I headed out into the cold Saturday on February 23rd to see one of my favorite local bands tear up The Grey Eagle. I am no stranger to the funk-nasty sound of Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band but I will always catch them when the time and place are right, and this Saturday night was calling me.
Brooklyn-based band, Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds opened the night with some fiery brass mixed with gospel-infused funk. The Dirty Birds are led by one sexy siren with a diva- driven voice. Their style is groovy, funky, and it’s mixed in with straight up rock n’ roll. They also incorporate some major jam undertones. Simply put, they get lost in their music which is needless to say, amazing to witness. Sister Sparrow’s sassy, libidinous attitude brings you to the stage and the 7-piece band keeps you there. They are touring veterans at this point, being on this particular tour for two weeks going from Baltimore, everywhere in between for their last show of the tour here, in Asheville. They let me know that they not only rock the stage, but once they get to their hotel, they do what the band does 2nd best, make forts. After catching this band on and off stage, I will most certainly check out their EP coming out this month which was recorded with Randy Jackson. This band is always on tour so check their dates on their website. They told me they are just moonlighting as a band so they can really go on tour to make forts so check them out before they become professionals. In all seriousness, these are some humble musicians looking to get funky with you. Check them out at www.sistersparrow.com
Yo Mama’s always draws a crowd anywhere in Asheville but this night at The Grey Eagle was a sweaty, colorful group of funky people looking to do what Asheville does best- Get Down! The band was really cooking, with “Horn Star” which marries sultry horn playing with crushing funk and fuzzed-out keyboards that sounds from another dimension. They continued with the manic “Chaos” to the salsa-tinged “Cancion Del Fuego” and all-out powerful showmanship of “With True Feeling.” The entire crowd was immersed in dancing and from stage, I can only imagine the sight. But it’s the song “Shadows & Sunshine” that was the showstopper. It was an eight and a half minute amalgam of driving funk and rock with Mary-France’s spacey keys.
The Booty Band recently came back from a cabin in the woods of NC where they were able to record with some impressive names in the music business. The band, Fishbone, recently took stage at the same venue and happened to stick around to step in on what is dubbed as “Vol. 2 of The Big Ole’ Nasty Get Down”. This session is a similar session to what took place last year in New Orleans, the birthplace of The Get Down. I sat down with John- Paul from The Booty Band before the show and he told me he was able to create an entire 10 track album featuring John Norwood Fisher (Fishbone), Greg and Thomas from Parliament Funkadelic, Debrissa Mckinney, Jamar from The Fritz, Tori from Morris Day and The Time, Stefan from Bubonic Funk, Bobby from Delta Nove, the entire Booty Band and Ryan (bass) from the band, Mudvayne with many others. “The concept was to throw a bunch of musicians together in a house and see what kinda nasty comes out. A lot of these people had just met for the first time to sit down and make music together. It was really neat and I’m stoked about the 10 tracks we got.” Says John Paul Miller of The Booty Band. He tells me the group plans on doing a West Coast Session for Volume 3. “There are some great musicians over there that just don’t leave, so we wanna go to them.”
Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band have a lot in the works after their latest tour mid March. With 20 shows lined up, they will also be filming 2 new videos when they get back. If you’ve seen their video for “Lovin’” they will be directed by the same person, Daniel Judson. They also have a new album coming out in the Spring/ Early Summer. Local artist, Adam Strange has been designing poster art for The Booty Band and will be releasing a poster each month for the next 3. The series of posters will be posted all over town to keep Asheville up to date. Keep looking for interesting things happening in Booty Band Land on their website at http://www.reverbnation.com/yomamasbigfatbootyband