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At Work: Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band

by Sam D’Arcangelo on January 13, 2014

The Modern funk revival has been good to Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, but it’s also made their playing field more crowded. With so many bands on the groove circuit, standing out is now as important as ever. That’s never really been a problem for these guys. With their high-energy live shows and unique brand of funk-fusion, the five-piece ensemble—Lee Allen (drums, percussion, vocals), Mary Frances (keyboards, vocals), Al Al Ingram (bass, vocals), Derrick Johnson (trombone, vocals) and John Paul Miller (guitar, vocals)—have slowly built a dedicated fan base since forming in 2002.

“Our top foundation is funk but we also bring in elements of rock, hip-hop, electronic, and basically everything we play is danceable,” explains Miller. “But we move around between genres and influences to meld it all together and come up with our own Big Fat Booty Band sound.”

With a name like Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, it isn’t a surprise that throwing a damn good party is a primary goal. The Asheville, N.C.-based group has also grown into a festival favorite, spreading the gospel of fun times wherever they go.

“Bring your friends with you, have a few drinks, get on the dance floor and let go of your day,” says Frances. “Close your eyes, spin around in circles and have the time of your life because that’s what we are going to do.”

The band has even managed to capture that vibe on their latest album, Onward! The record features a number of explosive, dance floor-ready tracks, as well as a few low-key tunes that are equally easy to get down to. However, it is also a fully realized studio album that stands apart from the band’s infectious live energy.

“The party happens as soon as we hit the first note and it goes until the last note,” adds Frances. “The music just takes over us. The energy of the crowd feeds back into us and cycles into more and more energy. We were all born to do this.”


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