Trouble Funk

All the Way Live

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Charter members of the Washington, D.C. go-go scene, Trouble Funk were formed all the way back in 1978. Heavily influenced by Parilament/Funkadelic and the West Coast funk sound, the group, and go-go in general, forged a new funk for a new generation. Sadly, go-go was overshadowed by hip-hop and never caught on nationally. This raucous live album, from an undetermined date, proves that it could have, showcasing Trouble Funk at their fluid, unstoppable best. Featuring Ralph Reed's chanted vocals, with a decidedly Southern harmonic edge, an ornately complex but entirely on-the-floor percussion section, judicious, spacey keyboards, brass punctuation, and the essential funky bass, Trouble Funk's sound is classic yet contemporary, fundamental funk yet imaginatively out there. That's the sound -- the concert is something else. In a word, joyous. Two words, supremely beautiful. The audience knows all the call and response parts and talk, shout, and scream throughout the entire recording. It sounds like ground zero of the best party you've never been to. The band move seamlessly from one song to another, the groove changes entirely without anyone noticing, and then all of sudden you're conscious that it's a completely new, fully articulated melody, rhythm, and hook (and the hooks are so fine). Unfortunately, the recording fades out several times, apparently to fit the show onto an audio CD, which mars the marvelous continuity of the show. Either this or the 1997 album Live is an excellent acquisition.

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