Though summer is still just barely creeping up, we can’t help but turn our attention toward its end, when one of our favorite festivals heads back to good old Camp Minglewood. Catskill Chill is coming, and we’ll be counting down the days with previews of who to see and hear during the festival weekend in Hancock, NY. This edition focuses on the syncopated grooves, swinging bass lines and straight up nastiness of funk, a favorite genre of many a Chiller.
The Meter Men
The Meters are generally credited with bringing funk from New Orleans to the world. Formed in the mid-1960s by singer Art Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter Jr. and drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste, the band basically invented the entire genre. This year’s headliner features the non-Neville members of the legendary funk progenitors paired with cow funk ivory tickler extraordinaire Page McConnell. You may know him from his day job melting faces for Phish. There’s a reason it’s called the rage side. This recently formed super group is sure to bring the fire from the bayou to the mountain lake.
Carrying on the New Orleans tradition, Galactic puts its own unique twists on the genre, infusing classic sounds with soul, hip hop, electronic s and whatever else gets feet moving. Rooted in funk, but always stretching the boundaries, the group based its latest album, Carnivale Electricos, on the sights and sounds of Mardi Gras, where the group cut its teeth and still performs all-night shows. These festival circuit veterans have a knack for magical musical moments, be it cosmically converging with thunderbolts at Bonnaroo, or collaborating with backpack rappers. Galactic is guaranteed to bring the heat to the Chill.
The Royal Family collective is in full effect at the Chill once again. Lettuce is a true funk juggernaut powered by the dual guitars of Eric Krasno and Adam “Shmeans” Smirnoff, the heavy-hitting back beat of Adam Deitch, the key work of Neal Evans and the thumping bass of Eric Coomes, not to mention a bombastic brass section. Since their inception at Boston’s Berklee, this collective has been consistently blowing minds with precision funk onslaughts. Not only will the preeminent funk outfit in the Northeast be gracing the stage once again. Kras, Neal’s brother Alan and Shmeans will be dropping science with their respective solo projects. That’s a whole lotta funk.
Check out a Lettuce set HERE:
The Motet – Funk Is Dead
The Motet has been fine-tuning its funk sensibilities for over a decade, infusing complex compositions with influences ranging from Afrobeat to electronic. Their involved interplay has given the group the chops to experiment beyond their own wide-ranging catalog, and the group has spent past Halloweens, as many jam bands are wont to do, interpreting the canons of popular bands through a funk filter. Recently it tapped into an all-time favorite – the Grateful Dead. Not surprisingly, the upbeat swinging renditions of Dead classics were a huge hit with fans, and the band took the show on the road, enthralling audiences across the country with an extra danceable dose of Dead.
Check out a Funk Is Dead set HERE:
The 4th annual Catskill Chill will take place September 6-8. For additional info and tickets, click HERE.