Funk You Prepares For Latest Album Release 'What's On Your Mind?' August 29, 2018 13:23

Funk You's upcoming release, Whats On Your Mind, simply put is an honest album. After several years of touring the country and fine tuning their talents, Funk You settles comfortably into their own identity with this album. A strong and vibrant energy keeps the listener engaged throughout their listening experience without slowing down. Whats On Your Mind? has soul, authenticity, and everything else that we have come to expect from a band establishing themselves as a national presence like Funk You. 

You can catch Funk You in action this Saturday night (September 1st), as they'll be playing their official album release party at Terminal West in Atlanta. Special guests Andy Frasco & The U.N. will be providing direct support, while local five-piece Zale will get things started.

We're giving away a pair of tickets to the show, and it couldn't be easier to enter the contest. Simply 'share' this post from the Live & Listen Facebook page and tag a friend in the comments section. 

Check out the exclusive stream of "What's On Your Mind?" here:

We recently caught up with Funk You lead guitarist Evan Miller to learn a little bit more about the band's new album. Check out the conversation below and stay tuned for further updates.

Tell me about the overall recording process of this album. Any change in approach from previous recordings?

Evan: This record was made in a very similar way to our last album, Apparitions. Everything was tracked live in the studio as a band. After we got a good live feel with the energy we wanted to capture, we would go back in and overdub/add parts as needed. Our drummer, Will Clark, owns the studio (Prana Recording Studio), so it's very comfortable in there for that. 

How did the songwriting balance out this go round? Has much of this material been in the existing live rotation? 

Evan: The songwriting for this album was spread a little more evenly than the past releases. A few of the songs were old songs we had put on the shelf. Once we played them in the studio we realized the potential and went for them full force. I think those decisions paid off with a lot more input from everyone reworking those tracks. Most have been in rotation over the past year or so which allowed us to figure out which direction we wanted to take them. 

How does this album reflect where you guys are as a band?
Evan: I'd say we've really gotten a much more mature sound out of our writing and performance in the studio. 

What can fans expect at the album release party on Saturday night?

Evan: I'd say be prepared to expect a little bit of everything. But mainly, one big party with a bunch of friends. We are really excited for this show!

SweetWater 420 Festival: A Weekend We Will Never Forget April 26, 2018 18:01

Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Photos by Craig Baird: [Home Team Photography] & Ryan Lewis [Rylewphoto]

Growing up in the southeast, I became accustomed to traveling to Atlanta to see my favorite bands at an early age. Weekend excursions to The Tabernacle became a regular occurrence by the time I was in high school, with plenty of trips to The Fox Theatre and Variety Playhouse mixed in as well. Just last year, I finally made plans to attend SweetWater 420 Festival, which was clearly becoming one of the premier festivals in the country. Following that weekend, it was clear that this would become my latest annual tradition. No excuses.

After a lineup which featured two nights of Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio Band, moe., Ween, and Dark Star Orchestra (just to name a few), festival organizers had their work cut out for them. When the initial lineup dropped in mid-October, it almost felt like they were reading my mind. Umphrey’s McGee, Sturgill Simpson, and Tedeschi Trucks Band sat atop this lineup, along with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Vulfpeck, Papadosio, Anders Osborne, Spafford, and many more. The second wave would ultimately include The String Cheese Incident, Greensky Bluegrass, Ghostland Observatory, The Infamous Stringdusters, and the young phenom Brandon “Taz” Niederauer.

Once the schedule was released, plans were made to arrive early on Friday afternoon. Southern Avenue was rocking the Planet 420 Stage in full force, and The Record Company was getting started on the main stage shortly after. We made a point to catch a nice segment of both sets and couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the weekend. This was my first opportunity to see either of these bands live, and I’ll definitely be making a point to see both again.

If you follow the festival scene at all, you’ve surely seen the hype surrounding Spafford. This band has taken the jam world by storm, selling out just about every venue on the schedule. This would be my first live experience with them as well, and I was totally floored. The band came out swinging the “Backdoor Funk” and “The Remedy” and continued with killer takes on “Windmill,” “Lovesick Melody,” and “Minds Unchained.” They closed out the set with Tom Petty’s “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” and I think everyone was wishing we had a second set. I was fortunate enough to attend to Spafford’s late night show at Variety Playhouse, which seemed to be the hottest ticket in town. This set included some amazing takes on “Electric Taco Stand,” “All My Friends,” “Salamander Song,” “All In,” and a cover of Men at Work’s “Down Under.”

Watch Spafford perform "You Don't Know How It Feels" here:

Sturgill Simpson was up next on the main stage. This would be he and his band’s first performance since October 14th, and it was clear that these guys were ready to rock. Highlights from this set included originals such as “Turtles All The Way Down” and “Keep It Between The Lines,” while the cover of Freddie King’s “Going Down” really got the crowd moving. While Sturgill has one of the most unique, powerful voices I’ve ever heard, his guitar playing is equally impressive. He’s one of the most talented performers I’ve ever watched, and it’s exciting to think about what the future holds.

The String Cheese Incident has been very kind to Atlanta in recent years. The past two summers have featured some amazing two-night runs at Chastain Park Amphitheatre, and expectations were high for Friday night’s headlining spot. The band got off to a hot start with “Sirens,” “Let’s Go Outside, and “Song In My Head.” The Motet’s Lyle Divinsky and Dave Watts, along with local Atlanta vocalist Rhonda Thomas, joined in on “Get To You,” before a cover of Jamiroquai’s “Space Cowboy” and “Believe” closed out the set.

Cheese returned to the stage with young star Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, who traded licks with Michael Kang and Bill Nershi throughout “Close Your Eyes.” Second set highlights also included “Beautiful,” “Joyful Sound,” “Rollover,” and “Restless Wind.” The crowd had a chance to sing “Happy Birthday” to drummer Michael Travis during the encore, and Taz + Rhonda Thomas would return for the closer, “I Saw The Light.”

Saturday may have been my favorite day of the weekend, and there are a number of reasons why. One of my favorite regional bands, Funk You, kicked things off with an amazing set on the main stage. The band welcomed The Brotherhorns for the entirety of the set, and the Augusta natives brought out an impressive crowd for the early set. Funk You delivered a number of killer originals before closing things out with The Village People's "Kung Fu Fighting" with a little help from three dancers dressed as Gumby. Why not?

Watch Funk You perform "Kung Fu Fighting" here:

Anders Osborne was up next on the main stage, and I could listen to this guy for days. Anders has one of the most soothing voices you will find, and his songwriting is tough to beat. As is the case at most festivals, you're forced to cut several sets earlier than you'd like, and I knew I couldn't miss a minute of Marco Benevento. As a longtime fan of the Benevento Russo Duo, it's been remarkable to watch Marco's career flourish. This was my first chance to see his solo band, and it was easily one of the weekend highlights. This set was jam packed with energy from start to finish, and I was floored by bassist Karina Rykman. They gave us an amazing cover of Butthole Surfers' "Pepper" and had the entire crowd going wild as they closed out with "At The Show."

Brandon "Taz" Niederauer was arguably the star of the weekend. While he made guest appearances with all three headliners, he and his band provided an incredible set on Saturday afternoon. The last time I'd seen Taz in Atlanta, he was tearing through a guitar solo as his mentor Col. Bruce Hampton tragically passed away on stage. Watching him perform "I'm So Glad" in Bruce's honor was a truly special moment. While his guitar playing is essentially indescribable, this "kid" can really sing too. 

While this weekend had many peak moments, Joe Russo's Almost Dead was my personal main event. Thankfully, the second wave of artist announcements included a second set for JRAD, which set us up for an unforgettable evening. A lengthy jam led into "Cats Down Under The Stars," while "Feel Like A Stranger" would follow. A beautiful take on "The Wheel" led into a rockin' "Estimated Prophet," which segued perfectly into "He's Gone" to close the set. The second set was as strong as anything I've seen from these guys. "Shakedown Street" set the tone right off the bat and moved straight into "I Need A Miracle." The set continued with "Ramble On Rose," and "China Cat Sunflower" > "I Know You Rider," before "Not Fade Away" and "One More Saturday Night" closed out the set on the highest of notes. I could go on for days about this band. Here's to hoping that they become regular performers at this festival.

While I hated to miss The Infamous Stringdusters and Ghostland Observatory, we solidified our spot front and center for Tedeschi Trucks Band. This was the most intriguing storyline of the weekend for me, as I knew this JRAD > TTB sequence would be outrageous. To no one's surprise, TTB came out firing with a downright spiritual set which included classics such as "Made Up Mind," "Part of Me," and "Midnight in Harlem." Susan Tedeschi led a beautiful combo of "Angel From Montgomery" > "Sugaree," and young Taz made his way onto the stage for a monster cover of "Statesboro Blues." Watching he and Derek Trucks trade licks on the Allman Brothers' classic was a moment I'll never forget. Taz would also join the band for the encore which featured Sly & The Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song" > "I Want To Take You Higher."

Sunday's weather looked questionable all week, and the rainy forecast became a reality early on. This was a familiar situation for those who attended the festival last year, and a little dancing in the rain is good for the soul. Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds kicked things off with a super soulful performance. Greensky Bluegrass would follow with their wildly entertaining serving of jamgrass. This would give us yet another cameo from Taz, who took the lead on the Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider." We then made our way to the Planet 420 Stage to catch the tail end of TAUK. This band is one of the most talented, dynamic bands on the scene, and we caught them just in time for an incredible cover of Rush's "Tom Sawyer." 

Watch Greensky Bluegrass perform "Midnight Rider" with Taz here:

The bouncing between stages continued as we prepared for Vulfpeck on the main stage. Frequent collaborators Antwuan Stanley, Joey Dosik, and Corey Wong were each on hand for the funky occasion. The set was highlighted by classics such as "Animal Spirits," "1612," "Funky Duck," "Back Pocket," "Christmas in LA," and even a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Boogie On Reggae Woman." Bassist Joe Dart would lead the way through "Dean Town" to close out a high-energy occasion with Vulfpeck. Meanwhile, Papadosio was closing out the Planet 420 stage in powerful fashion. We walked up just in time to catch a sequence which included "Cue," "Garden," and "We Are Water." The energy was palpable as the rain picked up, and the Papadosio dance party was a sight to see. 

The final performance of the weekend belonged to Umphrey's McGee, and they closed out a magical weekend in fine form. They kicked off the set with "Half Delayed" and "Remind Me," before "Booth Love" really got the party moving. "Preamble" would follow before what would become a massive "Mantis" sandwich. The sequence of "Mantis" > "Wife Soup", "Lenny" w/ Taz, "Draconian" > "Mantis" would definitely need to be on any list of weekend highlights. "Wappy Sprayberry" and "Ringo" would put an exclamation point on a wild, rainy set from Umphrey's. The encore began with a very fitting cover of Led Zeppelin's "Fool In The Rain," which was followed by "Ocean Billy" and "The Silent Type." While there were quite a few heavy hitters on this lineup, Umphrey's most certainly justified their spot in closing out the festivities.

As you would expect, there was wide variety of afterparties around Atlanta each night. While many made their way to Variety Playhouse for TAUKing McGee on Sunday night, our crew headed over to one of my favorite venues, Aisle 5. Local favorites Bird Dog Jubilee were set to perform 'A Picture of Hoist' which consisted of songs from the two Phish albums ('A Picture of Nectar' and 'Hoist'). From start to finish, these guys absolutely killed it and provided a perfect ending to our 420 Fest experience. It's always a pleasure catching a show at Aisle 5, and Sunday night was no different.

I've said more than enough at this point, but I'll conclude by saying that I truly believe this was my favorite festival experience to date. You couldn't ask for a better lineup, and Centennial Olympic Park is perfectly structured for a festival of this magnitude. There were a handful of sets that I really wish I could've seen, but it's impossible to catch them all. Festival organizers and the entire staff did an absolutely phenomenal job, and things couldn't have run any smoother. I'm not sure how they will top this year's experience, but I have no doubt that they will. 

Funk You Adds Dates With Perpetual Groove, BIG Something, CBDB, + More September 27, 2017 19:57

Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Augusta, Georgia's Funk You is hot on the trail yet again. The super soulful six-piece is in the midst of a busy 'end of summer' run, and they don't seem to be slowing down any time soon. Earlier today, the band announced a 22-date fall tour, which kicks off with a hometown throwdown at Augusta's Westobou Festival. From there, Funk You hits many of the southeast's premier venues, including the Charleston Pour House with BIG Something (10/27) and Revelry Room in Chattanooga with Perpetual Groove (11/2).

Mid-November will see the band New Orleans, Texas, and Colorado. Funk You will then return to the southeast for a show in Dublin, GA (11/22) and Funksgiving Music & Food Festival with CBDBSoul Mechanic, and The Talismen in Montgomery, AL (11/24). See below for a complete list of fall tour dates, and make sure to follow the band on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest updates from the road!

Watch Funk You perform at GPB Music Studio here:

Oct. 5 / Augusta, GA @ Westobou Festival 2017

Oct. 6 / Charlotte, NC @ Heist Brewery

Oct. 14 / Greenville, SC @ GOTTROCKS

Oct. 26 / Savannah, GA @ Barrelhouse South

Oct. 27 / Charleston, SC @ Charleston Pour House w/ BIG Something

Oct. 28 / Manteo, NC @ Black Opal Masquerade Ball

Oct. 31 / Augusta, GA @ Sky City

Nov. 2 / Chattanooga, TN @ Revelry Room w/ Perpetual Groove

Nov. 7 / New Orleans, LA @ Paradigm Gardens

Nov. 8 / New Orleans, LA @ Portside Lounge

Nov. 9 / Houston, TX @ Last Concert Cafe

Nov. 10 / Dallas, TX @ Sundown at Granada

Nov. 11 / San Marcos, TX @ KIVA Lounge & Bar

Nov. 12 / Austin, TX @ ONE-2-ONE BAR

Nov. 15 / Amarillo, TX @ Leftwoods

Nov. 16 / Boulder, CO @ The Lazy Dog

Nov. 17 / Winter Park, CO @ Ullrs Tavern

Nov. 18 / Steamboat Springs, CO @ Schmiggity's

Nov. 19 / Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge

Nov. 22 / Dublin, GA @ Theatre Dublin

Nov. 24 / Montgomery, AL @ Funksgiving Music & Food Festival w/ CBDB & Soul Mechanic

Nov. 28 / Blacksburg, VA @ Sycamore Deli

Funk You Announces End Of Summer Tour Dates July 21, 2017 11:22

Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

One of Georgia's hottest up-and-coming bands, Funk You, has announced details on an end of summer tour for 2017.  This run of shows kicks off next Friday night with a highly anticipated return to Atlanta's Aisle 5 and resumes with the band's debut performance at The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival in Thornville, Ohio on Saturday, August 5th. followed by a string of shows leading back to their hometown of Augusta, GA on August 12th at Sky City. The band will also make another festival appearance on August 18th at The BIG What?, an event in Pittsboro, NC hosted by BIG Something. Rounding out the run they will be hitting cities up the east coast towards Chicago and back before ending the tour in Tennessee. 

See below for a complete list of tour dates, as well as the video premiere of Funk You covering Steve Miller Band's Fly Like An Eagle" at Terminal West earlier this year. Make sure to follow the band on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest updates. Head over to Funk You's official website for further details on tickets for each show.

FRI: July 28 @ Aisle 5 - Atlanta, GA
SAT: August 5 @ The Werk Out Festival - Thornville, OH
SUN: August 6 @ James Street Gastropub - Pittsburgh, PA
TUE: August 8 @ The Camel - Richmond, VA
WED: August 9 @ Mike Dianna's Grill Room - Corolla, NC
THU: August 10 @ Pisgah Brewing Company - Black Mountain, NC
FRI: August 11 @ Barrelhouse South - Savannah, GA
SAT: August 12 @ Sky City - Augusta, GA 
THU: August 17 @ One Stop - Asheville, NC
FRI: August 18 @ The Big What - Pittsboro, NC
SAT: August 19 @ Scruffy City Music Hall - Knoxville, TN 
WED: September 6 @ Gypsy Sallys - Washington, DC
THU: September 7 @ The 8 x 10 - Baltimore, MD
FRI: September 8 @ Rockwood Music Hall - New York, NY
SAT: September 9 @ King's Rook Club - Erie, PA 
TUE: September 12 @ Flour City Station - Rochester, NY
WED: September 13 @ Nectar's - Burlington, VT
FRI: September 15 @ Arch Street Tavern - Hartford, CT
SAT: September 16 @ The Acoustic - Bridgeport, CT
TUE: September 19 @ Beachland Tavern - Cleveland, OH
WED: September 20 @ Notes - Columbus, OH
THU: September 21 @ Mom's Place - Chicago, IL
FRI: September 23 @ Kimbro's - Franklin, TN

Watch Funk You perform Steve Miller Band's "Fly Like An Eagle" here:

Big Something & Funk You Storm Through Birmingham's WorkPlay Theatre February 5, 2017 13:46

Photos and Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

On a cold Friday night in Birmingham, refuge was easily found in the Workplay Theatre as two of the southeast's most promising bands, BIG Something and Funk You, delivered a raging party.  Funk You, originally from Augusta (GA), was up first and certainly made the most of its opening spot.  We've had a chance to catch these guys on a number of occasions over the years, but this was a seriously powerful performance.  

Frontman Gavin Hamilton brings such a cool, smooth vibe, while laying down some seriously powerful vocals.  Guitarist Evan Miller is quickly establishing himself as one of the most talented young guitarists in the jam scene.  Will Foster (keys) had many moments to shine as well, and the rhythm section of Will Clark (drums), Palmer Owens (percussion), and Rob Thompson (bass) were on point all night.  The set was highlighted by Funk You originals such as "Important To You," "Ghost For Me," "Space Monkey," "Black Dynamite," "Resolution" and a perfect cover of Pink Floyd's "Young Lust."  The future is very bright for Funk You, and you would be selling yourself short not to get out to see these guys in 2017.

Fresh off of a highly praised pair of performances on Jam Cruise, which included a sit-in from Widespread Panic's JoJo Hermann, BIG Something took the Birmingham stage.  With this being the band's first headlining spot in the Magic City, it was clear that they came to make a statement.  The set began with "Amanda Lynn," "Song For Us," and "Blue Dream," before busting into a powerful take on "UFOs Are Real."  There's a common theme of "outer space" found with this band, both lyrically and within its overall sound.  The heavy use of synthesizers from Josh Kagel (keyboards) and EWI (electronic wind instrument) from Casey Cranford certainly play to that notion.  

The set got particularly hot when the opening notes of "Megalodon" hit.  This was the song that turned me onto this band, and I still struggle to find a song that hits me harder than this one.  There is an energy to it and some seriously intriguing lyrics that keep this song in constant rotation for me.  The latest release, "Tumbleweed," came next and has a similar effect to that of "Megalodon."  As the band prepares to release its new album this month, "Tumbleweed" is a great sign as to what fans can expect from the release.  Another personal favorite came in the form of "Love Generator," which seemed to resonate amongst the rowdy crowd.  It's amazing when a band manages to communicate its message both lyrically and musically, but I've always felt that this is accomplished with this particular tune.  Finally hearing it live only confirmed that notion.  

Next up was a nod to the late Prince, as the boys busted into a super funky take on the hit song "1999."  You can't go wrong digging into the Prince catalog late into the night, and justice was undoubtedly served on Friday night.  Before this smokin' set came to conclusion, the band worked its way into "The Curse of Julia Brown," giving frontman Nick MacDaniels one more chance to showcase some seriously power vocals.  Guitarist Jesse Hensley and Cranford wasted no time trading licks across stage, and while it was chilly outside, the WorkPlay Theatre couldn't have been hotter.  After a quick exit, they returned with for a encore featuring The Who's "Baba O'Riley," which sent the room into an all out frenzy.  

While BIG Something might be new to the Birmingham market, Friday night was most likely just the beginning of many memorable nights with these guys.  The seasoned veterans from Burlington (NC) have been turning heads and building a massive following across the country since 2009, and if you haven't yet jumped on the bandwagon now is the time.  Keep an eye out for the announcement on BIG Something's annual festival "The Big What?" which is held each summer and always features a serious collection of the jam scenes most promising acts.

Watch a clip of BIG Something performing "Megalodon" here:


Watch a clip of BIG Something performing Baba O'Riley here:

Setlist: Funk You - WorkPlay Theatre - 02.03.17

1:  What's On Your Mind, Important To You, Ghost For Me, Space Monkey, Black Dynamite, Young Lust, Central Ave, Resolution

Setlist: BIG Something - WorkPlay Theatre - 02.03.17

1:  Amanda Lynn, Song For Us, Blue Dream, UFOs Are Real, Megalodon, Tumbleweed, 1999, Love Generator, The Curse of Julia Brown

Encore: Baba O'Riley

Evan Miller of Funk You

Gavin Hamilton of Funk You

BIG Something

BIG Something

Nick MacDaniels & Jesse Henley of BIG Something

BIG Something

The Major Rager Announces Official 2017 Lineup January 24, 2017 09:28

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Friends With Benefits Productions has revealed the lineup for The Major Rager (2017), the annual concert held in Augusta, GA on the Thursday of Master's Week.  The fourth annual concert will feature a headlining set from The Flaming Lips, as well as performances from People of the Sun (Moon Taxi performing the music of Rage Against The Machine), Eric Krasno Band, and Stop Light Observations.  Past performers at The Major Rager include Umphrey's McGee, Gov't Mule, Moon Taxi, Lettuce, The Revivalists, and Earphunk.  Early bird tickets can be purchased this Friday morning (1/27) at 10:00 AM EST.  For further details and official ticket information, visit the Friends With Benefits official website.

The Flaming Lips are an American rock band, formed in Norman, Oklahoma in 1983.  Melodically, their sound contains lush, multi-layered, psychedelic rock arrangements, but lyrically their compositions show elements of space rock, including unusual song and album titles—such as "Psychiatric Explorations of the Fetus with Needles", "Free Radicals (A Hallucination of the Christmas Skeleton Pleading with a Suicide Bomber)" and "Yeah, I Know It's a Drag... But Wastin' Pigs Is Still Radical". They are also acclaimed for their elaborate live shows, which feature costumes, balloons, puppets, video projections, complex stage light configurations, giant hands, large amounts of confetti, and frontman Wayne Coyne's signature man-sized plastic bubble, in which he traverses the audience. In 2002, Q magazine named The Flaming Lips one of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die".

The group recorded several albums and EPs on an indie label, Restless, in the 1980s and early 1990s. After signing to Warner Brothers, they scored a hit in 1993 with "She Don't Use Jelly". Although it has been their only hit single in the U.S., the band has maintained critical respect and, to a lesser extent, commercial viability through albums such as 1999's The Soft Bulletin (which was NME magazine's Album of the Year) and 2002's Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. They have had more hit singles in the UK and Europe than in the U.S. In February 2007, they were nominated for a 2007 BRIT Award in the "Best International Act" category. By 2007, the group garnered three Grammy Awards, including two for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.

On October 13, 2009 the group released their latest studio album, titled Embryonic. On December 22, 2009, the Flaming Lips released a remake of the 1973 Pink Floyd album The Dark Side Of The Moon. In 2011, the band announced plans to release new songs in every month of the year, with the entire process filmed.

Watch The Flaming Lips' music video for "Do You Realize?" here:

The members of Moon Taxi are no strangers to the stage. Hailing from Nashville, the five-piece formed in 2006 and set out to conquer the Southeast with their unforgettable live set. Nine years later, they’ve amassed over one thousand shows and released two albums, Cabaret (2012) and Mountains Beaches Cities (2013). The latter landed the band their first National late-night television appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and Conan as well as multiple commercial and TV placements including BMW, Nashville, MLB, NFL and HBO Sports to name a few. With a rabid fan base under their belts, they’ve upped the ante this year to become a festival favorite with recent performances at Bonnaroo, Governor’s Ball, Wakarusa, Houston Free Press and upcoming appearances at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits.   Moon Taxi will perform as People of the Sun at The Major Rager, which will consist of an entire set of Rage Against The Machine covers (as seen at Hangout Festival 2014 & 2016).

Watch Moon Taxi (People of the Sun) perform "Sleep Now In The Fire" here:

Eric Krasno is a 2x Grammy winning guitarist, musician & producer best known for his work with Soulive, Lettuce, Tedeschi Trucks Band & Pretty Lights.  For nearly two decades, Eric Krasno has been an omnipresent figure in popular music. We've heard his virtuosic, innovative guitar playing with Soulive and Lettuce (both of which he co-founded), seen him onstage supporting the likes of the Rolling Stones and The Roots, watched him take home multiple GRAMMY Awards, and benefited from his deft, behind-the-scenes work as a producer and songwriter for everyone from Norah Jones, Tedeschi Trucks, and 50 Cent to Talib Kweli, Aaron Neville, and Allen Stone. Krasno's rousing new solo album, 'Blood From A Stone,' reveals a previously unknown and utterly compelling side of his artistry, though, inviting us to bear witness as he both literally and metaphorically finds his voice.

Watch Eric Krasno Band perform 'Curse Lifter" here:

Home-grown Charleston, SC band Stop Light Observations (a.k.a. SLO) started playing together at the age of 13 when songwriter and pianist John Keith "Cubby" Culbreth asked guitarist Louis Duffie the iconic teenager boy question, "Wanna start a band?" His response was, "Yes."  The young years were spent writing songs with captivating melodies and meaningful lyrics. The duo picked up childhood friends Luke Withers and Will Blackburn to "play dem' drums and sing dem' songs!" Over time they added Coleman Sawyer on bass and fiddle and Wyatt Garrey on lead guitar, which formulated the powerful six-piece band known today as Stop Light Observations.

SLO has been described as Southern-Retro-Electro-Rock with influences of Classic, Revival, Psychedelic, Garage, and Arena Rock, with Indie, Motown, Hip-hop and Folk flares.  They are driven by the thrill they get from performing and writing songs, but the camaraderie among these lifelong friends is what keeps them close.  SLO plans on furthering their impact on the national music fan community while having some fun and changing some lives for the good while they're at it.

Watch Stop Light Observations perform "Aquarius Apocalyptic" on Jam In The Van here:

Funk You Announces Massive 2017 Spring Tour January 23, 2017 12:05

One of Georgia's hottest up-and-coming bands, Funk You, has announced details on a major Spring tour for 2017.  This run of shows will see the band through the month of April and includes supporting dates with bands such as Perpetual Groove, The Werks, and BIG Something.  The funk will kick in to full force starting on Friday, February 3rd at Birmingham's WorkPlay Theatre with BIG Something, before an opening spot for Perpetual Groove at the Georgia Theatre on Friday, February 10th.  

A five-night run with The Werks will follow, which includes stops in Asheville (2/15), Atlanta (2/16), Jacksonville (2/17), Savannah (2/18), and Charleston (2/19).  Funk You will then head out west for a week in Colorado in early March before making its back through Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.  The tour winds down with a hometown show for The Major Rager Afterparty (Augusta - 4/06), and shows in Virigina Beach (4/13), Wilmington (4/14), and Greenville (NC - 4/15).  You can also find Funk You performing at SweetWater 420 Festival at Centennial Park in Atlanta, GA on April 23rd.  See below for a full list of tour dates.

For all of the latest Funk You news, head to the band's Facebook page and official website.

Watch Funk You and friends perform Prince's "1999" at the 2016 SweetWater 420 Fest afterparty here:

Official Bio: Funk You (Augusta, GA)

Hailing from the east side GA town of Augusta, FUNK YOU is an outgoing burst of energy that is continually climbing their way to the top of the music scene. This "funk" oriented outfit projects multiple musical styles focusing mainly on dance driven grooves with powerful clean vocals. Incorporating intriguing musical composition, tasteful lyrics, and crowd captivating live performances, FUNK YOU is surely to make an imprint on your musical taste.

FUNK YOU provides the audience with a furious fusion of influences ranging from Umphrey's Mcgee, Lettuce, James brown, and Stevie Wonder. By colliding funk, jam, rock, fusion, and prog into one uniform sound, these guys will keep your jaw dropped and your feet moving without stopping. Their songs combine lush ambiance, catchy vocals, and intense shredding simultaneously into a unique well defined sound.

For three years the band has been building their fan base in the southern local markets of Atlanta, Augusta, Athens, Statesboro, Milledgeville, Savannah and Macon. They have numerous sold out shows in Augusta and also at the Georgia Theater in Athens. With performances alongside Maceo Parker & Fred Wesley (James Brown horn section), Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Tea Leaf Green, Robert Randolph, Snarky Puppy, and Moon Taxi, the band is paving their way to the festival circuit. FUNK YOU was voted best R&B band by August Magazine and was named Relix Magazine's "Artist On the Rise" in their July/August 2013 issue. Perseverance and hard work best describe the band's attitude, so if you haven't yet, you will be seeing them soon.

SweetWater 420 Fest Releases Final Lineup For 2017 January 18, 2017 20:07


SweetWater 420 Festival has added 30+ performers to it's already stacked lineup, and fans of the jam scene have every reason to rejoice.  Joining previously announced headliners Trey Anastasio, Widespread Panic, Ween, Slightly Stoopid, and Dirty Heads will be moe., Talib Kweli, Dopapod, Twiddle, Jackie Greene, Anders OsborneThe Werks, Break ScienceSunSquabi, The Hip AbductionStop Light Observations, BIG SomethingCBDBFunk YouVoodoo Visionary, and many others. Previously announced performers include Dark Star OrchestraAnders Osborne, Lettuce, The festival also unveiled a comedy lineup that includes former SNL cast member Jon Rudnitsky as well as Jake Nordwind, Joe Pettis and others.

Headliners Widespread Panic will perform two nights of the festival for a total of four sets throughout the weekend, while Anastasio will perform two sets with his solo band. Sweetwater 420 Fest will kick off April 21-23 in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

Watch the official 2017 lineup announcement video here:

Funk You Announces 2016 Fall Tour, First-Ever Colorado Dates September 1, 2016 12:27

Georgia's favorite funk outfit, Funk You, has announced it's official 2016 fall tour dates, and it's shaping up to be a busy season.  The band kicks things off on September 1st in Knoxville, TN and will continue across the southeast with shows in Greenville (SC), Winston Salem (NC), Valdosta (GA), St. Simons Island (GA), Greenville (NC), Statesboro (GA), Tupelo (MS), and New Orleans (LA).  Late in September, the band will make three stops in the state of Texas: Austin (9/22), Dallas (9/23), and Amarillo (9/24), as well as two stops in New Mexico: Albuquerque (9/25) and El Prado (9/26).  

Funk You will then make it's long awaited debut in Colorado, with three big shows to close out the month of September.  These dates include Ft. Collins (9/28), Boulder (9/29), and Denver (9/30).  On their way back to the southeast, the band will make stops in Stillwater (OK), Fayetteville (AR), and Oxford (MS), before a major headlining set at CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival in Steele, AL on Friday October 7th.  Remaining dates include stops in several familiar cities for the band: Charleston (SC)Wilmington (NC), Atlanta (GA), Savannah (GA), North Augusta (SC), and a homecoming Halloween show in Augusta (GA) on Monday, October 31st.  

For future updates and further details, head over to the band's official website and Facebook page.


CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival Reveals Final Lineup For Fall Fest August 15, 2016 11:53

Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Share this post directly from our Facebook page and tag a friend for a chance to win two weekend passes to CukoRakko.  We will announce a winner via Facebook on Monday, August 22nd at 12:00 PM CST.

CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival is pleased to reveal it's phase three artist announcement and final artist lineup for the 2016 Fall Fest at Horse Pens 40 on October 6th - 9th.  The phase three artist announcement includes a very special reunion performance from Mama's Love (Athens, GA), Dank & Friends (Atlanta, GA), Winston Ramble (Birmingham, AL), Bird Dog Jubilee (Atlanta, GA), and Seeds? (Huntsville, AL).  A variety of single-day and weekend passes to the festival can be purchased by clicking here.  CukoRakko is a one-of-a-kind, family-friendly event located at one of the South's best kept secrets, Horse Pens 40.  Kids ages 10 and under are admitted for free.  Stay tuned for details on Live & Listen's official pre-party at Horse Pens 40 on Thursday, October 6th.  

CukoRakko's Fall Fest will be held at Horse Pens 40 in Steele, AL from Thursday, October 6th - Sunday, October 9th.  The lineup this fall will feature as diverse and exciting of a lineup as we have seen from the festival, including the likes of The Heavy Pets, Funk You, Col. Bruce Hampton & Madrid Express feat. Carter Herring, Backup PlanetWinston RambleDank & Friends, The Captain Midnight Band (x2), Maradeen, Mama's Love, The Stolen Faces, Jason Bailey Band, Boy Named Banjo, Royal & Toulouse, Bird Dog Jubilee, Seeds?and Harkestra's Grateful Gospel Jamboree.

Click Here: Purchase your CukoRakko tickets today!

In preparation for the October festivities, we have included video or audio footage from each of this year's performers below.  This lineup features a variety of amazing talent from across the Southeast, including many of the regions top up-and-coming acts.  Stay tuned for future coverage and exclusive content, including our annual interview series, "The Road To CukoRakko," which will be released in early October.

The Heavy Pets

"Dewpoint" - Live at The Georgia Theatre

"Keep Me Running" - Live at The Georgia Theatre

 Funk You

"Lets Dance" - Live at Terminal West

Col. Bruce Hampton & Madrid Express w/ Carter Herring

Entire set from Echo Mountain Studios

Backup Planet

Official music video for "The Road"

Winston Ramble

"Free State of Mind" - Live at Muscle Shoals Studio


Official music video for "Get Up"

The Captain Midnight Band

"Common Law Hussy"


Official Music Video - "She Treat Me Like a Real Man"

Mama's Love

Listen to "Catch a Feelin'" here:

Listen to "Wake Up Woes" here:

 The Stolen Faces (Grateful Dead Tribute)

Official Music Video - "U.S. Blues"

Boy Named Banjo

Listen to "Blue Hole Bridge" here:

Jason Bailey Band

"Adventures of Shannon Ceili"

Royal & Toulouse

Official music video - "One Direction"

Bird Dog Jubilee

Covering Twiddle's "Lost In The Cold"


Live at Lowe Mill in Huntsville, AL

Harkestra's Grateful Gospel Jamboree

Live from CukoRakko SpringFest 2015

CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival Reveals Phase 1 Lineup For FallFest July 8, 2016 16:30

CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival has revealed it's phase one artist announcement for this October's FallFest. The first phase includes The Heavy Pets, Funk You, Col. Bruce Hampton & The Madrid Express w/ Carter Herring, Backup Planet, and Jason Bailey Band.  Early bird ticket packages will go on sale on Tuesday, July 12th at 10:00 AM CST.  Stay tuned for future announcements and lineup additions.

That “magic feeling on the mountain” continues like nowhere else in the Southeast.  Held at the beautiful Horse Pens 40 in Steele, Alabama, this friends and family event features 3 days of music and mixed media arts. Enjoy yoga, rock climbing, glass blowing, blacksmithing, disc golf with a PDGA tourney, camping, hiking, kid’s activities, food and drinks, crafts and more.

CukoRakko is the Creek Indian word for ceremonial ground, stomp ground, big house and dance ground. This perfectly describes the phenomenal energy that can be felt at this historic outdoor nature park. Horse Pens 40 is a natural wonderland of unique rock formations nestled atop Chandler Mountain in the foothills of the Appalachians. Located on top of the third highest mountain in Alabama, the stone formations here are said to be among the oldest naturally exposed stones in the world, dating from 600 million to 1.3 billion years old. This sacred ground has a vivid history. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit this incredible natural amphitheater.

Click Here: Official Website - CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival

Watch McLovins perform at CukoRakko SpringFest in May of 2016 here:

The Road to CukoRakko: Will Clark of Funk You May 9, 2016 09:15


Our latest segment, "The Road to CukoRakko," consists of a series of interviews leading up to CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival next weekend at Horse Pens 40 in Steele, AL.  We recently caught up with Will Clark (drums/vocals) of Funk You, one of Georgia's most promising up-and-coming bands.

FUNK YOU provides the audience with a furious fusion of influences ranging from Umphrey's McGee, Lettuce, James Brown, and Stevie Wonder. By colliding funk, jam, rock, fusion, and prog into one uniform sound, these guys will keep your jaw dropped and your feet moving. Their songs combine smooth melodies, catchy vocals, and intense shredding simultaneously into a unique well defined sound.

For five years the band has been building their fan base in the southeast. They have played numerous sold out shows in Atlanta (Terminal West, Aisle 5), Augusta (Sky City), and also Athens (Georgia Theater). With performances alongside the James Brown Band, Maceo Parker & Fred Wesley (James Brown horn section), Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Soul Rebels, Rebirth Brass Band, Tea Leaf Green, Robert Randolph, Snarky Puppy, Omega Moos and Moon Taxi, the band is climbing their way up the festival circuit. FUNK YOU was voted best R&B band by August Magazine and was named Relix Magazine's "Artist On the Rise" in their July/August 2013 issue. FUNK YOU's debut full length album "Apparitions" just released is receiving great reviews from Live For Live Music and Live And Listen. Perseverance and hard work best describe the band's attitude, so if you haven't yet, you will be seeing them soon. 

Funk You is set to play CukoRakko at 10:30 PM on Saturday, May 14th.

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Funk You has been going strong for over five years now.  The days of playing routine gigs around Augusta are long gone.  What stands out the most when looking back over the last few years?
Will: We are excited that we have been given the opportunity to continue playing gigs for this long. The music industry requires patience and we've been steadily growing our fan base to new cities across the southeast. And who doesn't love to travel for a living! We get tighter and tighter every weekend and that is what is most important; that we continue to grow together as a unit.
As Augusta's music scene continues to grow, the opportunity to perform and build your following only increases.  How has Funk You's schedule shaped up thus far in 2016?  
FY: 2016 has been one of the most exciting years for us. We are playing more festivals this year, highlighted by a performance at Sweetwater 420 Fest. We just opened up for the James Brown Birthday Bash in Augusta, which was streamed live across the nation by the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Meeting and jamming with all the incredibly talented James Brown Band members was truly a once in a lifetime experience for us. We also just signed with Hoplite Booking Agency so the sky is the limit for us this year.
Watch Funk You perform David Bowie's "Let's Dance" at Terminal West here:
Funk You recently released it's first full length album, 
Apparitions.  Tell me a little bit about how this group of songs came together.  How was the recording process different than your previously released self-titled EP?
Will: We felt these songs together made the most cohesive representation of what Funk You is. Which is not a genre focus, but rather a statement. A statement of we will write whatever style we feel. This album "Apparitions" hits our highest of highs and lowest of lows. We are a diverse group of people and we portray that in our music. We recorded this album in Atlanta at Fractal Sound Studio. We added some collaborations with a horn section, female vocalist, violinist, and few different engineers helping mix and produce. We are very proud of the final product and can't wait for everyone to hear it!
Every band has their own unique way of putting together a setlist.  What does the process entail for you guys as you prepare for each show? 
Will: We typically write a song list first and decide whether to put them in an order or just go with the flow. There are different benefits to both. When we don't have a specified set order, we very much play to the crowd. Feeling their energy and feeding off it is very important to us. And sometimes when we do write out the order, we will call audibles if something gets stagnant or the crowd is calling for a different energy or feeling. This usually depends on set lengths and location of the performance.  
Listen to Funk You's new album Apparitions here:
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We're coming up on CukoRakko, one of Alabama's young, growing music festivals.  Horse Pens 40 is without a doubt one of the most amazing locations in the state.  What does it mean to you guys to join the CukoRakko family?
Will: We are stoked to play this festival after having heard so much about it from our peers. The location is beautiful and we are thrilled to be able to display our art to an eager audience. This industry is all about family and supporting each other and what better way to do that than by sharing the love of music with one another.
CukoRakko will give you guys an opportunity to play in front of many music fans who might be seeing Funk You for the first time.  How would you best describe what the crowd at Horse Pens can expect from you guys?
Will: That's one of the greatest feelings of being a musician, the first time an audience member hears your art and expresses gratitude to us for doing what we love. We always make sure to provide every new audience with a tight, diverse, energetic set that displays what Funk You truly is. 

Funk You's Debut Album "Apparitions" Will Haunt You In The Best Of Ways April 21, 2016 23:24

Album Review by Taylor Pack: Live & Listen
On Friday, April 22nd, Funk You releases their debut album, Apparitions. Formed in 2011, the six piece funk outfit from Augusta, Georgia was long overdue for an official release, and fortunately, Apparitions is an effort well worth the wait. Utilizing a rich collection of talent, creativity, and emotion, Funk You’s debut album not only impresses upon first listen, but clearly sets the band's standard of musicianship very high. Apparitions is not only the title of the self-produced album, but it also serves as an overall theme for the 11 heady tracks that comprise the record. Funk You’s ability to not only write and deliver individually great tunes, but equally as important, to organize them into a single flowing album is veteran. Lyrically, the band explores existential themes like the human soul and the supernatural with great sincerity and emotion. The music on the album is composed with great originality and taste, and executed with passion and skill. 
“Resolution” is the first track of the album, and one of several to benefit from the added horn arrangements by friend of Funk You and Augusta native, B Courtland Saxon. It is a powerful funk ballad with an ominous societal warning where lead singer, Gavin Hamilton, demands a change in humanity in order to save earth. “Ghost for Me” is a creative track credited to bassist Rob Thompson, but as this hauntingly melodic tune cumbersomely lurches forward, its performance thrives due to the band’s musical synergy. The interplay between guitarist, Evan Miller, and keyboardist, William Foster,  is delightfully eerie. The discerning contributions from Will Clark on the kit and Palmer Owens on percussion roll the tune ahead, slowly building tension until eventually, the track breaks in a dramatic resolution with more outstanding vocals from Hamilton. It is an awesome tune that can be played over and over again. 
Listen to Funk You's new album Apparitions here:
“Drifting” is the appropriately titled third track of the album and shows off the band’s versatility, as the tune takes on distinctly jazzy sentiments. The band’s beautiful playing and Hamilton’s soothing vocals are complimented by another guest appearance by Saxon, giving the tune a vibe very reminiscent of The Flecktones' earlier work. Funk You continues to roll on with the hard hitting funk rock song,  “Supernatural”. The whole band is firing on all cylinders for this one, especially Miller, who contributes a scorching solo that surely blew the roof off of Fractal Studios, where the album was recorded just outside of Atlanta.
Things slow down a bit for the sentimental track, “Slipping Away”, before building back up for the sixth track of the album,  “She’s So High”. Fans of Funk You will recognize this track as it is the only carryover from the band’s 2013 EP Funk You II. The only addition is the horn tracks and Amy Middleton Taylor for backing vocals. “Your Soul” follows as the next track, and gives the listener another example of the band’s keen ability to compose with its uber dramatic bridge/break buildup and final refrain that seamlessly segues to the end of the song.  
Photo by David Saenz Landazabal

“One Big Storm” is another song that stands out, specifically, for its creativity and taste. Lyrically, there is nothing new about comparing life and struggles to passing storms, but Funk You’s ability to translate the concept musically without oversaturating the theme,  makes for a very agreeable and unique listening experience. “Past is Passed” is an awesomely catchy tune that features the entire band driving ahead full speed one final time, before the album begins to wind down to a close. 

“Alone” seems to close out the album with its slowly drifting melody, but one final track remains. “Ghost for You” crackles into your ears with the distinct sound of a vinyl record, almost as if it were an afterthought, something leftover on the record, or maybe a ghost track. As the tune develops, the band's motive is clear: to give the listener one final dose of that hard hitting, Funk You sound, or as the lyrics suggest, “a ghost that you can feel”. True to its title, Funk You’s debut album, Apparitions, will stick with you. It is remarkable music that will haunt you in the best of ways.