Hi, my name is Kim, and I am addicted to funk. EarPhunk played at the Broadway Oyster Bar in St. Louis, MO on Friday night, and they willingly fed this addiction! The show began around 10, and they didn’t waste any time by starting off soft, as I was grooving in my seat while finishing my dinner. The band consists of rhythm and lead guitar, bass, drums, and some funky ass keys! These guys are straight from New Orleans, ready to funk your day up.
Playing shows around the South and Midwest for the past few weeks, including the music festival Wakarusa down in Arkansas last weekend, this was their last stop before heading back to New Orleans, and they killed it! Their stage presence is great, their involuntary funk faces are priceless, and they feed off of each other's musical energy quite well. For a couple of songs they were joined by a trombone player, and it was a great addition. This kid was no older than 15, and he jammed right into the funk and groove with out missin' a beat. Keep it up kid!
EarPhunk has some excellently contrived originals. At first glimpse, I viewed them as just straight-forward funk, but they throw in some twists that make their music seemingly less predictable than original funk, and a bit more raw. There’s a captivating flow to their songs; they’ll pull you into a jam, break it down to ground you a bit, then gradually build it back up into an epic musical climax. A couple of those build-ups literally had me on my tip toes. I don’t understand how anyone was sitting down for this show.
The Oyster Bar's stage is outside, but still in somewhat of an enclosed area. Regardless, those walking by the bar could easily hear the Phunk, and many were stopping in their tracks to peer in and see what these guys could do. I’d say Earphunk has the ability to lure an audience in, and keep them stickin’ around.
While taking their music seriously (quite impressive ambition for such youngin’s!), they also seem very laid back at their shows, and want their audience to be having as much fun as they are. Spectators are encouraged to dance and even join into the rhythm section via cowbell, tambourines, and whatever else, putting on a hell of a show as well as creating a great vibe.
While chatting with bassist Michael Comeaux, he stated that a lot of their songs are about 90% improv, “I think I play a different bass line almost every time.” They have constructed choruses and songs that follow certain patterns, but sure as hell like to jam, their creative juices overflowing and infecting audiences. Jamming as much as they do, I expected more repetitive grooves that each player might feel more comfortable with. However, I felt that whoever was leading at the time would work to take the jam to new places, while the band comfortably and willingly followed suit. Quite a talented and musically fused group of young musicians!
My suggestions for the band: a consistent horn section, more bass slapping and drum solos, and a New England tour!
My suggestion for you and all your funky friends? Go check out EarPhunk! You can listen to some of their tunes on their website and/or Myspace page:
www.earphunk.com or http://www.myspace.com/earphunk
Each beautiful photo was taken by Sarah Orschel!