Saturday, August 14, 2010

5 Transcendent Moments from the Long Beach Funk Fest

On August 7th, Bobby Easton put together the 2nd Long Beach Funk Fest, in which 5 blocks of downtown Long Beach were converted to an all day free festival of fun and music. Once again the entire party went off without a hitch, and some moments were magical...

Some transcendent moments from the Long Beach Funk Fest:

1) The pure shouts from the crowd as the Original Stone City Band brought the house down and brought Rick James back to life. The songs sounded EXACTLY like Rick James was in the house. You could see and hear the shouts from people who had that kind of visitation – an unforgettable feeling.

2) When Dawn Silva and her massive band – featuring Blackbird McKnight on guitar, & Cherokee on bass, brought the ‘Mothership Connection’ and Dawn called out to Gary, to Catfish, to Mallia, to Glen and all of the fallen funk soldiers. Then when the badass women Jeannette Washington, Dawn Silva, & Sueann Carwell blew such stirring soul, you knew it was heard by the spirits jamming with us all.

3) An incredible thing happened when Jimmy Castor hit those classic notes to the break beat standard “It’s Just Begun” – a spontaneous break dance cipher took place by the stage as youngsters were cranking, crimping and popping to one of the greatest break beats of all time – PLAYED LIVE IN THE STREETS BY THE ORIGINAL E-MAN HIMSELF – All of a sudden hip hop and funk were breathing the same air. An overwhelming experience for me.

4) Bloco Nove’s rock hard Go Go grooves and world funk beats that punctuated their set. Their relentless rhythm assault was one of the hardest rhythm funk overload sessions I’ve heard since Trouble Funk came to the Bay Area in 1986.

5) The delicious groovallegiance of Weapon of Choice featuring Meganut and the ever so dynamic miss Eurie...

6) ...and when the big ol nasty getdown got down and spooked folks with some stirring funk standards, driven by guests Patryce “Choclet” Banks and her daughters Unique and Cynthia. I can still hear echoes of “I Wanna Testify” blowing through the streets of downtown Long Beach.

+ The entire vibe in which people came for the love of The Funk – not for profit, not for the hustle, but to give and get the most natural positive life force out in the world…