The Fatback Band
Gerry Thomas Keyboards and vocals with Paul Alexander June, Summer 2004 Soultrain Bristol
Last year (2005) in London while we were on tour, my friend Julian from the group "Bah Samba" came out with us for a while (By the way Bah Samba recorded on our old tune,"Let The Drum speak". Check out their website, www.bahsamba.co.uk), and we came up with the idea of doing something together in the studio. We went in between shows while we were at Jazz Café and cut two tunes. This is the first one out .Check it out at http://www.billcurtismusic.com/music.html ! This is a life time dream to record with a Samba kinda funk group, not the kind of funk you think of but a Latin take of a funk tune. This is mixture of Fatback members and the Bah Samba group. Tell me how you like it, give me your feedback. Should we do some more? Tell your friends to go and buy one. We're lining up our tour for May in the UK, so get ready to get funky. We have an all new show just for you, and stay tuned for a few more bonuses to come later. Tell your friends to sign in on the Fatback website, so that they too can be the first to hear a Fatback demo!
Formed in the USA in the 1970s, The Fatback Band initially comprised of Bill Curtis (drums), Gerry Thomas on keyboard, George Williams (trumpet), Johnny King (guitar), Johnny Flippin (bass), Earl Shelton (saxophone) and George Adam (flute).
They released their first album in 1971 entitled Let's Do It Again.
More recently the Fatbacks have found a new reneissance in Europe in recent years and now regularily tour over here. In the years 2002 and 2004 Soultrain hosted two live concerts with many of the bands original members Bill Curtis (drums), Gerry Thomas (keyboard), Johnny King on guitar, George Williams on trumpet, John Flippin bassist. In addition the Fatbacks also headlined the dance tent at Glastonbury 2004 with Soultrain and 10,000 + funksters.
The Fatbacks: in a time where many of the originators of the early funk n soul acts from the past seem to be fading fast the Fatbacks still hang tight with many of its founding members still on board and keeping the funk alive.
Chosen because Fatback is as much about partying and having fun as about music, listen to tracks such as wicky wacky, Backstrokin' or Do the bus stop - you can imagine smiling happy faces, nodding heads & feet tapping to the rythm, you just gotta shake your butt on down to the funky grooves - you've got that Fatback feeling !
Founded by Bill (Hi-hat)Curtis, the funkiest drummer on the planet, Gerry Thomas on keyboard joined from The Jimmy Castor Bunch, in the early seventies, Fatback must be one of the funk history's best kept secrets. The Fatback Band started out on Bill Curtis' privately owned independent label Fatback records, but was transferred to New York's Perception Records in 1972 due to cash problems before movin on to Polydor/Spring. The Fatback band was quickly well known by funk insiders for the typical funktified crush grooves from Bill Curtis. Often based on a almost minimalistic but raw, deep and heavy kick drum, accompanied by heavy off beat hi-hat ride patterns, the Fatback grooves were slick and infectious. Added to this are almost humouristic lyrics and party crowd background sounds to accentuate the all over party dancegroove feeling. In Bill Curtis' own words: "My music was party music. I wanted the people to get the feeling of the music as a party. I wanted always to feel like it was recorded live in some place. That's why we have that kind of sound" . Wow, was he right !
Fatback produced almost 20 albums from 1972 to 1989. Remarkably the band hung together to keep it real over three decades . From the early seventies funk, via late seventies disco, to early eighties rap and the more sophisticated eighties funk, one could always easily recognize a Fatback record. They hit the charts on both sides of the atlantic with consistency and regularity. In the Uk they had eleven chart entries with I found lovin becoming a hit not once , but three times, with DJ Steve Walsh taking this anthem with his call and response into the national charts in the 80's as a landmark of the 80's soul week-enders.
So where do you start discovering the Fatback band ? Well here is a series of absolutely essential Fatback tracks, handpicked with love by the Soultrain dj's who held it all down at Glastonbury with the Fatbacks and 10,000+ funksters check out 'Njyra Walk', 'Street Dance', 'Bus Stop', 'I found Lovin', 'Wicky Wacky', 'Spanish Hustle', 'Backstrockin', 'I Like Girls', 'Yum Yum (give me some)' and 'keep on steppin' to name just a few. Not forgetting the often overlooked 'King Tim 111', considered by many to be the first ever rap record single - Fatback the original rap artists.
Enjoy the exceptional Fatback music, where music is funk filled. Quite remarkable in the context of todays serious inpersonal money driven music business. Fatback line up includes Bill Curtis (drums), Gerry Thomas (keyboard), Johnny King on guitar, George Williams on trumpet, John Flippin bassist.
In all there's about 35 albulm releases over the years.
Here is the essential Fatback discography.
1972 Keep on steppin'
1975 Raising hell
1975 Yum yum
1976 Night fever
1977 Man with band
1978 Fired up 'n' kickin'
1979 Brite lites big city
1980 Hot box
1980 14 Karat
1981 Tasty jam
1982 With love
1982 On the floor
1983 Is this the future
1985 So Delicious
1989 Funk Masters
For all your back catalogue record needs contact Ace Records on Tel: 02084531311
The official website is www.fatbackband.com
Info at Musicmatch www.mmguide.musicmatch.com
Info at MP3 www.mp3.com
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Some content on this page has been reproduced with the kind permission of The Fatbacks.