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 released 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.
In 2015 The Broadcast caught the ear of seven-time Grammy-winning producer Jim Scott (Tedeschi Trucks Band, Wilco, Grace Potter, Tom Petty, Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers). Scott invited the Asheville, NC-based Americana/Soul outfit to travel to Los Angeles upon hearing the demos the band had been workshopping. There, The Broadcast recorded its sophomore full-length, From the Horizon, in the desert of California. Scott's enthusiasm about the band and genuine excitement about this collection of songs shines brightly in the finished product. When asked about From the Horizon Scott says "I think this record is very brave in the fact that it doesn't follow a pattern or trend. It's classically good music based on the music that we've all listened to since the '50s till today. It's got soul, and vibrancy, and life". From the Horizon is an apt title, expressing a sense of change and lightning-in-a-bottle potential The Broadcast taps into on this latest offering. A slight departure from their debut album Dodge The Arrow, the 11 song record finds the band delving deeper into the realms of Americana.
Graduating top of her class from New York City's Professional Performing Arts School, and going on to attend NYC's Circle in the Square Arts Conservatory for intensive vocal performance, The Broadcast's frontwoman, Caitlin Krisko, was destined to sing. Her first public performance of original songs was at the legendary Bitter End in Greenwich Village. It didn't take long for her to assemble a worthy and accomplished ensemble of world class players that came to be known as Caitlin Krisko and The Broadcast. The band quickly caught fire in the New York music scene regularly selling out notable NYC venues such as The Blue Note, The Bitter End and Mercury Lounge. As they began to tour and take their music to new fans in unfamiliar places, they decided it was time to leave the city. They wanted to dive deeper into the music – both creatively and emotionally. That burning desire prompted the band to load a moving truck with their earthly possessions and head south to the blossoming mountain town of Asheville, NC in 2010. With the move, they also simplified the band name to "The Broadcast," as Krisko had begun sharing principal songwriting duties with lead guitarist, Aaron Austin.
The Broadcast has built and strong and loyal fan base through years of non-stop touring. They've shared stages with Mavis Staples, John Prine, St Paul & The Broken Bones, The Wood Brothers, Brandi Carlisle, Keller Williams, Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, George Porter Jr (Funky Meters), Betty LaVette, Charles Bradley, Holly Williams, among others. Their independently released debut, Dodge The Arrow, recorded at Asheville's famed Echo Mountain Studios with LA producer, Eric "Mixerman" Sarafin), went on to sell nearly 10,000 copies, ranked as high as #4 on the college radio charts, and earned them "Best New Artist" and runner up for "Album of the Year" from Homegrown Music Network.
Released on June 17, 2016, The Broadcast has big expectations for their latest offering, From the Horizon, and rightfully so. While still firmly rooted in soulful rock n' roll as heard on the leadoff track "Steamroller," their growth and maturity as a band is most evident in such tracks as "On the Edge" and "Eyes of a Woman." As a whole, From the Horizon will more than satisfy longtime fans of the band, but should also appeal to an entirely new fan base of Americana music lovers.
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