Philadelphia has a great music scene – one that represents many sounds and genres, like hip-hop, bluegrass, blues, rock and even funk. If you’re looking to get funky on a night out, see below for some fun bands to check out.
This year, Dr. Slothclaw won the Tri State Indie award for “Best Funk Band” and, in 2012, it won for “Best Jam Band.” From Red Lion, PA, the band released its debut album, “What’s that Buzzing Noise?” in 2012 and has been working to bring its exciting and improvisational funky jams to the tri-state region since 2006. The Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and James Brown influences are clear in the group’s music and the live shows make for a mesmerizing experience. The five-member band includes Garry Slick (bass), Adam Golihew (guitar/vocals/keyboards), Dylan Kreiger (lead guitar/vocals), Josh Stoner (drums/vocals) and Brett Noel (percussion/vocals).
Mixed People is led by guitarist and vocalist Paulette Branson who formed the band in August 2012. The other members, who are all Philly born and raised, include Porsha Branson (vocals/percussion), Pierre Nix (vocals/percussion), Bird Williams (keys/vocals), NaJashi Abdur-Rasheed (drums) and Terrence Jones (bass). You can catch the group playing around Philly at venues such as the Legendary Dobbs, The M Room and Dahlak Paradise. The band plans to release an EP in April, and you can listen to the first track, “Shark Attack,” on Soundcloud. Mixed People uses great harmonies, and Paulette’s guitar playing and songwriting is superb.
The Royal Noise
The Royal Noise formed in 2010 and is gearing up to release itd third LP, “This Is The Funky Part.” In fact, an official record release party will be held May 10 at Milkboy on 11th and Chestnut and is a show you won’t want to miss if you enjoy danceable jams, captivating melodies and funky rhythms. The Royal Noise has been showing off its amazing musicianship to passionate crowds as the group toured up and down the East Coast. The bands influences range from Herbie Hancock to Umphrey’s McGee and Phish, but its sound is entirely its own. The Royal Noise is John Harvey (guitar), Mike LaBombard (sax, keyboards, syths), Rodrigo Richardo (Bass) and Aaron Zarrow (drums).
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Swift Technique has been bursting with energy and funky stylings ever since it formed in 2007. The band, with its incredible stage presence and ability to get people dancing, has opened for The Meters, Wu-Tang Clan, Soulive and Questlove and is currently touring the country behind its debut EP, “You Boys Be Aight,” – a collection of seven instrumental tracks released in January. Along with “You Boys Be Aight,” Swift Technique offered a three-track preview of its forthcoming full-length album featuring new soul vocalist Chelsea ViaCava. Swift Technique consists of ViaCava (vocals), Jake Leschinsky (bass), Andy Bree (guitar), Rich Agrem (percussion), Tom Cladek (percussion), Greg Roson (trumpet), Matt Fischer (trombone), Ian Gray (trombone), Brain Blaker (sax) and Jay Davidson (keys).
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The 9’s is an all-instrumental funk band that plays to enthusiastic crowds in small venues, bars and restaurants across the city. The members are Dan Reinherz (keyboard), Pete Caperonis (guitar), Mike Brenner (sax), Matt Agostini (bass) and Matt Elberson (drums). Each musician has had significant experience playing in the local jam-band and funk scene for numerous years and bring their various influences, from funk, jazz, jam, soul, folk, blues and reggae, together to create a fun band to watch. Aside from playing small clubs, the band also is available for private events, parties and weddings. To hear a sample of The 9’s sound, visit the group’s media page.
Kelly Neilson is a freelance writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.