NJ Funk Band Alert: Shimmytang

It’s Friday, and you know what that means: bring on the weekend! I had something planned for today but when I found out that a new Funk band here in the Asbury Park, NJ area was having a record release party, I bumped it and figured I’d let you guys know about them. It’s good to mix it up once and a while, and remember that a lot of these artists that I profile started out a lot like this band. They played music they loved, and 30 to 40 years later, got rediscovered by a certain crowd, and voila!, became popular. I’m gonna predict that this band aren’t gonna have to wait that amount of time to become popular around these parts. Ladies and Gentleman, meet the greasy grooves of Shimmytang.

Shimmytang are a new band as a group, but not as musicians. Based out of Red Bank, NJ these five guys are veterans of the circuit and studio and know how to pick true Funk songs to cover. I haven’t heard a band do as cool as songs as this since the last time I went to a Soul Strut party to DJ in Brooklyn. Before the DJ sets, The Otis Funkmeyer Band played. They were doing covers of “Hicky Burr” and other instrumentals while other bands ideas of covers were merely P-Funk. Not that P-Funk is bad, it’s just that these guys dug deeper. So does Shimmytang. Their choice of music to cover is interesting, and while most people who don’t read his blog might think that they’re originals, those in the know will jump up and give out a big JB “Good God!”. It’s refreshing to see a newer band, doing songs that are number one, good, and number two, a bit obscure. The best thing is that they do them well. They run the gamut from Curtis Mayfield to to Bobby Byrd to Rufus Thomas and then some. My favorite cut is the opening one, a cover of Don Gardner’s “My Baby Likes To Boogaloo”. I was sold from the first note, and the rest really was a no brainer. Shimmytang’s lineup is: Rob Barone (lead vocals, guitar), David Hollander (tenor/baritone saxophone), Jim Liakas (drums, percussion, lead vocals), Chris McKenna (electric piano/ hammond/ clavinet), and John Noll (bass/ backing vocals/ percussion/ additional guitar). In fact, it was recorded at Noll’s Retromedia Studio in Red Bank, NJ. Like I said earlier, it’s definitely a breath of fresh air to listen to their music. I haven’t give anything this much rotation since the Lee Fields record came out. Shimmytang is in good company. If you’re in the area on Saturday night (unfortunately I have to DJ), their record release party will be at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch on Saturday August 1. Learn more about the band here. Hoping to do a show with these guys in the near future. Keep Diggin’!

Buy or download the S/T Shimmytang on Headshop Records here.

One response to “NJ Funk Band Alert: Shimmytang

  1. Pingback: RedBankGreen » BLOCK PARTIES CLOSE OUT SUMMER OF ‘09·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s