Funk is great music for getting down to, although late night at StrangeCreek Music and Arts Festival brings out some of the best up and coming bands in the Northeast. When 10-piece band Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket from Boston started playing, I was drawn in by the horns and stayed for the rhythm and double threat vocals. The cabin got quite warm throughout the set, as it would be expected with a sexually charged dose of funk and world beats. The band is only two years old but holds great promise with strong live performances coupled with a great self-titled debut album
With strong influences from Parliament Funkadelic, The Meters, Stevie Wonder and most music from the Soul Train era of 70s funk, Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket has strong potential and with funk this deep, they should be on JamCruise within a few years time. The opener, Phototonic Amplifier People has blaring horns and impressive vocals from Sarah, aka Lil’ Shrimp. Mic Smoke gets sharp horns accenting catchy lyrics “When Smokey told Michael Jackson, When they give you the mic don’t give it back son”, Big Daddy Disco sings with a Q-Tip velocity and cadence to the words. Sin Lamento starts with a deep grooved bass before growing into a salsa/tejano number, sung entirely in Spanish. Chuck Norris is notable for weed references and high speed funk, Blue Dream gives a Stevie wonder groove on the keys while I Don’t Want to Ride Your Emotional Rollercoaster is soft in an R&B style, akin to Bill Withers ‘Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone’, a very emotional track. Black Cloud Joe is Wilson Pickett-esque with a big band backing a boisterous story about Joe. Capping it all off is a highlight, All Night Long and Once in the Mornin’, a sexually charged song, with a dash of Ohio Players and a porno-funk guitar in the background, plus balanced dueling vocals.
As said in the final track, “There ain’t no party like a bucket party cause a bucket party don’t stop” are true words, coming from first hand experience and listening to a funking wonderful debut album. Look for Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket this summer at a festival near you!
Key Tracks: Mic Smoke, Sin Lamento, All Night Long and Once in the Mornin’