The Detour @ Holy Mountain – Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles, Ghost-Note, Mark Letteiri Trio (members of Snarky Puppy)
Tonight was a night filled with syncopated rhythms, odd time signatures, and tasty funk grooves! Austin was fortunate enough to be graced with the presence of many members of the grammy winning fusion band Snarky Puppy.
Mark Letteiri Trio.
Mark Letteiri Trio
Their sound is a bit of funk fusion with nicely jazzed up chords and deep cutting grooves. Mark’s lyrical guitar licks took center stage. He has a wide range of dynamics in his solos including lightly muted plucks, volume pedal chord swells and soaring delay filled leads.
The group melded together very well and I found myself very impressed with the bass skills of Wes Stephenson. While watching his very tight slaps and self-harmonized playing I noticed how tight they all grooved together.
I particularly enjoyed their rendition of Everybody wants to rule the World. Probably because I’m a sucker for 80s cover songs…
However, I really enjoyed their original fusion songs that had mixed time signatures with odd rhythms.
I didn’t know what to expect from this group, but they turned out to be one of my FAVORITE live bands in recent years.
Ghost-Note is comprised solely of drummers. Now, you might think this could get messy and lack melody… and if these were your normal, every-day drum circle players you’d be right.HOWEVER not only are these drummers all extremely talented on their own, but they each understand the importance of each adding to the groove. Two of the members are even brothers!
Their musical compositions utilize each member as a part of the bigger groove. It’s essentially orchestrated percussion in a funky groove setting. What the audience is left with is a delicious funk stew of syncopated rhythms, mixed time signatures, and infectious calculated grooves.
Each precisely timed flam and percussion hit had it’s place in what became incredible beats!
One of the drummers even played a xylophone synthesizer hooked up to a sampler. This added even more to their fresh take on funk. At one point Nick used it to trigger samples from a Beastie Boys Ch-Check it out. Playing four samples at once with mallets blew everyone’s mind!
It is this kind of unique approach to making music that I appreciate the most. You can picture Nick Werth in a practice room somewhere for weeks practicing routines like this. In fact, it is fun to picture all these drummers in a room meticulously choosing which aspect of the groove they will fill in as it evolves.
Many of their pieces had time signatures like 8+2 with heavy syncopation, but they always managed to make them groove in a way that didn’t feel forced. Some of their pieces had a very distinct jungle like groove.
Here is a clip with a few quick recordings of their jams. You really must hear this band! I look forward to their upcoming album release in a few months 🙂
Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles
This band was more of a classic funk sound. Rhodes keyboards, moog synths, drumkit, and percussion all combined into one funky groove. This was a bit too straightforward for my tastes. Perhaps it was because Ghost-Notes went so outside the box with their compositions and rhythms that I wanted that vibe to continue.
Still, they had a great stage presence and sound if you are into a more traditional funk style. They mostly took turns soloing with some outside playing over a quickly established groove. Cory did a very interesting solo rendition of Giant Steps that I enjoyed.
Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles,
Overall, it was one funky evening filled with countless inspirational grooves and unique ideas! Kudos to all the bands and the full venue of fans who made it such a fun experience.
The only complaint I can make is that it was so crowded that there wasn’t more room on the dance floor to dance to the bad ass funk grooves!
Written by: Aaron Isles
Photos by: Aaron Isles
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