Known for his signature funky style, Cincinnati-based bass legend Freekbass (Chris Sherman) has been keeping busy with the recent release of his latest, Kickstarter-funded album project, Everybody’s Feelin’ Real. He’s also touring in support his new CD as well as maintaining a vigorous tour schedule as a part of the blues/rock/funk trio, The Kelly Richey Band.
“We tried to make this album be the bridge from classic funk to the future of the groove,” said Freekbass.
Produced by Duane Lundy (Jim James/My Morning Jacket, Ben Sollee,) the ten-song Everybody’s Feelin’ Real features contributions from Joel “Razor Sharp” Johnson on keys/synths, drummer Big Bamn (Bootsy Collin’s Funk Unity Band) and Jennifer Hartswick from Trey Anastasio Band, among others.
“When Duane Lundy and I first started talking about the blueprint of the album months and months ago, I said, ‘I really want the album to have the same feeling I had when I would listen to old Funkadelic records, or Sly and the Family Stone albums when I was a kid, or not to sound too lofty, but even the Beatles albums.’ He said if you want to have that kind of feeling, we should record the album that same way.” Freekbass said.
What he meant by that was to record it old-school versus doing a digital recording with overdubs, Freekbass shared.
“We set up in the studio and recorded the bass, drums and keyboards live,” Freekbass said. “It had that same feeling as if it was live. If someone made a mistake, we’d start over and do it again live.”
“Rise,” the opening track on the album delivers a positive vibe with its retro-modern funktronica grooves.
Other standouts on the project include the title track, “Everybody’s Feelin’ Real,” “Victoria Thunder,” “Mama’s Like A Cowboy,” “Never Enough,” “Battery” and “Fly.”
“The other thing I love about the album is that it translates well live (on stage). With this album, I think we kept really true to that. Whether you buy the album, or you hear it live in concert, it’s going to sound the same. It has the same feeling, it doesn’t sound like two different things,” Freekbass said.
In addition to showcasing Freekbass’ exceptional musical talents and his passion for rhythm and tone, the songs on the album also highlight his blossoming songwriting skills.
“I think one of the things I’m most happy about with this record is the songwriting aspect of it. I’m known as a funk artist, who plays crazy bass lines, but a lot of songs on this album – if they were played with a piano, or an acoustic guitar, they would hold up that way, too. To me, that’s always been a sign of a good song, whether you play it with a full band, an acoustic guitar, or a piano, it will still hold up with time. Hopefully, I feel like this album has some of those qualities to it, because of the songwriting,” Freekbass expressed.
Freekbass is joined on tour in support of the album by The Bump Assembly, which is comprised Big Bamn on drums and Dan Bargar on sax and flute. Sometimes, the trio will be joined by Johnson on keys when he is not on the road with Bootsy Collins’ Rubber Band.
“We recently played CD release shows in the Cincinnati market, which is my hometown, at The Southgate House Revival, in Charleston at The Empty Glass and in Louisville at The New Vintage. We are in the CD release show phase, so we’re out touring the new music right now,” Freekbass said.
Freekbass has released six, full-length CD’s. With a long list of awards and accolades, Freekbass has collaborated with an array of other accomplished artists, including Bootsy Collins, Phish’s Mike Gordon, Bernie Worrell, Adam Deitch, Steve Molitz, Buckethead and others. He has toured internationally, and he was recently a featured artist at the London Bass Guitar Show, where he performed and taught a master class. In addition to his successful musical endeavors, Freekbass has also released three instructional DVD's, Learn Funk Bass with Freekbass, Level 1 & Level 2 and 50 Freekbass Licks You Must Know.
To keep up with Freekbass, the latest news and tour dates, go to www.Freekbass.com. (Freekbass Photo by Adam Henry/Alias Imaging.)