Thomas Bucknasty

Blast-O-Funk

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T. Life, the man who produced Thomas Bucknasty's debut album, Blast-O-Funk, is best known for his work with Evelyn "Champagne" King from 1977-1979. But this little-known LP sounds nothing like Life's much sleeker work with King -- Thomas Bucknasty's specialty is hard, tough, gutbucket, horn-driven funk along the lines of the Bar-Kays. This isn't to say that Bucknasty is in a class with those guys -- Bucknasty didn't quite have the killer hooks that funk royalty like Bar-Kays, Parliament/Funkadelic, the Gap Band, Bootsy's Rubber Band, and Rick James boasted. But while the material isn't fantastic, it's decent. When Thomas Bucknasty tears into sweaty, forceful numbers like "Rock Til You Don't Care," "Flashback," and "That's What I'm Hoping Now," you can hear the band's potential. Perhaps if Bucknasty had stayed together long enough, it might have developed into something special. But one can only speculate because the band never recorded a second album. Out of print since the early 1980s, Blast-O-Funk is unlikely to ever be reissued on CD. So if you're a funk collector and come across a copy somewhere, grab it immediately.