Photo | Submitted | Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Band: Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Date: Wednesday, May 23, with doors at 7:30 p.m.
Venue: The Merry Widow, 51 S. Conception St., www.themerrywidow.net
Tickets: $15, available through Ticketfly
After recuperating from Hangout Fest, locals should consider rebounding with Big Sam’s Funky Nation. Trombonist Sammie “Big Sam” Williams reigns supreme over this brass-heavy funk outfit. Williams himself is a founding member of the Stooges Brass Band and has spent time in the ranks of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Big Sam’s Funky Nation is setting standards for the new-school funk outfits coming out of the Big Easy.
“Brass and funk in New Orleans right now is stronger than it’s ever been,” Williams said. “I thought [Hurricane] Katrina was going to get rid of the culture altogether, but we’re pretty resilient and kept the culture alive. You can’t get rid of us. We’re here to stay.”
Williams and his Funky Nation plan to fill The Merry Widow with sounds from the band’s latest effort, “Songs in the Key of Funk, Vol. 1.” The collection of tunes is a welcome flashback to the R&B-infused days of funk that made household names of such groups as The Gap Band and Morris Day & the Time. Throughout the album, vigorous rhythms are met with a classic synth sound that sets this style apart.
As far as the live delivery of these tunes, Williams said “Poke Chop” has become a favorite for both the band and its crowds. He also added that if “things go well,” the band expects to release “Songs in the Key of Funk, Vol. 2” next year.