Take a trip to Funkastan

By Bill King

The time has arrived to “give the drummer some.”

Anchoring the Rhythm Express rhythm section is one of the best – Reggae Hall of Fame honoree and spiritual soul behind Side Door Records and recording studio, “big beats’ Everton ‘Pablo’ Paul.

Welcome to Funkastan pays homage to James Brown’s rhythm ace Clyde Stubblefield – the real Mr. “Cold Sweat,” and Paul who grew up on a steady diet of Kingston, Jamaica, funk, soul and reggae and Brown before bringing his mighty groove north to Toronto in the mid-sixties.

Paul’s deep pocket groove was behind the Cougars, ace guitar man and singer Wayne McGhie and world class organist and composer Jackie Mittoo, all part of the evolving night scene as Toronto moved from a sleepy avenue to a bustling, diverse world cultural centre.

The 6, (the six different boroughs through amalgamation making up greater Toronto) as aptly redefined by singer Drake is a dense repository of untapped talent quietly beating a path across the planet. Five top 10 international pop artists last season and a crackling music scene spinning a hundred directions at once.

The Express rhythm section meets every Wednesday evening. Only something of utter importance has dimmed the lights the past 16 months.

In that time have come 16 singles, an album Soul Explosion ’69 and a great cast of artists.

Selena Evangeline, Gavin Hope, Michael Dunston, Ammoye, Maiko Watson, Jonathon Knight have vocalized – the horns, only the best –-Bobby Hsu, Christopher Butcher, Alexander Brown, Rebecca Hennessy, Alexis Baro, William Spernadei, Michael Arthurs and percussionist Magdelys Savigne.

For season two, the band is writing and focused on originals bottom to top, schooled in ‘60s/’70s funk, retro soul, reggae and ska.

Welcome to Funkastan is all about that dancing piccolo snare drum, charged up horn section and high octane house rhythm section. You are welcome to camp in our territory!

Executive producer, drums, percussion, Everton “Pablo” Paul; producer, horn arrangements, keyboards, Bill King; engineer and guitar, Shane ‘Shaky J’ Forrest; bass and graphic arts, Jesse ‘Dubmatix’ King; trombone, Christopher Butcher; trumpet, Alexander Brown; tenor saxophone, Michael Arthurs.

Composers are Bill King (Night Passage Music), Jesse ‘Dubmatix’ King, Shane ‘Shakey J’ Forrest and Everton ‘Pablo’ Paul.

Welcome to Funkastan was recorded at Side Door Records and can be sampled at https://therhythmexpress.bandcamp.com/track/welcome-to-funkastan.Funkastan