As this very special theme week comes to a close, allow me to play us out with a Whitman’s Sampler of funky white chocolate. Click the song titles below to stream the music on my Vox blog.
UBM returns to its regular programming tomorrow.
1. “Incompetence” – Danny Bedrosian
I haven’t seen the P-Funk All Stars in a while, but they’ve got a new white cat in the crew... a keyboard prodigy from Massachusetts named Danny Bedrosian. From the sound of this track, Danny B. has studied P-Funk wizards Bernie Worrell and Junie Morrison quite thoroughly. And that’s a good thing.
2. “Deception” – Delta Nove
I first saw the Long Beach funk band Delta Nove in 2007, opening for Kid Creole and the Coconuts. The band impressed me with its goulash of styles – from reggae to Latin to N’Orleans funk to D.C. go-go. (This cut here shows how Delta Nove puts the go-go element to use.)
After their set, the Delta Nove boys impressed me further by working as the fill-in band behind Kid Creole himself. They’ve been on my radar ever since.
Front man Bobby Easton (pictured) has taken the funky whiteboy thing to the next level by growing dreads down to his waist.
3. “10 Karat Pinky Ring” – Big Chief
One of my favorite fanzines, back when zines were the thing, was called Motorbooty.
It was all about funky music and fringe pop culture. It featured interviews with the likes of George Clinton, Andre Williams and Blowfly.
The Michigan dudes who put out Motorbooty also had a band called Big Chief. I was into that too. This track is from “Mack Avenue Skullgame” (1993), a make-believe blaxploitation soundtrack.
4. “I Don’t Mind” – Vehicle feat. Bernie Worrell
I don’t know much about the New Jersey band Vehicle. But they got Bernie to play on this cut, so they must be doing something right.
5. “Down and Out In New York City” – Gov’t Mule
Warren Haynes is the living nexus point of Southern rock and funk. For nearly 20 years, he’s been the lead guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band. But for his side project, Gov’t Mule, Haynes has collaborated with Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Art Neville, Meshell Ndegeocello and many more. (Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers plays on this James Brown cover.)