Freekbass Artist Review
Cincinnatti native Freekbass’ dynamic live performances have become legendary. Having played with such musicians as Bernie Worrell, Victor Wooten, DJ Logic, Bootsy Collins, Ivan Neville’s Dumstphunk, and Buckethead, he is distinguished by his power, precision, technical ability and showmanship.
Freekbass, who got his name one day laying down tracks, playing around with the bass playing what he describes as “weird effects,” and earned the moniker from the master of funk bass himself, Bootsy Collins. In an interview, Freekbass points to his influences to range from Frank Zappa to Radiohead, from Dr Dre to Charles Mingus (homegrownmusic.net). With five records under his belt, this master funk artist has come out with yet another infectious album to promote with a US tour (see dates below). The artist himself writes a personal review of his recent kick-off show at Southgate House Revival.
This new album is his first studio recording since his last project, FREEKBOT, which was a duo with DMC USA DJ champion and producer Tobotius. That band released material and had tour dates nationwide. Additionally, Freekbass toured as the bass player in the Kelly Richey band for much of 2013, and was a part of the super group, Headtronics. That band played festivals and club dates 2011-14 and featured a revolving cast of characters but mostly centered around Freekbass, DJ Logic, and Particle keys man Steve Molitz. Other folks ventured through the band too including Fareed Haque, Bernie Worrell, Greg Fundis and more.
It had been a bit since I played at home. I always get a little extra excited and a little extra nervous playing in my home market. But, the vibes were good that day. The very talented and very groovy Jennifer Hartswick ,who sang and played on a bunch of tracks on the new album, was joining the Bump Assembly that night for the show, along with Razor Sharp Johnson on keys, Big Bamn on drums, Dan Barger on sax., and me on that that four stringed thing. The show was at the Southgate House Revival, which has to be one of my favorite venues to play. Three different music rooms, each with a different band and style of music. It’s a beautiful old church that has been converted into a music venue. Almost a festival type atmosphere. We were playing in the big room-The Sanctuary- that night.
The show started off with one of my bass students’ band, Spearpoint, which was another deep highlight of the night. Once they finished their high-octane set, we hit the stage. The crowd was great that night… very loud and ready to dance. I think one of my favorite things about the show was playing a lot of new material for folks from the new album. You always get excited about a new release, but this album is one I feel very proud of, and feel like we are getting the ‘Freek-Formula’ right. Plus I feel like the songs translate really well live. If you buy the new album it will feel/sound very similar to what you just saw live. That can be a challenge sometimes, but think we are on the right path with this one. Another highlight of the show for me was playing the Heart tune, “Bebe LeStrange” with Jennifer absolutely destroying the vocals. I always thought that was such a funk groove, and always wanted to cover it. Tonight was the night that all came together.
The rest of the show went great. All of the playing was locked, and very tight. ‘Freekbass & The Bump Assembly’ is just getting started with this tour for the new album. It felt great starting it off at home, at such a dope venue, and with such a great bunch of musicians. The funk is where I always feel the most comfortable at, and the funk was strong that night…the bumpathon is just getting started…
-Friday,June 27: Empty Glass/ Charleston,WV