Early show: MojoFlo / Act Casual / Funkwagon
Sat, Apr 8, 2017 @ 5:00 pm to 8:00pm
MojoFlo: Line-up changes, natural disasters, highway collisions; when the members of MojoFlo got together they never thought the road to fame, fortune and a good time would be so fraught with obstacles. However if there’s one thing this hard knock group has learned it’s that you have to keep moving.
The last few years have seen MojoFlo growing from an amorphous, good-time party band into a cohesive musical unit that can deliver a spell-binding performance that, while remaining rooted in Funk, Rock, and Jazz, manages to transcend the traditional boundaries of said genres. The goal of the group is not just to give their audience something fun to listen to but to take them on a journey.
Blazing vocals, screaming horns, and a hard hitting rhythm section are the hallmarks of the group’s sound. Leading the charge is the group’s vivacious singer Amber Knicole. She has been likened to everyone from Chaka Khan to a young Sharon Jones and described as Beyonce’s wild step sister, but one thing is for certain: She is just as well known for her jazzy, gospel-influenced vocal prowess as she is for her captivating stage performance. From Soul Train lines to hula hoop choreography, gravity defying back bends to near-cringe-inducing leaps off the drum riser in 6-inch heels this lady has a knack for leaving audiences enthralled.
MojoFlo may have started as a college party band but in the eight years since their inception the group has made a habit of constant growth and reinvention. They have released three EP’s: Waiting (2010) was a mix of individual styles showcasing the group’s versatility. Whatcha Think About That? (2011) found the group dabbling in neo-soul and Hip-Hop. The 7” single “Home to You”/”Dance” (2012) is an ode to old-school soul replete with analogue grit and throwback sensibilities. Right On (Back Around) (2014) finds the band hitting their stride showcasing well written songs and strong performances that capture the essence of their live show.
On top of the recorded material MojoFlo maintains a rigorous touring and performance schedule playing clubs, concerts, festivals, and parties of every shape and size 120+ nights a year. The band has been making headways in the “festival” scene garnering huge praise from their sets at All Good, Rootwire, Fashion Meets Music, and The Werk Out just to name a few. In addition to a monthly residency this past winter at the legendary Cafe Wha? in New York City, they keep standing annual engagements at some of the country’s largest and most recognized celebrations including Mardi Gras in New Orleans, LA and The Kentucky Derby in Louisville, KY.
The band is currently working on all new material for what will be their first full length album due 2017.
Funkwagon is a gospel infused funk band based in Burlington, VT. The band was formed in 2005 by Aaron Burroughs and has since played all over the north east, capturing crowds and having the honor of sharing the stage with some of music’s greats.
“I like to think of it as church with a smoker’s section…and a bar,” says Burroughs. Funkwagon is not a typical funk band, as the name might suggest. “Well for one thing its very vocal oriented, said Burroughs. “We pay attention to our lyrics.” “It’s popular, it’s pop music in a way that it’s hook oriented and bass driven but we have five and sometimes six part harmonies stacked on top of it all so it really does feel kind of like a choir.” “Everything I do kind of has that church choir feel to it. But its kind of raw, but not in a way that’s imposing and won’t be on the radio, you know what I mean?”
Through multiple line up changes the direction of the band has stayed true in the nine years Funkwagon has been rolling along and that won’t be stopping anytime soon!
Act Casual: 2 parts crunch, 1 part groove and a dash o’ funk.