On June 11, George Clinton brings his "One Nation Under a Groove" tour to Artpark for a 5:30 p.m. show. Here are five reasons this is one of the summer’s must-see shows.
Clinton’s one of funk’s founding fathers
Know your family trees. In funk, it pretty much goes Ray Charles, James Brown, Sly Stone, George Clinton. You’re never gonna see the first three again. The least you can do is head out to Artpark and gives thanks and praise to the last living funk O.G.
Clinton started out as a doo-wop artist in New Jersey in the 1950s, working with a group called the Parliaments. In the 1960s, he became a staff writer for the Motown label. In the 70s, he hit his stride, forming the ensembles Paliament and Funkadelic beneath the broader P-Funk umbrella, and releasing a string of albums that married his soul roots to the acid blues of Jimi Hendrix, the sardonic social commentary of the Mothers of Invention, the evergreen groove and strut of Sly & the Family Stone, and the interstellar ‘out there-ness’ of Sun Ra and electric Miles Davis.
Along the way, the Parliament-Funkadelic collective gave us such musical luminaries as bassist Bootsy Collins, keyboardist Bernie Worrell and guitarists Eddie Hazel and Michael Hampton. Oh, and shout-out to vocalist Kim Manning, who has stopped in Buffalo for funky throw-downs featuring a litany of serious Buffalo musicians many times over the years.
If you don’t own any P-Funk or Clinton albums, it’s never too late. Start with 1971’s “Maggot Brain,” then proceed directly to 1972’s “America Eats its Young,” 1974’s “Standing on the Verge of Getting It On,” and 1975’s “Mothership Connection.” Then just keep on going, and don’t stop ‘til you get enough.
At 77, he’s still got it
I don’t understand how. But he does. It appears that a close relationship with the funk will keep you young.
P-Funk matters, now more than ever
P-Funk’s influence is all over hip-hop, of both the classic and modern variety.
Any time a rock band tries to get funky, they’re tipping their collective hat to Clinton and P-Funk.
Prince incorporated the P-Funk influence into nearly everything he did.
Kendrick Lamar’s loves ‘em.
Kamassi Washington and ThunderCat and Anderson.Paak and Flying Lotus couldn’t hide their debt to Clinton & Co. if they tried.
The list could go on forever, and hopefully, it will. Suffice it to say that Clinton’s shadow looms large over everything that’s funky.
Fishbone! Miss Velvet & the Blue Wolf!
Clinton knows how to throw a party, and the "One Nation Under a Groove" shindig is no exception to that rule. While, sadly, Galactic has withdrawn from the Artpark bill due to “a band member’s personal matter,” P-Funk and Fishbone (Los Angeles-born punk-funk-soul legends of the first order) and Miss Velvet & the Blue Wolf (Young and burnin’ soul-funk-rock collective hand-picked by Clinton) will all play longer sets to compensate.
This is quite likely your last chance
Clinton is calling this summer’s trek his final go-round. Let’s show him how we say thank you and goodbye, Buffalo-style.
The One Nation Under A Groove Tour
Featuring George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic, Fishbone, Miss Velvet & the Blue Wolf, 5:30 p.m., June 11 at Artpark (450 S. Fourth St., Lewiston). Tickets are $19/$24 - $38/$43.