This is a new sound for me and I haven’t been this excited in a long time.”

Keep in mind that Robert Walter is first a composer and then a collaborator.  He crafts melodies that we can’t help but play over and over in our heads. He is brilliant that way.   Add some funk to it, you know the danceable, syncopated, in-the-pocket kind with the heavy organ that Robert is known for, and we all get why it’s hard to miss any of his performances.

And now add the wild-card description from Robert himself, that it won’t be like anything we have ever heard and now –as Super-Fans we have a show not to be missed!

Catch the ONLY Robert Walter’s 20th Congress performance during the 2017 New Orleans Jazz Fest on Saturday April 29, 2017 at the Blue Nile presented as part of the 12th Annual Backbeat Jazz Fest Series.  For more info and how to buy tickets visit us at www.funkybatz.com.

Where’s the Funk at SXSW

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year here in Austin, TX. South By Southwest (SXSW) is upon us and the music choices are limitless. Official showcases, unofficial showcases, free shows and parties you may or may not have to RSVP to and every venue in town is fully booked. It is a blast, but it is also difficult to navigate all the options and find that sweet funky spot you long for. Never fear FunkyBatz is here to help. Make sure you check back often this week, as we are sure to add more funky discoveries to our list of picks.

Have a funky fun time ya’ll and we hope to see you at FunkXFunk Fest our annual unofficial SXSW party and funk extravaganza.

FunkyBatz SXSW picks:

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds atHoly Mountain Austin, TX
Papa Mali's SXSG Record Release PartyCarolyn Wonderland • Eric McFadden • Angelo Moore of Fishbone • Con Brio atFreedmen's Austin, TX
Funk X Funk Fest 2015with Papa Mali • Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds • A‑Town Get Down • Matt Hubbard Trio • Flyjack atDogwood Austin, TX
A‑Town Get Down • Flyjack • Graveltooth • Matt Hubbard Trio atDogwood Austin, TX
Cilantro Boombox atMaggie Mae's Austin, TX
Mama K and The Shades atMaggie Mae's Austin, TX
Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears atDirty Dog Bar Austin, Tx
Llamas on the Loose atThe Rustic Tap Austin, TX
Uncle Lucius atMaggie Mae's Austin, TX
Sly Curtis • HeartByrne atDogwood Austin, TX
Golden Dawn Arkestra atHotel Vegas Austin, TX
South by San Gabriel ‑ Day 1 atFreedmen's Austin, TX
Henry & The Invisibles • Hector Ward & The Big Time atDogwood Austin, TX
Bassel & The Supernaturals atPalm Door on Sixth Austin, TX
Hard Proof atHard Proof @ Russian House, Mar 17, SXSW
Peterson Brothers atContinental Club Austin Austin, TX
A‑Town Getdown atEsther's Follies Austin, Tx
Los Coast atParish Austin, TX
A‑Town Getdown atLucille Austin, TX
Mama K and The Shades atHalf Step Austin, TX
Funk X Funk Fest 2017 atDogwood Austin, TX
Hector Ward & The Big Time • Uncle Lucius atDogwood Austin, TX
Cilantro Boombox atFlamingo Cantina Austin, TX

Red Young & Mike Flanigin Talk about Antone’s B3 Summit – Let the organ players loose y’all!

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Just Added: Early show tonight with Ike Stubblefield B3 Trio.  Click Here for tickets and about tonight’s pre-party or the B3 Summit on Saturday.

The Antone’s B3 Summit weekend is finally here and features our very own local legends Red Young, Mike Flanigin and Dr. James Polk plus very special guest Ike Stubblefield.  Ike helped create the Motown songs we all know and love having played with the “Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves, Stevie Wonder and Rare Earth. He lent his soulful R&B style to Al Green, Ike & Tina Turner, Curtis Mayfield, B.B. King, The Pointer Sisters and George Benson, and helped create the classic B3 sound that others would imitate for generations to come”.  More on Ike Stubblefield here

We caught up with both Red Young and Mike Flanigin about the show – check out what they had to say!

FunkyBatz: Hi Red! Tell us how the Antone’s B3 Summit was conceived?

Red: Zach Ernst called me and suggested we do a Hammond summit. I’ve been playing Antones now since January with the hot horns (5 of them) and one of my Hammond organs has been there since March. I saw Ike in Nashville at the Hammond organ booth (known him for awhile) and of course Dr Polk and Mike Flanigin are well known around town too.

FunkyBatz: You are such a versatile player – at times funky at times jazzy and everything in between. Tell us about what you like in music.

Red: I don’t know about the Funk/Dance aspect of it – I do what I do and never considered myself in any genre or other rather than jazz, blues or soul jazz (I started out before the labels were invented) I just play good music and what I like.

FunkyBatz: Who else will be performing at the Summit?

Red: I think with Mike and Ike, Johnny Moeller and Kyle Thompson will be playing (guitar & drums). I asked Mike Malone and Brannen Temple to play with me (I don’t use guitar) and Scott Laningham will be there as well (drums) possibly with Dr Polk – don’t know who else is playing with him. We will each play a set on our own starting around 10pm and after our own sets (30min) two of us at a time will be on Hammonds (I’ll have another one of mine there) with drums in the middle and we’ll continue as long as we are able!

FunkyBatz:  Hi Mike!  Tell us about your set and give us some history.

Mike: Howdy y’all, think Red has covered a lot of the details.  The only other info I could add is that Denny Freeman is gonna play with me and Kyle for my set.  We’ll just do the sort of thing we always did at the gallery.  Been over a year since I’ve played with them like that, so looking forward to it.  The last b3 summit I remember in this town was Jimmy smith, Jimmy McGriff and Jack McDuff at Antone’s on 5th.  It’s been many years, and sadly none are with us anymore.

FunkyBatz:  What are you most excited about?

Mike: So it’s exciting for me to honor and play along with these legendary players Red, Dr, Polk and Ike…who were all there at the beginning of the organ explosion of the 60’s and have been spreading the gospel in their own individual ways ever since.  For anybody that’s ever hauled a b3 organ…you can only imagine the amount of respect these guys deserve for a lifetime of devotion to the instrument.  And they are all recognized everywhere as the best of the best.   Let the organ players loose y’all!

 

Karl Denson Talks About His New Album, Jazz Fest, and Playing in Cuba With The Rolling Stones

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We caught up with Karl Denson recently, after a long stint on the road with the Stones. Check out what he has to say about his forthcoming album (produced by Adrian Quesada), his appreciation for Brownout, his upcoming late-night shows during Jazz Fest, and his recent trip to Cuba with the Rolling Stones.

Austinites: WIN tickets to see Karl D. performing as a special guest with Brownout on April 15th at the Historic Scoot Inn! Read more »

Papa Mali: Crescent City’s true “King of Raw” to heat up the stage at south Austin’s favorite watering hole (One 2 One) this Friday Nov 6th

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Join FunkyBatz & friends this Friday Nov 6th when Papa Mali returns to Austin TX at the One 2 One Bar. Witness Papa Mali; A New Orleans based musician and producer, spawn raw vocals and haunting guitar representations of the blues side of the Mississippi Delta River and New Orleans funk. An innovative, hungry psychedelic sound meeting of an old, homeland breed of funk and blues. The lifelong dream to travel the world producing and performing great music alongside major players is now Mali’s reality. Papa Mali has recorded and toured with childhood idols like George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Bill Kreutzman and Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead) in projects like, 7 Walkers. Read more »

ElectroLuv Fest Preview

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Join FunkyBatz at ElectroLuv Fest on November 7, 2015 for a fundraising concert evening benefiting KPFT 90.1 Pacifica community radio and ElectoLuv Radio Show. Come early for great Tex-Mex and stay late at the Last Concert Café located in downtown Houston for performances from day to night.

It only makes horses sense you’ll be rocking and jiving with groups like, Nameless Horses, a dirty southern, psychedelic rock show from beginning to end. And may there be a lot of reasons to seek out the sounds of your favorite cover bands; feast your tribunal burning desires on the rocking rhapsody of HeartByrne’s tribute to Talking Heads and A Live One’s tribute to Phish. Your support means a lot for your community radio station. Read more »