Wander the streets of Chicago on any given night and it’s never hard to find inspiring live music, especially sounds falling along the spectrum of funk, jazz and blues. This past Wednesday, August 3rd was no exception as three Chicago-based bands took the stage for an exhilarating night of funk at Emporium Arcade Bar in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.
The night’s festivities opened with Bifunkal, a two-piece group made up of drummer Hershyl Edwards and guitarist/vocalist Jesse Cryderman. The two played a solid mix of lyrical and instrumental tunes. While the vocals were decent, it was Cryderman’s catchy guitar riffs along with the impressive vox bass lines from Edwards that stole the set. For only two musicians, the band was able to project a full sound which was later emphasized by accompanying brass during a handful of tunes.
Second to take the stage was Genome. The group took the elements of jazz and funk to a new level with an overlay of electronic sounds provided primarily by Xavier Galdon and electric drummer Jared Kleinstein. The electronic elements add a futuristic, almost psychedelic feel, while the trombone and sax riffs and overall rhythms stayed true to the heyday of 1970s funk. Their innovated take on modern funk had the potential to draw in younger audiences who may not be accustom to the less commercialized sounds of the genre. It was this interpretation and mixture of tones kept ears intrigued and bodies moving.
Closing out the night was Golden Boys headed by bassist Luc Parcell, known for his work in Bonzo Terks and the Chicago Afrobeat Project. While the project is ever-evolving, the band brought to stage more than fifteen instrumentalists for the night; a number which comes from notable Chicago acts such as Nasty Snacks (a big congrats to them on winning the NCMF 2016 Toast of the Coast Battle Royale that same night) and Woo Park. Even with so many different instrumental styles and backgrounds, the group truly meshed and played well as a whole, drawing on rhymic basslines and groovy riffs. They were nothing short of spectacular, putting together a high-energy show to wrap up the perfect funky night.
Stay informed on all these bands and their upcoming shows by following them on social media and visiting their websites.