funk music

Friday, February 12, 2016

2016 Prince, Piano & A Microphone Tour

Posted by funkatop On February - 5 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Prince Piano and a Microphone tour

Prince‘s new solo tour called Prince, Piano and a Microphone tour is back on the books after a long awaited pause. Set in 2015 to start in Paris, the tour was abruptly canceled due to the terrorist attacks.

The tour kick-started at Paisley Park on January 21st that jumped a weekend long party. The set list was pretty intense and you can find more details on our Prince Tour page about that fun-filled adventure.

When the tour started back up however leaving the Minnesota home base, it did not start back in Paris. Instead, His Purple Highness decided to start in Australia and New Zealand in late February.

Fans can expect to hear all of the hits, plus a lot of rarities, B-sides and even never before heard material according to Doc.

  • February 16 – Melbourne State Theater (2 shows) – Melbourne
    Ticket info here. Tickets on sale at 12 noon AEDT Feb. 9th
  • February 17 – Melbourne State Theater (2 shows) – Melbourne
    Ticket info here. Tickets on sale at 12 noon AEDT Feb. 9th
  • February 20 – Sydney Opera House (2 shows) – Sydney
    Ticket info here. Tickets on sale at 12 noon AEDT Feb. 9th
  • February 21 – Sydney State Theater (2 shows) – Sydney
    Ticket info here. Tickets on sale at 12 noon AEDT Feb. 9th
  • February 24 – ASB Theater – Auckland (maybe 2 shows?)
    Ticket info here. Tickets on sale at 12 noon AEDT Feb. 11th

More details were made available in the Brisbane Times and The Dainty Group.

2015 – About The Best Funk List. Funky Afterhoughts

Posted by funkatop On January - 15 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Reflections from Funkatopia Founder, Mr. Christopher

As another year came to a close, it still amazes me how many people love our Best Funk list every year. And every year, it literally eats at the pit of my stomach because I always miss great albums that should have been on the list. This year was no different.

Last year, Funkadelic released the album First Ya Gotta Shake The Gate at the very end of December that squeaked in under the radar and for Funkatopia to release a best of 2015 list without having Funkadelic‘s first album release in over 30 years not on it is a travesty. I felt like we totally lost our street cred in that very moment to not have included arguably the founders of funk was a tough pill to swallow. We made good and added it to the list anyway and made a mental note to be as thorough as we could in 2015. Nope. It happened again.

This year, two more albums escaped us for whatever reason. The New Mastersounds Made For Pleasure and Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band Funk Life.  While some people may not even be familiar with them, they were truly great funk albums…And they weren’t on the list.  Yes, we’re aware there were lots of other greats out there, but these hit home a little hard for us.

The loudest noise was made about The New Mastersounds, so we added them to the list as an “Oversight”. Especially since we were aware of its release. And while the Booty Band deserves to be on that list, I think we really can only make a limited amount of concessions and adjustments to the list before the integrity of the list is brought into question.

bootyband-funklifeThe tough part for me is that I truly LOVE both of those bands and consider them friends. I’m hung out with members of the Booty Band and they’re even working with a good friend of mine John Heintz on the new Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown, Volume 2 album coming down the pike. I just simply…missed it.

Same thing with New Mastersounds. I’ve spoken and interviewed Eddie Roberts and Simon Allen personally. We’ve recorded clips of their performances. I interviewed the Booty Band in depth also. But I just simply missed it. The volume of email lists and Facebook alerts I get daily is staggering and I just dropped the ball.

So exactly how does the selection process work? I primarily get my selections from CD’s and promo copies that I’m being sent via snail mail or links to streams sent to me via email.  After that I also try and scour the web on great funk music websites like Funk It, Funkish, Random Acts of Funk, go through emails I’ve received over the year to see what I missed and then compile a list of everything there.  Then I pick out the obvious ones and hand select the rest that I was really feeling. So if a band doesn’t reach out to me or fall within those parameters, things get missed.

In my defense, I did make an effort twice to reach out to everyone on our Facebook page and ask for input and suggestions for the list and it fell on deaf ears. Not one single person offered anything. It was very strange. So I took what I had and assembled the list. And then of course, once the list was done and posted, the comments came in floods and caused many sleepless nights and heart palpitations.

Websites like Funkish do these really great deep dives that really scrape for the undiscovered stuff. And Funk It does an amazing job at capturing the live funk jam bands and letting people experience what the bands are all about. I really envy sites that take a lot of time and dedicate huge portions of their lives in a never ending quest to make sure no stone goes unturned. I love that and we’ll get there.

All of that being said, I need all of you to make this work. I need those independent releases, those hidden gems, and things we’re missing. I simply can’t see and hear everything and be omni-present. I want Funkatopia to become a community effort where everyone is feeding into the machine to make this the ultimate resource. Like the Wikipedia of funk. Well maybe not that intensive.

As for 201Big Ol Nasty Getdown6, you have no idea what I know about that’s coming down the road.  It will be a very funky year. It’s insane.  I mentioned The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown, Volume 2 that should be hitting the streets soon and you will not be ready for this. It will be in a Grammy realm. No joke. Plus new albums from many funk legends and of course, music from new bands that seem to sprout up all over the world. I am so stoked about 2016.

So please. Even if it’s obvious. Shoot me an email about it. If you’re in a great local or regional funk band, we want to know about it. Funkatopia is for everyone and we want to be great, not just okay. Thanks for letting us bring you the funk for all of these years.

20 Best Funk Albums of 2015

Posted by funkatop On January - 12 - 2016 21 COMMENTS

By popular demand, the 2015’s best funk albums!

It’s GREATLY IMPORTANT that you realize that your favorite album might not be here because a) we only pick 20 and b) we may not have even heard of the one you like. So if we missed yours, PLEASE share it with everyone in the comments area.
The 2014 post from last year had loads of great comments of bands we missed and we don’t expect this year to be any different.

Like last year, we purposely did NOT add numbers in order to make sure that all are created equal in their funkiness. Enjoy this list, complete with links to check the albums on Amazon, iTunes and in some cases even get and listen to the albums for free!

Check out the playlist of these bands on Spotify!


lettuceLettuce – Crush (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

This live jam funk band has funked millions of faces for over 20 years and this follow up to 2012’s Fly album, this has been well worth the wait and a MUST to add to your funk collection. Not to mention a feature film focusing on the band is due out soon.

There aren’t many funk bands that have been together longer than Lettuce and when you hear the newest offering from this incredible band, you can hear it loud and clear.


Rock Candy Funk Party - Groove Is KingRock Candy Funk PartyGroove Is King (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Rock Candy Funk Party returns to the list for a 2nd year in a row with another funk masterpiece. This all star band features players like guitar Gods Joe Bonnamassa and Ron DeJesus, superstar drummer Tal Bergman, and bass thumpmaster Mike Merrit.

Outside of their solo work, they’ve also collectively shared the stage with everyone from Prince to Chaka Khan to Stevie Ray Vaughn to BB King. Full Funkatopia review.

Souljazz Orchestra - Resistance

Souljazz OrchestraResistance (Amazon | iTunes | Website)

We could explain it, but they do it best:
Resistance is a fierce, hard-hitting album, influenced in part by the dancefloor sounds of Francophone Africa and the French Caribbean – bringing in fresh elements of Coupé-Décalé, Zouk, and Ndombolo to the band’s heavy mix of Afro, Soul and Jazz styles – as well as powerful lyrics that deliver biting social commentary alongside messages of hope.”


Vulfpeck - Thrill of the ArtsVulfpeck – Thrill Of The Arts (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The always on the cutting edge four piece band had even released a silent album in 2014  called Sleepify. Thrill Of The Arts is far from silent with stabbing bass line riffs, haunting keyboards and bright production work.

Vulfpeck came onto our radar thanks to Funkatopia fans of our 204 list comment area and that got them a spot on our list this year!


Freekbass - CincinnatiFreekbassCincinnati (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Freekbass makes a return to the best of list for two years in a row now with his new album Cincinnati. The outspoken bass player has shared the stage with tons of funk legends like Bernie Worrel, Bootsy Collins and others.

Everytime they go into the studio they get better and better and now 6 albums into it, they churn out another funkafied biscuit.


Prince, HitnRun Phase 2Prince HITnRUN Part 1 & 2  (Amazon -Phase One only | iTunes – Phase 2 Only)

Prince went through many iterations over the past few years, but surprised everyone with not one but two albums within a years time. While not full of funk front to back, there was enough funky tunes between the two of them to easily qualify as one bad to the bone collection.

Some of his best stuff in years landed on these two full length gems, the second of which came in completely under the radar to even his most devoted fan sites. Full Phase One Funkatopia review. Phase Two review.


Turkuaz - DigitoniumTurkuaz – Digitonium (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream – some songs)

Turkuaz is huge and bright and loud. Teetering on the edge of disco, they are full of contrast and their music is vibrant and happy. An insane collection of 23 tracks that could have split into two albums, but lucky for you, it wasn’t.

If Cameo would have taken their Word Up days and continued the journey, this is what it would have sounded like. Be sure to check the full Funkatopia Review.


Analog Son - Stomp and ShoutAnalog SonStomp and Shout (Amazon | Website | Stream)

Another band that revisited the “Best Of” list for a second year in the row is the mighty Analog Son. Easily one of our favorite new funk bands that has tons of jazz influences, but your head won’t stop bouncing during this ten track masterpiece.

Stomp and Shout is a force to be reckoned with and could be one of the best funky releases in a very long time.  You can check our review on their first album here.


Polyrhythmics - OctagonPolyrhythmicsOctagon (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Last year saw Polyrhythmics getting onto the list with their live recording. This year they hit the ground running with a brand new full length album that continues the funk mastery of the first album Libra Stripes.

There aren’t a lot of bands that have this full sound that is filled wth heavy emotion and nuance. Th Seattle based band delivers a heaping helping of what they call afro-psycho-beat, but whatever you call it, it’s funky and delicious.


Caboose - CoupeCaboose – Coupe (Amazon | iTunes)

Caboose is a one off album that combines elements of Headhunters and The Meters with true grit. This collection of songs was put together as a memoriam to their keyboardist Jonathan Cooper in order to properly capture the magic that was Caboose.

The end result was a blast of insanely good music that literally puts itself into the category of true funk classic. Be sure to read the full Funkatopia review here.


Dam Funk - Invite The LightDam Funk Invite The Light (Amazon | iTunes | Website)

Dam Funk isn’t just a master of Twitter, but also a master of producing some of the funkiest licks on the planet.

While he may be used to being the sideman and working with lots of acts including 2013’s 7 Days of Funk with Snoop Dogg, he finally released his newest solo albums that was about 5 years in the making and it comes out swinging featuring 20 tracks of funky goodness.


Orgone - Beyond The SunOrgone – Beyond The Sun  (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream – one song)

Orgone has an amazing penchant from finding some of the most incredible vocalists to fill out their project and it always outperforms the one before it, but still manages to keep its integrity throughout and nearing 15 years since their debut release almost 15 years ago.

2015 was no different with Orgone releasing their new album Beyond The Sun and keeping the funk thick and palpable. It’s undeniably funky. Read the full review on Funkatopia here.


TuxedoTuxedo – Tuxedo (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One join forces to put out a funk classic in the true vain of the disco laden 70’s. While this super-duo team had amazing solo careers in full swing, they decided that there was a hole to be filled and they would be the ones to fill it.

In the spirit of Chic, Plush, Shalamar and Zapp, Tuxedo was a welcome surprise that landed in a perfect spot and was the gift that just kept giving.


Judith Hill - Back In TimeJudith HillBack in Time (iTunes | Website | Stream – snippets)

Judith Hill blasted onto the scene as part of the TV series The Voice and immediately grabbed the attention of Prince who quickly took her under his wing. The result was the release of her debut album Back In Time which contained some of the most blistering funk this side of Minneapolis.

Prince got sued by her producer when he launched her album for free to Live Nation subscribers for a brief period of time and took it down 24 hours later. While it’s not free anymore, it’s worth every single dime.


Main Squeeze - Mind Your HeadThe Main Squeeze – Mind Your Head (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The Main Squeeze is one of those bands that catches you by surprise and if the first time you see them is live, you certainly will never forget it.

The band was based out of Chicago, but has recently migrated west to California to capture more opportunities and grow beyond their Chi-town home. Fronted by huge powerful vocals, funky grooves with a dash of jam band influences, there’s just nothing like The Main Squeeze.


Ohio Players - More Funky Soul PartyOhio Players More Funky Soul Party (Amazon | Website | Stream)

No one saw this compilation coming that was put together by StarPointe as a double album filled with probably the maximum amount of music that you can fit on a collection.

24 tracks pack this wall to wall compilation of Ohio Players tunes from the beginning years, but not touching on their hits in order to show just how formidable this band was even in their early days and it sends a very powerful message.


Galactic - Into The DeepGalactic  – Into The Deep (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Galactic is the ultimate New Orleans style funk jam band that has been a force to be reckoned with for over 20 years. Every album brings new flavor to showcase a new musical boundary for them.

Into The Deep finds Galactic returning to their roots bringing deep heavy grooves with massive hooks and melody lines. It’s an album full of great tracks with some guest spots by Macy Gray, Mavis Staples and many more.


Monophonics - Sound Of SinningMonophonics – Sound Of Sinning (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The Monophonics have been stomping onto the scene with a sweat drenched funk with some fantastic deep soulful swings.

Recently featured last year on America’s Got Talent during a dancing segment gave them an unexpected boost into the national spectrum even though many had already been recognized for their intense brooding funky prowess. It’s deep, growly, funky soul.


Pimps of Joytime - Jukestone ParadisePimps of Joytime Jukestone Paradise (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Pimps of Joytime is the ultimate band that is full of diverse sounds and styles all rooted in funk.

Jukestone Paradise is packed full of dance beats, slick bits of EDM, all roasted and barbecued in a 70’s funk sauce. No two songs sound alike even though their style is haunting and at some times even a bit trippy. But that’s what makes Pimps all that more special.



The Internet - Ego DeathThe Internet Ego Death (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The furthest reaching funk flavoring in the list and a perfect ending to a perfect 2015 list. The Internet came to our attention from Funkatopia friend Janelle Monae, The Internet are moody, theatrical, funky and full of sexual charge right out of the gate.

The offshoots of the Odd Future family show no signs of slowing down while continually touring the country in various festivals. The Internet are starting to gain some serious traction and the positive vibes you’re hearing are completely worth it.


The oversight pick is an album that we somehow lost our minds and completely missed. Not because we didn’t know it existed, but we just forgot to include it in the list for final consideration and if it had been on the list, it , without a doubt, unquestionably, would have been in the top 20.  And while we could just “let it go”, it literally begins to eat away at our soul every passing day and we toss and turn at night kicking ourselves.

Last year, it was Funkadelic’s release because it came in late, late in December. This year, there was no excuse. We just made a very stupid mistake. Time to fix that oversight right here, right now….

newmastersoundsThe New Mastersounds  Made For Pleasure (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

The New Mastersounds are one of our favorite funk bands of all time and their new album Made For Pleasure is a true funk masterpiece and they deserve to be on this list even over some others that are here. But we’re not kicking anyone off the list and are making good on our oversight.




Added Bonus!

Moonchild - Please RewindMoonchild Please Rewind (Amazon | iTunes | Website | Stream)

Technically not funk and falling more under the dome of neo-soul or whatever you’re calling it nowadays, this act was so incredibly tough not to get on the list.

They are truly undeniable and shockingly, a relatively new band to the scene with only one other album release from 2012. Please take a listen to this album.


Check out the playlist of these bands on Spotify!


Extra Bonuses from YOU!
Check the suggestions below from you, our readers. We know we missed a bunch, so help us out.

Did we miss some more? Add them to the comments below!  Hook us up and remember, the albums had to have been released in 2015 to qualify for the list.

Check out the playlist of these bands on Spotify!

Review: Prince – HITnRUN Phase 2

Posted by funkatop On December - 12 - 2015 1 COMMENT

Prince, HitnRun Phase 2

Hear the album here or purchase the two phases here.

Prince has done it again and by done it again, we mean caught everyone off guard.  Not even his valued informants were made aware that his new album HITnRUN Phase 2 would be hitting Tidal overnight.

The new album features 12 songs including some that were unveiled years previously such as Screwdriver, Xtralovable, Baltimore and more recently Stare.

Most folks (including us) had expected to see Screwdriver on the 3rd Eye Girl release, but he was apparently planning on releasing it within this package.

RocknRoll Love Affair made a debut previously but this album version is quite a bit different than what was offered before. Even Screwdriver is a bit more toned down.

When She Comes had only been heard one time before at a show in Los Angeles back in 2011 when many that heard it assumed that it would just be another one of those great songs that would be released on some future album that would be released long after we were dead and gone.

The tracklisting is as follows;

  • Baltimore
  • RocknRoll Love Affair
  • 2Y 2D 
  • Look At Me, Look At U
  • Stare
  • Xtralovable
  • Groovy Potential
  • When She Comes
  • Screwdriver
  • Black Muse
  • Revelation
  • Big City

The album still has the slow jams that the ladies love including Look At Me, Look At U, When She Comes and Revelation.  But one thing this album does not shy away from is the great infusion of funk like the aforementioned Stare and Xtralovable along with grown folks funk that blends sweet and tasty jazz riffs like Big City, 2Y 2D, and the building burn of Groovy Potential.

Again, Prince has layered a great funky album and it is well worth your time to check it out.

If you’re doing anything right now that doesn’t involve either listening to or buying this great new phase, YOUNT! You out your head.

Hear the album here or purchase the two phases here.

Random Acts of Funk Takes Over!

Posted by funkatop On December - 4 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The Funkatopia Radio Show has now joined forces with the Random Acts of Funk podcast to bring you great funk music.

Random Acts of Funk founder Steve Fox and Funkatopia‘s Mr. Christopher decided to join forces to bring the funk more regularly. Steve Fox takes over the broadcast DJ duties teaming with Mr. Christopher bring the funk news.

The first podcast has launched and is now available and you can expect to get major doses of funk from Dr. Fox. Check out the latest broadcast featuring Earphunk, Laura Cheadle and the Family Band, Heavy Chevy, and The What Up Funk Band.

Listen to the broadcast right now!
RAOF Header

Review: Kendrick Lamar (Atlanta, GA)

Posted by funkatop On October - 28 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Kendrick Lamar Atlanta Crowd
There is no denying Kendrick Lamar and The Wesley Theory. Every album he’s released has been instant magic. His style, his flow, his lyrical content, the grooves he’s rhymed over, and just everything. His explosion on the scene started with the incredible
Overly Dedicated which was his warning shot, then Section.80 was the loud gunshot in the crowd proving that it wasn’t a fluke, followed by the award winning good kid, m.A.A.d city which further proved he was just getting major traction and then the release of To Pimp A Butterfly earlier this year was the nuclear explosion heard around the world.

One thing you can’t deny is that Dr. Dre knows how to spot major talent and Kendrick Lamar is the absolute real deal. So how do you further separate him from the virtual ocean of hip-hop artists? You start by putting him out on tour to showcase his talent and then back him up with a collection of some of the most talented music artists on the planet instead of the standard (and more cost effective) DJ.  

Such is the tour called Kunta’s Groove Sessions which features Kendrick Lamar with his band The Wesley Theory and opening act Jay Rock. It’s an intimate 8 show tour that Atlanta was blessed enough to be included on.

Opening act Jay Rock brought the standard hip hop performance you would expect, but Kendrick added him to the bill if for no other reason because Jay Rock lives and breathes by the same consciousness and delivers the same messages as Lamar. Focusing on racial tensions and the unfortunate ignorance of the general public who are misinformed by the forces that be and have far too much control in steering the future.

Jay Rock performed for about 30 minutes to support his new release 90059, but made no effort to upstage Kendrick as his opening act and sat comfortably back in the passenger seat as a perfectly able artist and delivered an expert flow. And in the process gained a lot of new fans who got to see his work up close and personal.

Kendrick Lamar hit the stage shortly after 10pm backed by a roster of prolific musicians and a sold out crowd of well over 2000 at The Tabernacle in downtown Atlanta. The band started first performing an instrumental cover of Earth, Wind and Fire’s Can’t Hide Love briefly. Then Kendrick came onto the stage and sat on a white couch that was positioned center stage.

He played with the audience for a couple of minutes approaching the mike and then going back to the couch without uttering a word before finally breaking the silence and starting the show with For Free? (“This d*ck ain’t free”).

What proceeded afterwards was a literal onslaught of music lasting over an hour and a half and covering To Pimp A Butterfly in its entirety with exception to You Ain’t Gotta Lie. He also managed to get in the fan favorites from good kid, m.A.A.d city including Swimming Pool (Drank), Backseat Freestyle, Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe, Money Trees, and M.A.A.d city.

The energy was for lack of a better term “off the chain” with a majority of the crowd on the floor singing and bouncing for the entire show. The band collectively put together a very well rehearsed structured show that didn’t lend itself well to much off the cuff performance off ramps, but in a show that is as tight as this was, it certainly wasn’t missed.

Lamar has proven that even with a majority of his show being from his newest album, that his impact on his fans is impactful since his audience sang along to every song from an album that’s not even 8 months old.  It was next to impossible to not get swept up with the high energy of the show in both performance and audience participation.

Kendrick announced several times during the night that this particular version of this tour would not be replicated and was an exclusive type of event that would be the “livest and loudest event you’ve ever heard”.  And in no stretch of the imagination did he sway from that promise.

The end result? An absolutely incredible live music full band hip hop extravaganza that can’t be rivaled by any hip hop act on the road right now. None. Easily the best show we’ve seen this year and so spiritually fulfilling that if Kendrick Lamar + The Wesley Theory are anywhere within 100 miles of where you are, get in your car and get there immediately.

We’re giving Kendrick Lamar’s tour, Kunta’s Groove Sessions with his band The Wesley Theory a firmly and well deserved 5 out 5 afro award.

5 out of 5 afros


Can’t Hide Love Instrumental Intro (Earth Wind and Fire Cover)
For Free?
Wesley’s Theory
Backseat Freestyle
Swimming Pools (Drank)
These Walls
For Sale?
Hood Politics
hard rock segue
Complexion (A Zulu Love)
Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe
Money Trees
Can’t Hide Love Instrumental Segue (Earth Wind and Fire Cover)
m.A.A.d city
Band jam
King Kunta
crowd play
How Much a Dollar Cost
The Blacker The Berry
Mortal Man
crowd noise and chants
Every Ni**er Is A Star outro


Review: Lianne La Havas – Atlanta – 10/25/2015

Posted by funkatop On October - 26 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Lianne La Havas - Atlanta - 2015

British songwriter and now part of Prince’s growing collective of amazing new artists he actively supports, Lianne La Havas hit Atlanta to the tune of a sold out show at Center Stage with opening act Keenan O’Meara.

Keenan O’Meara is a ballad-heavy performer in the vein of Vance Joy that played for about 35 minutes to an extremely welcoming crowd. He went solo with an acoustic guitar and then migrated to electric midway through the set. His songs are along the lines of the aforementioned Vance Joy with brooding lyricism and slightly darker tones layered with thought provoking topics. While his music was a bit removed in style for Lianne La Havas, the crowd made him feel completely welcome. He was the original vocalist on Lianne’s track Wonderful from her new album Blood.

By the time Lianne hit the stage, the crowd was ready. This was one of the first sold out shows I’ve witnessed at Center Stage which holds just over 1000 and the crowd was insanely enthusiastic and energized to see her. The energy and hype was mind-blowing as you can see in the video below and when you have such an over the top reception to your performance, the delivery just gets increasingly better.

The setlist (shown below) was a perfect mix of new and old material. There were a lot of great moments including Lianne showing off her mastery on acoustic guitar and doing solo work on songs like Tease and No Room For Doubt. Even briefly forgetting the lyrics to Au Cinema which was segued into a great slowed down version of Happy was incredibly endearing and real and made the evening that much more magical.

Nearing an hour and 15 minutes, Lianne apologized for not having a lot of material to play all night, but this was truly one of those nights where she left them wanting more. Even if she had played all of her material from both albums, the crowd was insatiable enough to have demanded more and easily would have stayed until the wee hours just to hear her voice.

Lianne still managed to return for an encore to solo with an electric guitar on her songs Age and Ghost. She then was joined by the rest of the band for a closing rousing ode to her ex-boyfriend to blaze out Forget with huge crescendos.

This was one of the best caffeinated performances we’ve seen at Center Stage and her recent alliance with Prince over the past year or so has created a literal audio landslide that will catapult her into top 40 status in the very near years to come. Pay attention. It’s coming.

Meanwhile here is the setlist and a taste of what you missed and you missed plenty.

Lianne La Havas Setlist
Atlanta, GA 10-25-2015
Green and Gold
Is Your Love Big Enough?
Au cinema/Happy
What you don’t do
No Room for doubt
Lost and Found
Never Get Enough

Encore (Lianne solo with electric guitar)
(Full band)

Review: Heavy Chevy

Posted by funkatop On October - 16 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Heavy Chevy

Atlanta based Heavy Chevy is coming down the tracks swinging with a new 8 track album called Black Light. The vinyl release hits the streets on October 24th.

Priding themselves on the deep, raw flavor of the sound reminiscent of The Gap Band‘s deep tracks, Heavy Chevy is full on brass horns and key stabs. While mostly instrumental, vocals do make an appearance a couple times during the run.

Get a Hold, Music and You Got Me premiere the vocals of keyboardist Michelle Marshall. The latter features sampling of Chic in style, delivery and power, Michelle’s voice is powerful and strong. You Got Me was also released on Soundcloud here to get a feel as to what you can expect from the full album vibe.

The band consists of Skape Zilla (keys, samples), Luke Zollinger (bass), Mike Applebaum (keys, trumpet), Radley Fricker (drums), Travis Cottle (trombone, guitar), Tony James (percussion), and Michelle Marshall (keys, vocals).

HC_Cover_FinalThe album also features work from producer Graham Marsh (Cee Lo Green, Bruno Mars), engineer Ralph Cacciurri (Alicia Keys, Outkast), and mastering engineer John Horesco (Lecrae, B.O.B.) who all lent a hand in the finalized release that people will get to hear come the end of October.

The collection of songs is raw and thick with leanings toward the cosmic synth lines and samples that weave throughout the album.  Heavy Chevy borrows heavily from all of the funk decades and pulls the best elements out of each to create a new raw funk edge.

Follow the band at to check out where you can snag a copy of the Black Light album soon when it hits the streets. As of this writing, you can get a copy at their live shows, so visit their website above to find out when they play next in your town.

We’ll be paying close attention to how this band progresses as their new release begins to get some traction here in the ATL.

Review: Turkuaz – Digitonium

Posted by funkatop On October - 13 - 2015 1 COMMENT

turkuazFunkatopia tries to pride ourselves on finding the next great funk band that will explode through the stratosphere and this month, there was a huge flurry of acts that landed on our doorstep. One of which is the super funky outfit Turkuaz and their new album Digitonium.

The new release is a massive 23 tracks with only a few segues in the mix. The concept of this new album appeared to be capturing that 80’s funk sound and unveiling new sways and riffs to fill in the decades while still maintaining tongue in cheek delivery.

This is a production. The whole showcase of performers from their outfits to the squeaky clean synth-focused production screams that funk specific era that blossomed in the decade of excess on the other side of the deep grungy funk of the 70’s.

The merging of sound derived from the 80’s Word Up version of Cameo and Roger‘s More Bounce To the Ounce and adding a dash of techno to boot, but short of stepping on the toes of The Floozies.

Spanning the watercolors of that era of funk to include the light jazz flavoring of Brand New Heavies, it’s a full fledged journey into a funkafied time machine. It’s a super polished production and with the immense amount of material, something they take very seriously.

turkuaz-digitoniumThe 9-piece band from Brooklyn, New York defines their sound as Powerfunk and along with their sense of funk laden melodies comes an unusual song naming convention.

With song titles like European Festivity Nightmare, Bijou Drains The Birddog, Percy Thrills The Moondog, and Murder Face, the titles alone will peak your curiosity.

The standout songs on the album are plentiful including my personal favorite Nightswimming with its dark meaty bump, and the Thomas Dolby new wave feel of the title track Digitonium which changes directions halfway through to slather on more funk layers.

The albums first single is The Generator which serves as the mile marker on the album where the songs take on a very distinct new wave funk slant to complete the journey for the last few songs. For those who couldn’t resist the new wave funk of Thomas Dolby, The Fixx and Peter Gabriel, Turkuaz has a little something for you as well.

The Digitonium album by Turkuaz is on sale right here on iTunes, so pick it up without delay and visit their website at on their extensive tour that most likely has them coming through your town soon.

Review: Caboose – Coupe

Posted by funkatop On October - 12 - 2015 2 COMMENTS
It’s very rare that a new band comes out swinging unless you see them coming from a mile away, but nowadays discovering new music has become easier with the advent of Spotify, Tidal, Pandora and the like.
But it doesn’t make it any less frustrating when that band is an act like Caboose that tracks you down with their new album entitled Coupe and it’s unmistakably super funky.
While the entire story is unknown, Caboose is based out of Ventura, California and consists of Eric Walters (Guitar), Mike Thomas (Drums), Brian Boom Carroll (Bass) and the late Jonathan Cooper (Keys).  It was  Jonathan’s final album before his passing that was recorded in 2014.
While the entire band is showcased by their immense talent and impressive chops, Jonathan Cooper is by far center stage on these recordings with every track spotlighting keys and organ stabs. All of which are impeccable and he can rest in peace knowing that this album firmly establishes his prominence as an undeniable master keyboardist.
Engineer Chris DeNogean spent some quiet time to properly capturing and polishing those recordings to construct a true funk-jazz masterpiece that would be an amazing addition to any funkateers collection.
Caboose - CoupeThe end result is a blend of The Meters and Headhunters with bursts of moody diversions like Zuma that take the Herbie Hancock references up to a second tier.
This album will live in infamy because all of these songs will be sampled from here into eternity. The arrangements are super strong and are all perfectly mixed and there isnt a weak song in the mix out of the collection.
With incredible standouts like The Drop which hearken back to Traffic‘s Glad, smooth barn burners like Top Down and Yap, and moody offshoots like Zuma, there isn’t wasted space to be found.
Whether Caboose will use this mountain of awesome to establish something moving forward or if it was simply designed to show homage to Jonathan Cooper, it’s yet to be seen.
But what we can see is a whopping 5 Afro award from Funkatopia for hand delivering one of the best funk albums of the year onto our doorstep.
5 out of 5 afros


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