Summer Camp has had so many artist grace their stage over the years, that if you go to any show chancres are the majority of them have played Summer Camp. While the headliners Juno What have yet to play SCamp both Euforquetra and Bernie Worrell have made the trip. My jam-packed weekend of music began with Juno What?!’s headlining show at Cervantes with famed funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell. Much of what Worrell pioneered throughout his career with Parliament and to a lesser extent the Talking Heads is the basis for what bands like Juno What?! are doing today. So it made sense to toss them together in a live setting. Up first was Fort Collins based Euforquestra who continues to impress audiences up and down the Front Rage. Euforquestra continues to be one of my favorite shows to see live, they are a danceable journey into the abyss of world funk. Their sound is so undeniably eclectic and inviting I challenge anyone to see them and not have a good time. Here is their setlist from their hour and half onstage.
SET I: Backbone, Price Is Right, Hopscotch, Ogun, MOMO, Soup, Reggaemylitis, Road Funk, Hang Ups, 2007, Free> Pure> Excuse O> Free, What Cha Want
This set has it all including a sick version of Peter Tosh’s Reggaemylitis with Grundstad on vocals. Mike Tallman has to be one of the most underrated guitarists playing around Denver these days. He quite simply shreds with amazingly smooth finger work. The Free sandwich shows how tight they have become during their time inc Colorado, but the highlight of the show had to be their tribute to the late, great Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys. Also known as MCA, his passing is a huge loss to the hiphop community. The Euforquestra boys thought it was appropriate to honor him with a cover of What Cha Want. They invited three MCs to the stage and busted out a compelling close to their set.
Juno What?! is an electro-funk outfit made up of Joey Porter and Steve Watkins on keys, and Dave Watts on drums. The lineup is unusual to say the least consisting of totally rhythmic instrumentation, however, the band is often joined by friends to help fill out their sound. On this particular evening those friends were many, most importantly famed funk innovator Bernie Worrell, as well as members of The Motet and Euforquestra. The night’s theme as an all out dance party continued strong when Juno What?! opened with their now classic Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get with Joey on the talk box. It just set the mood for the entire night as the kids on the floor started their two and a half-hour boogie marathon. They were soon joined by Bernie who fit into their sound like a well-worn glove. Watching Mr. Worrell at the keys is simply spellbinding. There is just something indescribable about seeing such a leading light in the world of funk performing right before your eyes. His weathered hands stroke the keys with amazing comfort. It’s like seeing an old married couple still experiencing love after many years of wedded bliss. Highlights included a rowdy We Want The Funk and a sick “Red Hot Momma.” Seeing Porter play with one of his heroes was the icing on the cake. It was a great night of fun for everyone in attendance. I hope we can all do it again some time.
Juno What?! graciously offers up their recordings for free download here. http://junowhat.net/multi-media/about/