It’s February 1988 and we’ve travelled to Japan with Trouble Funk.
Trouble Funk was a DC Go Go band that was attempting to break out of DC and bring the go go sound – a mixture of funk, jazz, and latin grooves – to a wider audience. They had some success in England and in Japan, but by touring the world they lost touch with their local fans.
I love Trouble Funk. If I had a time machine, I’d go back to see them again. I love the driving percussion and call and response with the audience, the horn section, the meaty keyboards and bass, and touch of rock guitar.
Go go is noted for extended funky percussion grooves that keep the music going between songs. To a first time listener, it might sound like they are just playing one long song. There’s actually quite a bit of subtle cues, repetitions, and changes that keep the sound evolving throughout the show.
A few basics:
– Big Tony is bass player and lead singer. If he asks you to say something, say it.
– Tee Bone plays congas. To get him to play his best, say “go Tee Bone go!’
– This is best loud. If you can, dance around.