Album Review

Marvelous Funkshun, Marvelous Funkshun – Live at Ziggy’s

Written by Elise Olmstead

Visit the band website

Marvelous Funkshun, or “The Funkshun,” as fans like to call them, released their first album Live at Ziggy’s in February 2016, and we’re glad it found its way into the Jamwich rotation.  The band’s sound is a captivating, strangely danceable fusion of southern rock and jam sounds, mixing a little funk in there, too.  The steel lap guitar paired with improvisational jams and psychedelic sounds makes for a party on the scale of a Widespread Panic show.

Though the album is only 5 songs, they average in around 10 minutes, giving you a great feeling of their live flow and transporting you to Ziggy’s, right there with the band.  The show that was recorded was actually their set from a day they played with Ballyhoo and Snoop Dogg. “We were really just trying to play to a crowd that probably was not really there to see us.  The philosophy was just to keep it funky, but still be ourselves.” Sam says that “it wasn’t originally supposed to be an album actually,” and it just happened to be recorded by his friend Sean Grogan when mixing for the show that night.  They liked it and had it run through analog gear and mixed. “Everything is exactly how it was played, no edits.”

The first song, “Liquor Store,” gives you a taste of their bluesy side but throw you a curveball with a funky bassline. This is where we get our first taste of their sound, before launching into what is my favorite track, “Hear My Train a Comin.'” The beginning builds in a harmonizing riff, building into a triumphant release of an  instrumental jam and blistering guitar solos.

Marvelous Funkshun’s style can be unpredictable, and the 14 minute “Hear My Train a Comin'” took the tone way down into a slow-tempo blues exploration. ” The similarities to the Sacred Steel tradition made “Hear My Train” a perfect choice,” Sam Robinson says of the track.  “Rest My Bones” takes no time in giving us a beat to dance to in this feel-good blues rock tune.  They end the album with their funkiest song of all, “Shaky Ground.” “Shaky Ground is always fun to dance to,” says Sam.  The track does in fact induce involuntary head-bobbing and toe-tapping, so be warned.  It’s a great way to go out with a bang, but leaves us wanting more.

Thankfully for us, you can listen to the album on Spotify or buy it on CD Baby and iTunes: