Mary Frances, keyboardist and singer with North Carolina-based Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, admits her band’s name does get some attention.
“That can be a good thing or a bad thing,” Frances said.
“But I’ve had people tell me they gave us a try because of our name, came to a show and had a blast, she said.
“That’s what we hope for. To share an experience with people, and to have a good time. We back up our name with our music. The name fits us.”
The (abbreviated-ly-known) Booty Band is at the heart of a burgeoning scene of young funk outfits.
Frances told The Beat her band is inspired by the obvious funk classics such as Parliament/Funkadelic, The Ohio Players and James Brown, and alternate takes on the genre a la the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
But the classically-trained pianist suggested her band draws on a variety of influences from jazz to hip-hop.
“You learn from the past and you try to carry that on, but we’re not just trying to recreate something that’s been done,” Frances said.
“Our band has always done originals. We were founded on and pride ourselves on writing our own songs.”
Last year’s Onward! was the band’s fourth record overall and second featuring its current lineup.
Each of the eight tunes is likely to induce dancing and singing and movin’ to the groovin.’
The first single, Trunk Fallin’ Off, is a classic-style jam that also pays tribute to old-school rap. The record also features the psychedelic jam Let Me In featuring sweet horn parts, the groovy Ante Up and trippy jam The Den.
“The songs come from a variety of places,” Frances explanined.
“Sometimes we’ll just start with a horn line or a keyboard line or a riff, but there are times when I’ve had a dream and I wake up with a whole song.
“We’ve written from sound check jams, too. The Den was written from a sound check at a place called The Den.”
The band’s busy touring schedule means plenty of sound checks, too. In recent years, most locations have been repeat stops, as the band has expanded its presence throughout the country.
“We love revisiting places, seeing friends we’ve made, faces we recognize and meeting new people, learning new things about the cities we play,” Frances said.
“We’re just trying to keep the funk going.”
Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band will play Brothers Drake Meadery on Saturday, Feb. 1. There is a $5 cover charge. Visit brothersdrake.com.