BALTIMORE, Md. – On a midsummer’s steamy night in downtown Baltimore, the sweltering asphalt from the “Charm City” streets seemed to reflect the sizzling sounds of one of Augusta’s newest live-music packages.
Aptly named, ‘Funk You,’ this six-piece, self-contained band of talented young maestros, brought their unique brand of Southern eclectic offerings to a town known for producing international jazz, rock and R&B stars. They’re back in Augusta on Saturday, Aug. 12, to play at Sky City. Doors open at 8 p.m. with music at 9 p.m.
In June, Funk You performed at the popular Baltimore venue, 8x10, a spot known for showcasing up-and-coming touring acts. Loaded-up in a 15-passenger van, with a packed trailer filled with their musical tools, the band enjoyed a two-month-long East Coast tour, taking them to various venues away from the comforts of their Southeast homeland. A recent gig at Pittsburgh’s noted James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, provided the band with an appreciative and welcoming new fan-base, according to Funk You co-founder and bandleader Evan Miller.
The key to Funk You’s success has been their ability to maintain a core unit, featuring Miller on guitar, co-founder Gavin Hamilton, vocals; Palmer Owens, percussion and William “Will” Foster on keyboards. Bassist Rob Thompson and the newest member, drummer/vocalist Will Clark, round out the group.
Funk You formed in 2010 after Miller and Hamilton realized their talents “clicked” while performing at various Augusta-area jam sessions. “We decided to get more serious and formed the band,” said Miller, a Columbia County native. The members range in ages from 28 to 32, and attended Augusta-area high schools. Drummer Will Clark was born in Augusta, but raised in Flowery Branch in suburban Atlanta.
Miller credits their manager Allen Roper for helping them reach growing audiences.
“We’ve played Colorado and New York City through his booking help. This fall, we’ll play major festivals in Thornville, Ohio, and Pittsboro, N.C.,” Miller revealed. Future bookings include dates in Chicago, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Philadelphia, Virginia and Baltimore.
Musically, the band is aptly named, considering their appetite for ’60s soul a la The Meters, melted with funky ’70s like Kool &The Gang fused with a taste of Return to Forever’s electric jazz. The group also respectfully realizes the pioneering path forged by Augusta-based artists like the Godfather of Soul, James Brown and more recently, Lady Antebellum.
“As they did, we too would like to ride this train as far as it will go,” said Miller. “Of course we want to be successful on a national level. It’s not an easy task but we’ve learned over the past seven years that hard work does pay off,” he added.
Having already produced a self-titled album in 2012, and their Apparitions LP in 2016, the band plans to release a live recording later this year. For more information about Funk You, access facebook.com/funkyoumusic or website, www.funkyou music.com.