After hosting the Masters of Funk show at the Batesville Civic Center this past weekend, all I could say was WOW! The Bar-Kays, Confunkshun, Brick, Slave, The Mary Jane Girls, Glenn Jones and Lakeside – all in one show?
How many shows can offer such a wide variety of artists all on one stage working together to put on a massive production? Not many. And the whole concept of the show is unique within itself. They weren't billed as individual artists...they were the "Masters of Funk."
Here's how this whole show is set up...no act performs one at a time. They all are mixed together from beginning to end. While one group is performing, members of another group are actually playing back-up band for them and so on. For example, while the Mary Jane Girls were playing, members of the Bar-kays were playing behind them, with a couple members of Confunkshun on horns. That way, it was a continuous flow of performances with no interruptions for those who prefer no delay breaks in their funk.
More than anything, it was amazing to see how these artists have pretty much taken care of themselves. They all sounded the same as they always have and they looked good.
As I walked around backstage between acts, I got the opportunity to talk to Larry Dodson of the Bar-Kays. I could not walk away from him without singing a couple of bars of my new favorite Bar-Kays song, "Grown Folks." As I got into the first line, he actually started to sing along with me. I'm singing with Larry Dodson!
Getting the opportunity to host the show was a highlight of my night, but this was probably one of the greatest moments in my career. Few get opportunities like this and I am more than grateful to have gotten mine.
Comedy, comedy, comedy
There's a lot of comedy coming to town. Here's what's happening:
Cedric the Entertainer
Here's a good show to see! Best known as one of the Original Kings of Comedy, Cedric the Entertainer has delivered his brand of comedy on film and television and now he coming to the stage to perform at the Orpheum on Nov. 3. Tickets are on sale now at the Orpheum Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets and ticketmaster.com.
Comedy at Memphis Nights
Get your laugh on this Saturday night (Sept. 29) at Memphis Nights for the hottest comedy show in Memphis featuring comedians from both Memphis and Arkansas. Memphis Nights is located at 3297 Kirby Parkway. Doors open at 8 p.m, and show time is at 9:15. Admission is $10
Shaq's All Star Comedy Jam
Nov. 24, get ready to have a few laughs to kick off your holiday season. Shaq's All Star Comedy Jam returns to the Orpheum with host Gary Owen, Tony Roberts, Michael Blackson and the legendary DJ Spinderella on the 1's and 2's. Get you tickets at the Orpheum Box Office and all Ticketmaster Outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
After Work Set
Are you looking for a great way to wrap up a long week at the office? Here's a great way to unwind. The Reel People present the After Work Set each and every Friday Night from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Ice Bar, 4202 Hacks Cross Road. Food and drink specials the entire time. Music by Video DJ Whitehouse. For table or booth reservations, call 901-217-1617.
The 17th Annual Stone Awards takes place on Oct. 13 at the West Memphis Civic Auditorium located right across the bridge at 228 West Polk Street in West Memphis, Ark. This year, the tribute is to the legendary Bar-Kays! Red Carpet interviews take place from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. Advanced tickets are $25 and proceeds support the Forgotten Souls Festival. For more information, call 901-690-2883, 870-732-1498 or visit www.stoneawards.org.