Long Beach Funk Fest: Five Acts You Can't Miss

Categories: this weekend

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Matt Sun
Long Beach Funk Fest 2011

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Downtown Long Beach has been presenting some great shows this summer. They really know their audience and this Saturday should uphold that record with the fourth annual Long Beach Funk Festival. There are some funky veterans appearing this weekend including Motown guitar legend Dennis Coffey and a few witnesses to the hey day of both Sly & the Family Stone and Parliament Funkadelic. Ten hours of sweaty, sweaty funk. Here are a few bands to look out for.

Dennis Coffey
"Gimme that Funk" from 1975

Guitarist Dennis Coffey is of the funky generation that managed to unlock an incredible amount of secrets from the electrified guitar. Much like guitarist Skip Pitts in Memphis, or Phil Upchurch and Pete Cosey in Chicago, Coffey took the guitar beyond just a string nailed to a board introducing new textures to Detroit as a member of Motown's Funk Brothers. Can't miss the man who put the psychedelic in the Temptations' "Psychedelic Shack."

Bootsy Girls

"Stand Tall" from 2011

Bootsy Collins, the star-eyed, cartoon-voiced, bass shredder will not be appearing at the festival, but he does have a franchise band thriving on his endorsement. The Bootsy Girls have a sound that grabs from every decade of funk, from the background party vocals of Sly & the Family Stone to the crisp guitar backing of Prince. Sisters Sallye and Tamah roll on a R&B wave of empowerment and the occasional saxophone solo. This funk carries a bit of a breeze.

The Family Stone
"Hot Fun in the Summertime" from 1969

With Sly Stone proving himself, how should we say this, unreliable in the last thirty years, other members of Sly & the Family Stone have carried on to keep the essence of one of the greatest bands of the late 1960s, regardless of genre. Original drummer Gregg Ericco, trumpeter Cynthia Robinson and saxophonist Jerry Martini have been punctually taking the message around the globe, bringing that unique blend of rock, funk, and doo-wop that made Sly & the Family Stone so electrifying in the first place.

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