Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band
Funk has a new spokes band, and that band is Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band. Known for their raucous live shows and outrageous stage wear, the Booty Band's sound is a mix of deep funk, high energy rock, plus a little old school rap and soul thrown in for good measure.
Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band formed in 2002 and went through a few incarnations before culminating into the dynamic ensemble it is today. Mary Frances "Mama Funk" creates a sultry platform for her keyboard and keytar playing with her powerhouse vocals. Laying down the bottom is Al Al "Sweet Nasty" Ingram on bass and vocals and Derrick "Dr Ock" Johnson on trombone. JP "Smoke Machine" Miller soars on guitar, and Lee "Insta Funk" Allen drives it all forward on drums. The five-piece funk rock outfit fuels their high-energy show with original compositions, triumphant horns, laid-back grooves and heavy backbeats.
In 2007, Booty Band released Now You Know, named album of the year by Home Grown Music Network, which also crowned the band its Band of the Year. The down and dirty album Doin' It Hard came out in 2012 and was designated a top regional album by WNCW-FM, an influential Triple A radio station broadcasted across three states. Doin' It Hard was followed by the totally funked-up remix Re-Doin' It Hard.
On October 22nd, 2013, the Booty Band will release their edgiest album yet. Onward! was recorded in the band's hometown of Asheville, NC at Echo Mountain Recording Studio and engineered by Julian Dreyer (The Avett Brothers, Smashing Pumpkins). The album features eight tracks of intergalactic funk goodness with guest percussion by Mike Dillon (Les Claypool, Galactic, Garage A Trois). "Trunk Fallin' Off", the first single from the release, is a hard hitting tribute to classic rap and hip-hop. Al Al and JP spit lyrics over synthesized beats while Mary Frances holds down the hook. With a tip of the hat to old school hip-hop, the band pairs "Trunk Fallin' Off" with an official video filmed at Atlanta, GA's famed Clermont Lounge. Other standout tracks include "Let Me In," where silky horn lines build into a driving psychedelic jam that give way to JP's dirty guitar solo. "The Den" which splashes ambient jam themes with instrumental funk, and "Ante Up" which features the band's resident Mama Funk on vocals. The sexy groove driven track will lure you onto the dance floor to bump up with someone special.
Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band has rubbed elbows on stage with classic purveyors of the funk like Parliament Funkadelic, Galactic, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Maceo Parker and Bootsy Collins and have ventured into new territory with modern funksters The New Mastersounds and Orgone.
Never abandoning the call of duty, Booty Band is spreading the gospel of funk throughout the country by playing an average of 150 shows per year. They have proven themselves to be a staple in the live music festival circuit by whipping fans into dancing frenzies at Wakarusa, Bear Creek, Jam Cruise, Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, Aura Fest, Floyd Fest, DeLuna Festival, Jazz Aspen, Center of the Universe Festival, Purple Hatters Ball, Camp Barefoot, Trinumeral and more. For years the Booty Band has been a mainstay at their hometown's Bele Chere Festival, the largest free outdoor festival in the Southeast that's historically drawn over 350,000 attendees
The Funk Ark
"Bringing it and taking listeners on a global funk journey that will have you melting into the dancefloor." - Giant Step
Washington D.C. native, Will Rast (of Antibalas), has been composing music and playing professionally since the age of 14. A love of vintage Funk and Soul, as well as a wide range of instrumental jazz styles were the impetus behind the formation of The Funk Ark in 2007. As a member of Washington DC's fast growing community of artists, it was easy to find incredibly talented musicians to form a group big enough to create the range of sound he wanted. The band began with compositions that were reminiscent of Lonnie Liston Smith, or Herbie Hancock, but it was Will Rast's growing interest in the Afro Beat music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Mono Mono of Nigeria, as well as Mulatu Astatke and Mahmoud Ahmed of Ethiopia, and the legendary Salsa ensemble The Fania Allstars, that caused the band's direction to the shift towards a more polyrhythmic, dance-inspiring, funk sound.
The musical journey of Will Rast, which currently includes being a member of international touring sensations, Antibalas, has helped The Funk Ark to amass a wild, beautiful collection of albums over the years, revealing his personal evolution of funk and rhythm. And through these albums, and The Funk Ark’s live shows, the group keeps audiences awe-inspired and sweaty on the dancefloor.
Their latest album, “Man Is A Monster” is “a collection of songs from a period of two years during which I traveled more than I ever had before, spending time in countries, most of which, I had never visited. The songs were conceived in that spirit of exploration, in a global sense, but also of our musical and technical abilities. This album's eclectic sound is an indication of the many influences and experiences of the group, as well as our intent to take the emphasis away from traditional 4/4 rhythms and channel those influences into something deeper and more challenging than our previous work." -Will Rast