Cincinnati honors his musical hometown
By David Sands
December 15, 2015
Freekbass, the man Bootsy Collins calls “the new spiritual warrior for the Funk,” has conjured up a new album brimming with his special blend of funk infused with hip-hop and electronica.
Cincinnati, the name of the new 10-track recording, is a tip of the hat to his Ohio hometown. Freekbass (AKA Chris Sherman) has been a staple of the Cincinnati music scene for decades, playing with the alternative rock band Sleep Theatre in the 1980s and funking it out with SHAG in the 1990s.The bustling rustbelt city has a rich funk legacy that includes Bootsy, the Isley Brothers and King Records.
“Cincinnati is a major part of why I sound like I do, and the reason I am inspired to play music which is why it was an easy choice when it came to naming the album,” Freekbass says.
“I’m asked a lot in interviews outside of Cincinnati if I would be playing music if I grew up somewhere else. I am sure I would, but not sure it would be funk.” he adds. “Since we are not NYC or Los Angeles, I think the funk here had to yell a little louder which is where the Ohio and Cincinnati funk sound came from.”
This time around, the artist has joined forces with Ropeadope Records to release an eclectic collage of inventive funk sounds. Assisting Freekbass—who impressively holds down bass, vocals, keyboards, guitar and harmonica—are his Bump Assembly bandmates: drummer Ken “Big Bamn” Smith, tenor and baritone saxophonist Dan Barger and tenor sax man Jason Burgard.
Keyboardist Itaal Shur also appears on the album, as does vocalist Elise Testone, who placed sixth on the 11th season of American Idol.
While Cincinnati keeps one foot in the funk at all times, Freekbass certainly isn’t afraid to take each song on its own individual journey. “Put It In A Letter,” for example, is a quirky rhythmic funk number that makes strong use of his harmonica skills. But the album also includes songs like the trippy, cybered-out dance track, “Living The Connection,” and the drum-heavy Egyptian-flavored instrumental, “Pharoah.”
Bass lovers should be delighted to hear that Living Colour bassist Doug Wimbish lends his talents to a spacey remix of “Living The Connection,” which also features JME Starchild on keyboards.
Fans interested in seeing Freekbass do his freek thing live can check him out in New Hope, Pennsylvania on Dec. 19 or a series of shows in Florida and Georgia in late December and early January. http://www.freekbass.com/tour/
Cincinnati is available here:
1. Don’t Waste My Time
2. Put It In A Letter
4. Living The Connection
6. You Don’t Have The Time
7. I Know I’ll Get Your Love (Tonight)
9. Up, Up, Up
10. Living The Connection Remix (featuring Doug Wimbish)
Artist: Freekbass & The Bump Assembly
Release Date: December 11, 2015
Label: Ropeadope Records
Freekbass signs with Ropeadope Records
FBPO interview with Freekbass
FBPO interview with Doug Wimbish