The third installment of FUNK-O-RAMA (at the Wetlands in NYC) was as funky as the other FUNK-O-RAMA shows.....kudos to Kregg Ajamu, Stozo The Clown and the Wetlandsfor having such an event every 2 months....in fact, the show should be held ONCE a month! Unfortunately, Enemy Squad was NOT at this show (bummer!), but the new-to-FUNKORAMA group STRAWBERRY represented well!!!!
The events and performance times for Part 3 of FUNK-O-RAMA were:
The first group, Yo Momma, performed some funky
tunes.....I originally thought that they were not that good when I saw them at
the last FUNK-O-RAMA show......well, I was wrong about that!! Yo Momma is very
good!! While I was checking out thegroup, SACRED CIRCUS, in the lounge, I spoke
to two of the guys from the group: the lead vocalist and the keyboardist. I
told the keyboardist that their set wasvery good! By the way, Sacred Circus was
okay, but I just wasn't into it at the time.
Before I left the lounge area, I ran into the RHYTHM REPUBLIK guitarist, Clyde McPhatter (better known as "Nip").....seconds before conversing with him, I was sitting behind him thinking, "Is he the guitarist for Rhythm Republik?"!! Before I could introduce myself, Kregg walked by and introduced me to him....and mentioned that I was Dr. Brookenstein, the guy who did the Rhythm Republik review & photos for the BROOKSYNTELECHY website. Nip and I talked for about five minutes, about the website and the group's debut album (which will be out in early May); he was very appreciative of my support of the Rhythm Republik thang!
The best part of the event was when the group STRAWBERRY began to perform. I missed the first 10 minutes of the set, because I was in the basement lounge.....damn!The group featured the lovely, talented and beautiful Jill Jones (remember her from the"1999" video as J.J., the funky-attitude waitress in the Purple Rain movie, and themagnificent self-titled album in 1987)!!! Boy, was I pumped to see her! I wish Ibrought my 12" vinyl single of the cut "G-Spot", so she could have signed it!!! As beautiful as she is, she can sing just the same!! The songs that were performedincluded the lovely slow-tempo cut, "Life is Now (Don't Let It Slip Away)", the ingenious and hardcore rock-funk of "Sanity", and the subsided "Space Cadets"!!!!I bought the group's CD right after the set and had the group's leader, Strawberry, signed it! By the way, the best cuts on the CD are "Sanity", "Life is Now", "Follow Me", and "Goldie (I'm Leaving You)"!! It was well worth the $10.00 and then some!! Also, thelive version of "Sanity" (at the show) is light-years better than the studio version,mostly because of Jill's background vocals!!!
After snapping Jill's picture, I got another big thrill.....I ran into Mike "Kidd Funkadelic"Hampton and snapped a picture of him with the manager of the group Funk-Kin, Albert "Winky" Hendricks!! Before introducing myself to Winky, I talked to Funk-Kin member Nate Shider, who gave the names of everyone inthe group.....but I didn't know which one played which instruments, besides NowellHaskins, Nate and Tim Shider. Garrett Shider wasn't there and neither was the otherlead vocalist from the last show, Craig. (I don't know the guy's last name)
The Rhythm Republik set began with a funky-blues cut (I'll ask Kregg Ajamu about the song's title).....a very good tune that led into the lovely ballad "All Saints Fall". Whenthe group went into the funk tour-de-force, "Mystical Lover", I was waiting for theguy with the KFC chicken for Kregg.....but no one showed up with the chicken and Kreggwas disappointed! Of course, Kregg had the ladies singing, "I like...my man...on hisknees....baby please!", and the guys singing, "I like....my girl...on her knees....smokingtrees!!" Of course, Kregg walked into the audience, grabbed a few ladies and sang tothem. And I snapped a photo of him while he was off-stage! The group performed othergreat cuts, like "Thigh", "That's The Way of the World" (dedicated to a deceased RhythmRepublik guy, Freddy Smith), "Flowers in a Cage" and "Rise Up". Kregg had everyonejoining hands and chanting the phrase "Sankofa Ashay" (an African proverb thatmeans "remember the past so you may go forward" [Sankofa] and "power of spirit" [Ashay]). Before I forget, this short man brought a 3 small pieces of barbecue chicken to Kregg, during the song "Thigh"......a little toolate, but Kregg did enjoy a taste of barbecue....it was finger-licking and taste like chicken!! (HA HA!)
The last group, Funk-Kin, started their set with a little bit of "Tales of KiddFunkadelic", courtesy of Donald "Scream" Banks. Then, the group did a totally-unexpected cut (at least to me), "The Goose"....very, very good! Of course, they tackledthe song "Undisco Kidd" (with pieces of "Take Your Dead Ass Home" and "Let's Take ItTo The Stage") with funky ease, before jumping into the always-slamming cut"Cosmic Slop" (done with a slight elevation in pitch from the original). The real difference between this show and the last one was that two horn players were addedto the show and it made things even funkier! One of the female vocalists and Natedid the slow, Bootsy cut "I'd Rather Be With You". The horns were really in effectwith the next jam, which was a Funk-Kin original with a sample from the Bridesof Funkenstein's "Party Up in Here"! It sounded pretty good. The next and last song was "The Funk Done Gone Hip-Hop" with a sample of the music from Parliament's "Mothership Connection (Starchild)". The band is excellent, but they could pick moreoriginal Funk-Kin tracks and leave most of the P-Funk backlog alone! Anyway, one highlight of the show was watching Keith Thomas's pants drop to his ankles during the lastsong......I wish I snapped a picture of that.....it was very amusing!!
Thanks to FUNK-O-RAMA III, I met two guys from the Internet funky-musicnewsgroup, "DCSKNS@aol.com" and "Joshadelic".
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