Funk Monkey to record live album at the Maple Leaf Bar, 7/15

The Maple Leaf Bar has a decades-long history of live music shows marked by an intimate connection between the audience and the musicians on the low stage. Accordingly, there have also been numerous bands that chose to capture that elusive feeling on a live record. Funk Monkey, the soulful funky rock band that features trombonist Greg Hicks and guitarist Bert Cotton from Bonerama will join that illustrious group on Saturday night.

The history of live recordings at the “Leaf,” as everyone calls it, dates back at least to the early 1980s when pianist and vocalist James Booker, the legendary Piano Prince of New Orleans, was playing on a weekly basis. Though not released in his lifetime (he died at 48 on 1983), his genius in the live setting was further exposed to the larger world outside New Orleans when Rounder Records released some of the recordings.

Since then bands as varied as the Rebirth Brass Band, Papa Grows Funk, the Joe Krown Trio with Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Russell Batiste, and the New Orleans Suspects have released live albums from the Maple Leaf Bar.

Funk Monkey will record mostly new material for the album. The band has also been known to play music from such soul jazz icons as Grant Green.

For this gig expect the aforementioned leaders along with bassist Dave Pomerleau, drummer Eddie Christmas, keyboardist Rik Fletcher, and saxophonist Brad Walker.

I saw the band earlier this summer at Tipitina’s and can testify that they are on fire.

Showtime is 10:30 PM.

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