Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big Sam's Funky Nation

Big Sam’s Funky Nation
King of the Party
Hypersoul Records

The constituents of Big Sam’s Funky Nation know what they want and they know where to get it: direct from Big Sam Williams, former trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and the leader of his own band since 2003’s Birth of a Nation. On this, their fourth release, they do what they do best; play a blend of New Orleans brass band, funk and R&B with some rock-n-roll teeth.

The party kicks off with Big Sam asserting himself as get-down royalty over a solid mix of massive drums, wailing guitars and blasting horns on the title track, and doesn’t really let up until the last track fades from the speakers. In between, you’re treated to flashes of James Brown funk, Parliament space-trips and vocal effects, second-line rhythms, and even a tasty cover Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle.” Just as other New Orleans bands like the Dirty Dozen and Bonerama have worked to expand their musical boundaries outside the city’s confines, Big Sam’s Funky Nation have embraced the party-all-the-time dance machine ethos and work it until the sweat drips.

In short, Big Sam IS the King of the Party, and you’re invited.

Curtis Lynch
Playgrounds Magazine
May 2010

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