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MOON VOYAGE RECORDS - FUNKY TO THE BONE–SOMETHING YOU GOT–DON’T LET YOUR MOUTH WRITE NO CHECKS–JOY–COOL BREEZE–DANCE DANCE DANCE–WHAT A DAY–NOBODY KNOWS–SURVIVORS–BIRTHDAY SUIT
As are many of us, Chris Daniels and Freddi Gowdy are survivors, still standing after bouts with cancer. You gotta celebrate life as much as you can, and what better way than thru ten hot slabs of R & B-soaked blues from Chris Daniels and the Kings with Freddi Gowdy, “Funky To The Bone.” Guitarist Chris Daniels has been a staple on the Colorado blues scene, working with The Kings, his horn-fueled backing band, since 1984. Freddi has been rockin’ these blues since the Sixties, and by joining forces with Chris and the Kings makes this set a fine combo of Sam and Dave, Tower Of Power, Al Green, and even a bit of Chicago, and gets your blood pumpin’ and your booty bumpin.’
The party starts with funky guitar and the horns pitchin’ in over Freddi’s vocal to proclaim this set as “Funky To The Bone.” “Joy” has an uplifting, positive, gospel-inflected feel, while “Cool Breeze on a hot summer night” combines Stax soul with contemporary hip-hop. “What A Day” is a fine example of swing-styled blues, with tinkling piano courtesy of Billy Payne, he of Little Feat fame. The set closes with the bump’n’grind tale of Freddi hoping to find his woman ’bout 3 AM, dressed in her “Birthday Suit!”
We had two favorites, too. A clever take on the old soul adage of “talkin’ loud and sayin’ nothin” is Freddi’s reminder, “Don’t Let Your Mouth Write No Checks Your Booty Can’t Cash!” This one is a stone-solid dance floor burner with clever, humorous lyrics. Almost the polar opposite is the poignant “Survivors,” dedicated to all of us who’ve lived thru “the wind and the rain” and everything else life has thrown at us, sending a message of hope thru the power of this song.
Chris Daniels and the Kings featuring Freddi Gowdy and “Funky To The Bone” can be summed up by the phrase on the CD’s back cover art—“Rock and soul, funky blues, and a good time!” We couldn’t have said it better—dig this one with your dancin’ shoes on!! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.
Chris Daniels & the Kings featuring Freddi Gowdy
“Funky To The Bone”
Chris Daniels & the Kings, the emperors of funk in the Rocky Mountain high of Colorado are a fusion somewhere between Ohio Players and KC & The Sunshine Band or the ying and yang of this nation under a groove. These grand master's of Funk ‘n’ Roll were the Sam & Dave meets Tower of Power in they're 1980's prime. Recently band leader Chris Daniels and vocalist Freddi Gowdy have both overcome serious illness and realizing they'd been given a second chance, have reassembled the band and are now ready to get “Funky To The Bone.” The Kings are the complete retro Soul package, the band is kicking with full horn section, back up singers, even the CD looks like vinyl and the booklets uses classic magazine covers. The current Kings are Chris Daniels vocals & guitar, “Bones” Jones on lead guitar, “Bro” Lee bass, Randy Amen drums,“Doody” Abrahamson trumpet, Jim Waddell, alto, tenor sax, flute with Bill Paine of Little Feat on keys and Freddi Gowdy getting with the get down. Jumping in with a strong groove “Funky To The Bone” has a James Gang guitar hook, JB horns, Brides of Funkenstien choir as Freddi gets down deep followed by the P-Funkesque romp of “Don't Let Your Mouth Write No Checks.” Daniels leads the band through the classic Chris Kenner hit “Something You Got” then blows through with a lighter summer fresh “Cool Breeze.” Getting it on with the rock & soul music of “Dance Dance Dance” Paine's fleet fingered organ and the horn lines lead to the strong strut and dueling vocals of “What A Day.” The horns are the hero's of the salsa soul venture “Nobody Knows” and they finish with their own story of “Survivors.” With they're new lease on life, Chris Daniels & the Kings prepare for a European tour and their new CD “Funky To The Bone” may be their ticket to ride. Roger & Margaret White email@example.com
This is a party waiting to happen...and when Chris Daniels and the Kings begin to play you'd best hope that it's an outdoor gig. This band has what it takes to blow the roof off even the largest venue. I dare anyone to fit this band into a box. Their blend of blues, funk, soul, R&B, soulful ballads, a touch of calypso and a hint of gospel vibe for good measure had me wondering what would happen if the Neville Brothers, George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, the Meters and perhaps Delbert McClinton had some massive mix-up in booking and all ended up in the same place. This band is that diverse. Seldom do I hear a band that makes me want to drag this busted up old body to the dance floor, but Chris Daniels and the Kings are that good, and then some. Tight as any band I've ever heard, this band can move from one style to another effortlessly. The musicianship is superb and the arrangements are impeccable. This is one of those albums with a timeless quality...the kind of thing that will never grow old. The more I listen to this, the more I like it...and I loved it the first time through. Put on your dancin' shoes and crank it up. Funky To The Bone is the best description I could imagine for the album. There is something on this album for everyone. If you listen to this one and don't find yourself, at the very least, feeling an urge to dance...don't bother callin' the doctor. -- I am confined to a wheelchair after a fall down 20+ steps after a blues show...stone cold sober. When I heard Funky To he Bone - even I wanted to dance. There are good bands and great bands...this one is exceptional. Bill Wilson
Blues Festival Eguide Segment: APRIL 4, 2015
Chris Daniels & The Kings featuring Freddi Gowdy Funky To The Bone marks the return of Colorado’s first grand master of Funk ‘n’ Roll, Freddi Gowdy, in this “Sam & Dave meets Tower of Power” type of collaboration with Chris Daniels. It’s the first studio album for the Kings in eight years and the first album for Freddi since the Freddi Henchi Band recorded at Caribou Ranch in the 1980s.Two master “soul men” soothe the spirit and invigorate the body with classic funk and blues. Singer, songwriter, guitarist Chris Daniels and singer Freddi Gowdy, the rightful heirs of Sam & Dave, deliver a musical tonic defying passive listening.
New Blues & Soul News – 3/17/2015
By Dave Rogers
Chris Daniels & The Kings – Funky To The Bone (Moon Voyage): This veteran funk & soul band is the latest “generation” of their funk forefathers – The Prophets of Funk – Freddi Henchi and the Soulsetters as they eventually mixed and merged with a jam band led by Chris Daniels. Age and health issues began to thin the ranks over the years, sidelining singer Fred Gowdy and Chris King and sending Henchi to the grave. As Daniels regained his health recovering from leukemia, he reformed the group and they have played about 200 gigs each of the last two years. So, who are they? Chris Daniels (Vox, g), Fred(d) Gowdy (vox), Randy Amen (d, vox), Kevin Lege (vox, b), Colin “Bones” Jones (lead guitar), Jim Waddell (vox, sax), and Darryl Abrahamson (vox, trumpet) supported by several more brass players and vocalists with special keyboard guest Bill Payne (Little Feat). Lots of soulful dance music, much of which is smooth, uptown soul seasoned with some very saucy funk. Old style dance music before the disco took over.
Chris Daniels & the Kings (Featuring Freddi Gowdy): Funky To The Bone (Moon Voyage Records): Stop looking for your next party disc.......this is it! Singer/songwriter/guitarist Daniels, who's fronted the Kings for over 30 years, and singer Gowdy, half of the 60's soul duo Freddi Henchi & the Soulsetters, have collaborated for the best set of old school funk I've heard in years. Wow, this is a fun disc! From the opening cut, a redo of an old Freddi Henchi hit from years ago, to a pair of Rance Allen tracks, to a smoldering take on Chris Kenner's "Something You Got," to a fantastic set of original tunes, this one burns from start to finish, blending blues, funk, and soul as well as it's been done in a long time. Don't miss this one, folks!
Blues Bytes Reviews
No album was more aptly titled than Funky to the Bone, the latest release from the Colorado blues & funk band Chris Daniels & the Kings on Moon Voyage Records. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Daniels has been a part of the Boulder music scene since the mid-80’s, forming the Kings in 1984. Since 2009, the group has also featured singer Freddi Gowdy, who was part of the underrated 60’s soul duo Freddi Henchi and the Soulsetters.
The band’s 16th album is an irresistible mix of blues, funk, soul, and fun. If you can stand still while listening, you should probably seek medical attention. The cast of characters that make up the Kings includes Randy Amen (drums, vocals), Kevin “Bro” Lege (bass, vocals), Colin “Bones” Jones (lead guitar), Jim Waddell (tenor and alto saxes, vocals), and Darryl “Doody” Abrahamson (trumpet, vocals). They are joined by a bevy of guest musicians that include Little Feat’s Billy Payne (keys), Christian Teele (percussion), Darren Kramer (trombone), Bob Rebholz (tenor sax), Carlos Chavez (baritone sax), and vocalists Hazel Miller, Coco Brown, Carl Carwell, and Chris Kimmel.
The title track opens the disc, a remake of an old Soulsetters track that really gets the party started in fine fashion and in a perfect world, this song would be blowing up radios worldwide. A bluesy cover of Chris Kenner’s “Something You Got” is next, and it retains the Crescent City feel of the original. The sassy original “Don’t Let Your Mouth Write No Checks” is loaded with funk to spare and a feisty vocal from Gowdy. The exuberant “Joy” is one of two covers from the pen of R&B/Gospel legend Rance Allen (the other is the swinging “What a Day”), and is punctuated by a strong sax break from Waddell.
“Cool Breeze” feels a lot like a classic Tower of Power track from the 70’s with it’s jazzy backdrop, but also includes a bit of hip hop with a rap (courtesy of Gowdy and Waddell) mixed in, and “Dance Dance Dance” should make you do just that if you have a pulse at all. The Latin-flavored “Nobody Knows” brings Santana to mind with the percussion work of Teele and Jones’ lead guitar. The ballad “Survivors” is especially poignant and inspirational because Daniels and Gowdy are both cancer survivors. The saucy blues shuffle “Birthday Suit” closes things out on a high note.
There’s a whole lot to like about Funky to the Bone. It’s loaded from top to bottom with seriously funky blues and R&B. If you’ve been looking for a new album for your next party, look no further……here it is! Chris Daniels & the Kings, with a big hand from Freddi Gowdy, have just what you’re looking for.