[Originally published 7:55 a.m.]
Bootsy Collins has dedicated his life to spreading the funk. He's like Santa Claus on Christmas, except he gives all year round and what Bootsy brings is far greater than anything your chain smoking aunt hastily wrapped from around her house and left for you.
On his way to band practice, Bootsy was kind enough to talk to us about his upcoming tour and the new album, The Funk Capitol of the World.
And we just got the exclusive tip-off on Bootsy's special guests at his Club Nokia show tonight:
Our minds were racing with the possible guest appearances at the Club Nokia show. They were bound to be something special. And they are- Snoop Dogg and Dr. Cornel West.
If you didn't realize it already, the show tonight is the first date of the first Bootsy Collins tour in over a decade. "We haven't toured since 1998," he explains, "this is a big deal to us!"
He is bringing an enormous group on the road with him. So large, in fact, that he came up against some opposition to his band's size, but he says, "You gotta give the people what they want!"
The new album is an excessive collection of talent. We've seen some cool partnerships before but what Bootsy has gone and done is down right mind blowing. It's all kinds of funky all over the funking place.
According to Collins the album is "different people of expression coming together ... everybody wanted to do this as bad as I did!" He pauses, "I have never felt like that."
It features big names like George Clinton, Bernie Worrell, Bobby Womack, Sheila E, Chuck D, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Rev. Al Sharpton, Samuel L Jackson, Béla Fleck, and Buckethead as well as jazz notables like bassist Ron Carter and multi instrumentalist George Duke (who's played with possibly all of the greatest bassists of our time), and even Jimi Hendrix makes an appearance - from the grave!
"You try new and different things and don't know how it'll come out, that's what funk is! We got a chance to spread the funk around, it was challenging and rewarding," Collins explains. Most of the album was written in the studio jam sessions, "We've gotten so far away from that, the brain is dead, we write everything down now."
Every artists makes a clear mark, you know you are hearing Béla Fleck, you know you are hearing Buckethead, the individual voice is crystal clear within the funk backdrop.
Most importantly though, "Space Bass is in love. He went back to his roots, he's learning how to fly again."