So thrilled to present and listen to FunkCity.net’s first Weekly Playlist of 2019 and it’s a doozy of a compilation of artist new and upcoming releases and recently attended shows as well as upcoming shows this week (4 total!). Time to dig in!

  • Snarky Puppy – Xavi – Immigrance (release date 3-15-19): Of course this is the lead this week – the first new music from the Pups in nearly three years. This is the first single off the upcoming album and it’s a winner. Can’t wait to hear the full album live at GroundUp Music Festival 2019 in Miami Beach in three weeks!
  • Chris Bullock – Anti Jam – Boomtown: Chris is one of the lead sax players in Snarky Puppy and this is the first track off his debut album and it’s killer. He plays multiple wind instruments including bass clarinet on this funky tune and the sound is so damn cool! I know this has been in the works for some time and it’s another one that’s worth the wait. Additional players on this include Justin Stanton, Bob Lanzetti and Louis Cato. It’s a smash!
  • The Midnight Hour, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Adrian Younge – Black Beacon – The Midnight Hour: Wow! got to see this group perform late last year and was blown away. Ali is one of the founding members of A Tribe Called Quest and Adrian is a leading composer, arranger and producer. They put this group together with two horns, two strings, vocals and full orchestration. Love this tune and the show was awesome and you can catch the full set here:
  • SunSquabi – Reptile – Instinct: This is a little taste of SunSquabi’s most recent release for which we’ll have a full album review up shortly. This is our favorite cut on the album and definitely the funkiest with massive horn work throughout, featuring Nick Gerlach on saxophone and Gabe Mervine on trumpet. It starts out with a slinky synth and trumpet intro before blasting into horn fanfare. 
    The horn segue into the sax solo could belong right in a Lettuce or Break Science Live Band set and makes you want to move. Nice bass solo bridge takes you into guitar/synth build and right back into horn fanfare. The synth bass at the end feels like a snake slithering and the sax closeout is terrific. This is one that’s on repeat a lot.
  • Vulfpeck – Love Is a Beautiful Thing – Hill Climber: Well, this is not so “funky” but damn is it beautiful. The lyrics are great and the vocal work by Theo Katzman and Monica Martin brings tears to my eyes. It’s so bittersweet it hurts.
  • Lettuce – The Force- Crush: Much anticipation for the coming Saturday’s Lettuce show in ATL. This tune says it all – The Force is one of the most anthemic but shortest Lettuce cuts but they will definitely Crush ATL next week. Let’s Rage!
  • Marbin – African Shabtay – Aggressive Hippies: Looking forward to seeing Marbin for the second time, this Tuesday at Smith’s Olde Bar. Their style of prog jazz with Middle East over/undertones is great. These Israeli musicians are technically so damn good and in some ways reminscent of Consider the Source. Here’s a video of this song performed live as well
  • Ripe – Downward – Joy in the Wild: This is another fast rising band – they’re horn driven funk/soul/pop tunes are catchy and fun with a lot of hooks. First saw them at Candler Park Music Festival, then in ATL last year (see Downward encore below) and will see them again this Thursday at Terminal West. Can’t wait!
  • Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes – The Dragon – Sketch: JS&DN was one of the first groups I ever saw at Smith’s and always loved their stuff. Wish they would come back more often but I guess they’re just happy making great music all over New Orleans. This tune off theire latest album is particularly dirty.
  • Karl Denson – Seven Nation Army – New Ammo: KDTU a perennial favorite will be back in town at Terminal West this Friday 1/25. Of course Diesel has a ton of original stuff with KDTU and Greyboy Allstars and is always busy, touring with the Rolling Stones and such. But there’s always something sweet about seeing him hit Seven Nation Army with the flute.
  • The Marcus King Band – How Long – Carolina Confessions: Marcus King, 20something bluesman of old, hit ATL recently for two great shows and the first night included a rendition of How Long off his latest at the 1:31:00 mark.
  • Galactic – Going Straight Crazy (feat. Princess Shaw) –
    Already Ready Already
    : This is the first single off the album to be released Friday, February 8th and according to LiveForLiveMusic.com, it’s “a upbeat, sing-along jaunt that begs to be blasted from your car stereo with the windows down on a sunny day.” Exactly!
  • The White Blinds – Hip Hugger – Get to Steppin’: The organ trio just grooves – think Booker T. Jones or perhaps The New Mastersounds without a bass. We’ll be writing a full album review on this one but in the meantime enjoy this cruisin’ tune.
  • The Motet – Highly Compatible – Death or Devotion: Funkworld hitting hard in first quarter as this Colorado crew releases their latest on January 25. This first single is according to JamBase, “has a sound straight out of the late-70s and features a string section.”
  • Orgōne – Ride My Swing – Reasons: Another group we love but haven’t heard from for awhile, Orgōne just released this beauty and
    Adryon de León’s floods this with her great soul vocals. Love this tune and another Suma Juice (instrumental) among others on this brand new album.