Everything doesnt fall in to nice neat categories.
For all of our discussion about FUNK being the by product of Black empowerment/pride of the 1970s an undeniable fact is that some of the baddest FUNK acts are white. What do you think ?
A few examples:

- AWB
- Wild Cherry
- Edgar Winter Group
- John McLughlin
- Bob James
- Rickie Lee Jones
- Candy Dulfer
- Talking Heads
- Duran Duran
- Art Of Noise
- Dr. John
Can you think of any others ?

"play that funky music....."


Subject: WHITE FUNK


  • Dr. John is funk? Hmm, that's interesting. I've always thought of him as this sort of New Orleans bluesman of some kind. I'd think of him closer to The Neville Brothers or Amos Garrett than Funkadelic or Wild Cherry (though I'm basing my knowledge of Wild Cherry solely on Play That Funky
    Music White Boy).


  • It kinda bugs me when Talking Heads are called a "funk" band --like George Clinton calls them "P-Funk for white people"--because it seems to indicate that they were merely trying to emulate black music. And they were so much more than that.
    R&B and funk weren't their only influences.
    Please don't take this as a flame. You've just touched on one of my big personal peeves, Talking Heads being a huge favorite of mine, a band which I think doesn't get all the credit they deserve for being such an innovative band.
    That said, I do think that T-Heads easily fall into your own broad definition of "funk" in that they embraced all kinds of musical styles. T-Heads were certainly funky people! Mike


  • No flame taken at all. As you already know I am also a big Talking Heads fan. My introduction to them was back in 79' via a punk rocker friend of mine. It was only thru extended listening that I figured out that they were indeed FUNKY as well (& this was long before they ever got hooked up with
    Bernie Worrell !!)
    For example their rendition of "Take Me To The River" beats Al Green's in my opinion.
    I think that part of the problem here lies in some of the assumptions that people tend to make about others based on......race (& we all know what kind of trouble "ass-me-ing"
    can get one in to).......lol

    I can remember that when AWB first hit the scene that there were some Black people who were actually mad about it !!


  • In my opinion "Right Place Wrong Time" is one of the FUNKYIEST grooves ever. Aren't some of the Meters playing behind Dr. John on that one ??

    "Right Place/Wrong Time" = the story of my life......lol


  • Brecker Brothers have got to make the list.

    And Steve Cropper.
    And I'll give a nod to some of Robert Palmer's 70's stuff,
    particularly Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley.


  • You are right on the money with the Brecker Brothers. They were a staple on the old WRVR-FM in NY back in the day. Now Steve Cropper begs a question that I have thought about but never asked....I wonder if anyone here would consider Booker T. & the MG's to be soul, funk or both ?


  • Robert Palmer I would definitely consider funky. Not all the time, of course, but "Fleshwound" off of "RIPTIDE" is still a classic, as well as his cover of "You Are In My System" (which I feel is better than the original).
    When I went back to Hawaii in 86 or 89, I saw Robert Palmer live at Andrews Amphitheatre performing in the summer, under the Hawaiian sun, in his suit. He didn't take off his jacket until the middle of the set and he was still very smooth.
    It reminded me of those old films of R&B singers where they just worked it until he couldn't work it any more. Palmer showed much class during that show, and I remember it for a lot of reasons, especially for the hippie who danced around the ENTIRE amphitheater a number of times.
    I think he may have ran a half marathon that afternoon.


    -... just another fleshwound


  • Although Robert Palmer seems to be more famous for his covers than for his originals, I would have to say that he has got the Funk as well.
    What do you all think about "Little Steven" ?

    (I have never played "Sun City"....:)


  • I've seen Van Zandt's last two bands and I never thought of them as particularly funky; I think Little Steven is much more heavily influenced by pre-funk R&B. His second band had a very reggae feel to it, too.
    Wasn't Dino Danelli the drummer for the Disciples of Soul?

    Make my funk the pre-funk...


  • I suppose that I was really just refering to "Sun City", which I happen to have on cassette. "Sun City" had an all star lineup, that included eveyone from Miles, George Clinton, Run-DMC, Peter Gabriel, Gil Scot-Heron, etc and of course Little Steven himself.
    It gives us some real clues as to what might have happened to FUNK had some of the things For that alone I would have to include Little Steven on this list.

    He gave us perhaps the FUNKIEST jam of the 80's !!! ....& he did it on a totally positive tip, bringing Blacks & Whites together on a wide scale in a way that we haven't seen since in pop music !!

    "it's the universal sound...everybody get down" !!


  • I'll take a current act: Jamiroquai. I tolerated Jason Kay for the first two records. But about a year ago they did a live show here that was amazing. Then, on the heels of that they went into the studio and recorded Travelling Without Moving, by far their best recording. Then they hit the road again. All that time together has made them into a killer band. Their "Hollywood Swingin'" beats Kool and the Gang.


  • Believe it are not Dr. John is very funky.

    Free1's Mind---A louisana stump jumper


  • Hey this was the first 45 I ever brought was "Sneakin up behind you/ Sponge(flip side)" Also what about Steely Dan, the AJA album was super funky to me.


  • I liked Jetho Tull's sound also the only one of the beatles that actually had talent Paul McCarty and wings.Also what about the Police and sting, Bob welsh,Boz scaggs and dirty low dirty.

    Then there's the british funk like ABC,Art of noise,etc. And what a the band Muscle shoals they were bigtime funky.


  • Hey what ever happened to Redbone-Come and get your love??


  • I dunno what happened to Redbone.......but you are on the money "Come & Get Your Love" was slammin !!
    (uhhhh weren't they Native American ??)


  • Steely Dan.........yup yup.........very FUNKY at times although sometimes their stuff sounded kinda boring to me !!

    Did Rickey ever find that number ???.......lol


  • Yo.....Boz Scags was on time.....on "Low Down" ...very FUNKY cut indeed !!!

    I disagree with you about Paul McCartney he is "devoid of funk"......:)


  • Ok sorry about paul Mccarty(LOL) I guess I got carried away. But what about Foghat and Slow Ride the extended version, it had a slammin bass solo at the end of the song. And about Steely Dan,I meant after that rickey number stuff, I'm talking about the AJA album with Josie,Peg etc..

    Hey anybody ever heard of a group called "Robicon" from the bay area of cali,they were super funky.And the dobbie bros and three dog night were tough also.


  • How about Kokomo, Cold Blood, and some of Chigago"s work?
    Tina Marie, David Bowie, Elvin Bishop, Steve Winwood, Brian Auger, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Simply Red, The Clash, Steve Miller?


  • Rubicon? Did this band release an album on 20th Century Fox Records? Didn't they have a guitarist named Brad Gillis?
    That guy went on to be one of many who filled Randy Rhoads shoes (he's on the Speak Of The Devil live album) in Ozzy Osbourne's band! He also played with Night Ranger! Remember Sister Christian? Brad played the guitar solo on that song! He was a super tasty guitarist, I'll tell ya!

    Steely Dan were awesome on Aja! I prefer to think of them as more jazzy than funk, though. This is in regards to the chord progression, the horns (listen to Deacon Blues), lengthy solos on guitar, saxophone, etc. Great band!
    May you never thirst!



  • 1. Lydya Pense - "Cold Blood" - very STANK.......whew ! I haven't heard them in years !!!
    Is she still around ? I would love to hear her stuff again. She was very similar to Janis Joplin but her band was much funkier
    2. Radio Clash - one of my favorites
    I Loved the video for "Radio Clash" !!!


  • Hey I like Elvin Bishop,is it true that " He ain't good looking but he sure can play"Ö.lol
    Also A lot of Teena Marie's old tracks are being released.


  • I only had one Rubicon album,and I can't even name it.I remember is this band of Don Korseher's.They were super funky and had a slamming bass player.

    And Steely Dan had like a west coast kindafunk about them,rather mellow laid back.But the Aja album had a couple of slamming jams on it,like josie, and peg.Also did the brecker bros play with them earlier in there careers?


  • Caught AWB at the House of Blues in Chicago. It was really great. They have some new stuff. I currently can't remember the new CD (I was a little inebriated and high on the fantastic music) but the tracks they played sounded pretty good. Its amazing the diverse crowd AWB attracted.
    Folks from Sinbad to Tony Kukoc (Croation Sensation--- Chicago Bulls!) It was one big PARTY. Be sure to catch them if they are in your neck of the woods. Its well worth it!!


  • Yes, Steely Dan. Funky...how about -Katy Lied--tune--"Daddy Don't live in that New York City
    anymore". Now that's funky,IMO..."'Lucy still drinks her rum and coke and sits all alone cuz her Daddy can't cum"..BTW, I saw Dr.John live several times live recently and he is sooooo funky.-


  • Be careful about selling Lennon short on talent. "Come Together, lots of tunes off the white album are pure Lennon i.e., Dear Prudence, Everybodies got something to hide (except for me and my Monkey), etc. But that's my 2cents . If ya dig Mccartney-that's OK.-


  • I knew somebody would check me on this LOL. I realized what a great sin I had committed when I submitted the reply. LOL

    Iím Not as quick on the trigger as I used to be. lol


  • White funk--Average White Band.-Jim and I didn't mean that Lennon could get real funky, but he was 1st rate rocker,IMO.


  • I alwys thought that "Instant Karma" had a little FUNK thing going on in there !!

    "Who on earth ya think you are.... a superstar well right you are....Well we all shine on..."


  • It all sounds like my kind of party !!......I saw AWB years ago back in the day & they were slammin then...how did their new material sound ??
    Have they updated thier sound or is the new material similar to their old stuff ?


  • How about -Tommorrow Never knows"(the Beatles/Lennon). I'd of luved Hendrix covering that. That would be perfection,but he's need Mitchell on drums. Better yet charlie Watts,IMO. ....".relax and float down stream..".
    that would fit in on -axis bold as love" quite nicely, IMO. good thoughts


  • Hey answer this, what albums did the Brecker Bros and David Sanborn appear on with Steely Dan??


  • Hey what are they Jamming over in France nowadays??


  • I agree with you on Charie Watts ....great drummer !!....he seems to have never really gotten his props and is somehow lost in the whole Jaggar/Richards madness !!
    Speaking of the Stones, what do yall think of the jams "Terrifying" & "Rock and a Hard Place" from the "Steel Wheels" album ?? Both pretty funky if ya ask me !!


  • Royal scam?-Jim


  • Man, it's something I didn't really make a effort to check out while I was in France. I heard some kind of(pop) ska/reggae on the streets w/ french lyrics(blasting from car radios).I read generally they feel rock n'roll is too simplistic music. . Sorry I can't elaborate on their music scene/sound more. Great people though. Don't believe it,when folks say French are arrogant and don't like Americans. Went to visit jim morrisonís grave. Fool that he was to checkout early. i saw the Doors live in hawaii(Oahu) circa 1970.-


  • I never listened to Steel Wheels" that I can recall. I saw that dome cinematic concert a few years ago(forget the title). What do you think about my theory I mentioned re: Steve Miller taking some of his vocal phrasing from (jazz musician )Chet Baker? i know Miller said on -"born 2 B Blue" CD that he dug Baker. I don't know where the late Tim davis (group he came out of ?) but he added some good tunes to early Steve Miller i.e., "Can't you hear Your daddy's Heartbeat"(Brave New World)Davis' -Hot Chili"
    is fun, and his 'Tokin's"(# 5-LP). a good drummer and vocalist also. I'm glad the kids dig Miller's -Greatest hits '78, but his early stuff 1968-to pre -the Joker" is of high calibre,IMo. His Lp's w/ boz scaggs(1st 2 LP's) are very good.
    Recall the Beginning..a journey from eden" is underated,IMO. He has the blues credentials/dues down. He loved Mahalia Jackson and Junior Parker. It's arguable that his vocals are a bit too sweet and lack conviction at times, but as a musician he's shrewd craftsman. Perhaps not so much a innovator, but he has moved me. What do you think re: Miller?
    In fact, I heard Boz Scaggs latest title track on the radio in England. I still prefer -lowdown; etc. I've not
    bothered w/ the Stones since that Lp w/ Harlem Shuffle. And that was marginal. I've seen Mick Taylor solo live few times w/i the past 5 years in small clubs. He's professional and he's quite good on slide guitar and when warmed up on jazzier tunes can improvize and dazzle. not much of a vocalist. He's big on Albert King covers.
    The Rolling Stones have to prove themselves to me. .
    Perhaps i'll give Steel Wheels -a try sometime soon. Me, i'll take -Let it bleed, Beggars Banquet, Sticky Fingers. Now Hendrix (if he'd lived ) would of tore up "Can't You hear me knockin', and -Tumblin' dice".-

  • White funk/R&B. how about boz scaggs, Tommy Bolin circa Private Eyes, early- Traffic , Hall & Oates, Todd Rundgren,(the latter 2 actually Philly soul), Michael Bloomfield/Electric Flag. -Jim


  • I agree with all of your selctions......Todd Rundgren especially the author of "Hello It's Me" later covered by the Isleys !!
    "Thought about us for a long, long time....."

    (Iím reaching for a Traffic CD now !! )


  • Bob: I always dug Edgar Winter and the white trash-(Roadwork LP) cover of Stevie Wonder tune "Do Yourself a favor".
    However, Johnny Winter is the greater talent,IMO. Wish he'd do some touring- saw him back in 1973. Remember he did some very good Little Richard covers i.e., Miss ann" off "Second Winter"LP. Not real funky,but subtle. -
    His later alligator LP's include a killer LP w/ a cover of -Trick Bag" by E. King.
    "I'm her pa, and you ain't nothin' but a son in-law.."


  • Traffic was a jamming band, and I saw Hall&Oates in Austin TX in 84,man they jammed. This jam called "Your Outta Touch" was a slamming jam. They rocked the house on that song.


  • Traffic's-John Barley Corn must Die"LP has some very subtle hybrid funk if you will. "Freedom Rider".-
    I also enjoy the-Subdudes.


  • Interesting you reaching for a Traffic CD tonight. Which one? Why? Because to me out of all the white musicians Hendrix recorded w/ for whatever reason Steve Winwood, Dave Mason,& Cris wood were used on various studio recordings circa Electric Ladyland up until 1970 to a good effect,IMO(
    if i'm not mistaken?). -


  • I pulled out "Low Spark Of The High Heeled Boys". A great album.


  • I dig the tune-Method of Modern Love" by Hall and Oates. I can't say enough about Traffic. I wished I'd seen them live.
    But never got the chance. -


  • I'll even go further.....Traffic was one of the early Jazz-Funk bands and fronted by the GREAT soul singer Steve Winwood they were really on the money !!
    Don't forget about the album "The Low Spark Of The High Heeled Boys" .....how about Culture Club, Duran Duran & George Michael ?



  • Bob: i'd only put George Michael in the league of Steve Wimwood. I was reading liner notes to Hendrix-Voodoo Soup" and Eddie Kramer recalled that Cox started playing the bass line to spencer Davis "Gimmie Some loving" and after 3 minutes Hendrix started playing a beautiful melody and _Pali
    Gap" came together. "I do enjoy Traffic's-Low S.O.H.h.Boys".
    Reebop Kwaku Baah gets funky. MCA ommitted -Dolly Dagger" on-Voodoo Soup" CD. Go figure and instead put lesser tunes such as -Peace in mississippi, Midnight",IMO. The liner notes even quote Cox as saying -Ezy Rider-and -Dolly Dagger-were the most complex songs. I'll have to get -rising
    Sun' CD even though I have Dolly dagger -from vinyl.-


  • Hey about 10 yrs ago there were rumors on traffic getting back together,this rumor came out after Steve Winwood's success in the late 80's. I guess it was just a rumor huh?


  • I think just rumors.Winwood doesn't need the money. Chris Wood has passed away. I could see Mason,Rebop, Winwood, Capaldi reuniting for a benefit they mutually agreed/worthy.Capaldi put out some interesting solo lP's and did better than solo Mason lP's,IMO. Traffic-was a very good
    band for its time. If I put ya on the spot -what's your #1 fave white funk group? enjoy-


  • Steve Winwood's -self titled solo LP/1977 is very underated,IMO. "time Is Running Out" etc.is very strong. For all his 80's commercial success, I still enjoy the above CD alot! enjoy. -


  • Nothing wrong with white funK! Music has the capability of crossing many barriers. Race is one of them.
    Michael Franks is one of my favorite artist. I have been listening to him for years....


  • :....."if they granted you one last wish, would you ask for something like another chance...or take me for a ride...".
    I'm glad Winwood got different lyricists throughout his career. Because I appreciate good lyrics.
    Indeed,L.O.H.Boys " is very strong. -


  • I have seen the LP by Winwood that you are refering to, but
    I have never heard it.....:(
    What would you compare it to in terms of sound & style ?


  • (Nothing wrong with white funk! Music has the capability of crossing many barriers. Race is one of them.)

    Amen on the good words !!! ....Now as far as Michael Franks being "FUNKY"...hmmmmmm I'll have to think on that, ."Panama Canal"..yeah on second thought I'll accept him a FUNK..:)


  • In many ways you could say that Steve Winwood is a "prototype" for "white funkateers".

    "Gimmie Gimme some a lovin......"


  • Very sparced down insruments and production. More simplistic arrangements and good bass as usual to get the grooves down on up tempo songs(very soulful). confident vocals lots of instrumental soloing on keyboards(not so much guitar) and first rate lyrics."Vacant chair" is a killer slow song. Try and find the Lp used and check it out,even though it's on CD. It's a tad stronger than -Low Spark O.H.Boys", IMo. Good stuff! enjoy. -


  • I dig all Winwood because I feel he is true original and a innovator. He over did it for me on -Roll with It ' CDre:his attempts @ funk. But that's arguable. I can't think of anyone who's a better candidate for proto type -white funk- musician.
    Joe Cocker had a great voice in the late 60's /early 70's, but his output has not been as consistent as Winwood ,IMO. also, Winwood can write great songs, play about every instrument (like AFKAP) and has a distinct voice/styling. And he's put out music(stood the test of time) since 1967.
    Hence, I totally agree w/ your assessment re: Winwood. He's had a knack of teaming up w/ very good lyricists,IMO. -


  • Nowhere close to the league of Winwood but in their heyday-Three Dog night' had some clever covers of tasteful tunes, that were soulful,IMO. -


  • I read that Winwood is coming out w/ a new CD in early June and will be touring. I've never seen him live. Looks like this should be my chance. Enjoy
    . ....."time is running out".... off-Steve Winwood/1977.


  • That sounds great to me.....I haven't seen Steve Winwood in concert either, I'd love to check him out.


  • I remember Three Dog Night quite well....major hit makers & interpreters of the music of Laura Nyro !!!

    "Eli's Coming better hide your heart girl......"


  • I've seen Clapton in concert(who is in the same league as Winwood,IMO),ditto re: Jeff Beck,Led Zep in concert. In fact,although knowhere close to white funk-Blind Faith" did kick out the jams,w/ Winwood dominating,IMO. Hence, I need to see Winwood in concert. So, having mentioned all these artists/groups who is your all time fave white funk artist/group? just curious. -



  • If you have the Real Audio plug in, you can listen to the NPR Fresh Air interview with Nile Rodgers of Chic. He addresses the Queen/Good Times situation about five minutes into the show.
    There are also interviews with Gladys Knight and the Skatalites available from the site:
    http://whyy.org/freshair/BOFA/BOFA_audio.html

    The Chic show is near the bottom of the page, on 8/30/96.


  • I know that others may disagree, but for me the best in "white funk" is represented by the "conglomerate":

    AWB/Passport/Brian Augar







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