Hearing Aide: Freekbass’ ‘Everybody’s Feelin’ Real’

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The name Freekbass is startling and inviting all at once. Is this a a  freak with a bass? A bass that sounds freaky? From the first time I heard Freekbass and saw Heaadtronics perform at The Big Up in 2010, I was wholly impressed, not because Bernie Worrell was on keys and DJ Logic was spinning, but because Freekbass was stealing the show and made his presence on the stage known, complementing the others while not overshadowing them. This studious and exemplary approach to bass has led to Everybody’s Feelin’ Real, his latest album and one that features special guests and a wide array of bass-fueled funk.

The result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Sherman says Everybody’s Feelin’ Real “ended up being way above and beyond what I expected.” Sherman notes that the crowd-sourcing method for funding the album was a great success and the backers who supported him hold greater weight than the funding itself.  “The real special part was having this community of folks who are emotionally invested into the project like you are. It brings a new kind of intensity and energy to the project. I highly recommend it for any artist.”

This summer, Freekbass heads out on the road for Particle-Freekbass Tour with Headtronics/Particle keyboardist Steve Molitz, and fans of both can expect some sit-ins during each band’s set. They’ll be on the road from April 10th through the 23rd playing shows throughout the Midwest. More dates can be found on Freekbass.com. Headtronics, always a fun show to see, particularly at festivals, and there should be some dates later in festival season with the trio. Click over to see footage of Headtronics from The Big Up 2010. 

double_bassNow about that album. Everybody’s Feelin’ Real takes a commanding lead out of the gate with the blaring horns of “Rise”, a party starting groove, plus synthesizer courtesy of  Razor Sharp Johnson from Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy Collins’ Rubberband and vocals from Kim Manning, Jennifer Hartswick and Freekbass. “Victoria Thunder” and thick 70s funk from Johnson’s keys recalls Sly Stone with a Red Bull chaser, giving it some extra kick. The title track has a slower paced groove with a deep grind to it, followed by Skerik’s signature horns on “Mama’s Like a Cowboy”. The instrumental “Fish Like a Man” is full of thick, heavy bass and carries over to “Never Enough”, with whispered lyrics from Jennifer Hartswick that accentuate the gritty sound, repeating “Stop the pain, don’t hurt the game, it’ll never be enough”, a great mantra with heavy bass augmentation.

“Battery”, with JHa’s voice creates a very pleasant ear worm as she stretches out every letter of “Baaaa-Terr-Eeee’, smooth and sultry like Adeline Michèle of Escort. Fans of Bernie Worrell will love  “Go Up”, driven by synth via Johnson, making Everybody’s Feelin Real a family reunion of sorts for P-Funk members, including Kim Manning and Executive Producer of the album, Bootsy Collins. The short instrumental “John” bridges “Go Up” and the final track “Fly”, the latter of which blasts off with a cosmic groove, a great cap to a top notch funk album. Over 10 tracks, Freekbass is both a freak with a bass and plays a bass that gets freaky. Enjoy yourself some of Freekbass’ funk on Everybody’s Feelin’ Real.

Key Tracks: Rise, Victoria Thunder, Battery

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