Funk means many things to many people, and while religious funkaholics place Sly and the Family Stone, the Ohio Players, and Parliament Funkadelic high on the alter, heretics differ. Rock Candy Funk Party’s second studio album asks that you lighten up and get groovin’.
Groove Is King cleverly draws upon ’70s TV funk tropes and enlists Mr. Funkadamus, a.k.a. Billy Gibbons, as your tour guide.
Aside from some well-done rock fusion and EDM, this album delivers shameless ’70s disco, and nostalgic cheese heard in music from vintage cop shows like “CHiPs,” “Starsky & Hutch,” and “Magnum, P.I.” There’s also a smidgeon of vintage Bob James going on, offering the kind of grooves that crave long-form soloing. Tal Bergman, Ron DeJesus, Mike Merritt, Renato Neto, and Daniel Sadownick get it on like seasoned session pros.
Joe Bonamassa does not disappoint, displaying a tasteful use of effects, while wailing masterfully with rock-fusion fluency. Randy Brecker’s horn arrangements are absolutely killin’.
Highlights include “Don’t Funk With Me,” “Uber Station,” and “Cube’s Brick.” These guys are having a blast. Who wouldn’t enjoy playing original material reminiscent of the theme music from “Barney Miller?”
This article originally appeared in VG‘s January ’16 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.