Gumbo YaYa goes All Funk

Funny how the term “funk” can refer to a sad mood, a stinky fridge or music with a dance-able groove. Today’s show is all about the groove and to hear proof, get the show started by clicking the arrow below.

While James Brown is recognized by many as the Father of Funk, there are arguments that this groove-based music is derived from New Orleans Second Line rhythms. Here’s one. And another .

Whatever, New Orleans is a great place to catch funk and you only have to listen to this show to get some idea — from the pre-funk DNA of Professor Longhair to the fresh dance grooves of Erica Falls, New Orleans will keep you moving.

Naturally, the show starts with a couple of tracks by The Meters, the New Orleans group most associated with funk music. But we follow that up with Chocolate Milk, Galactic, George Porter Jr. (bass player for The Meters) and Betty Harris.

Later you’ll hear from Dr. John, the New Orleans Nightcrawlers, Erica Falls and much more.  

According to one source cited in Wikipedia, New Orleans R&B drummer and member of the famed Wrecking Crew Earl Palmer  coined the term funky’ to explain to other musicians that their music should be made more syncopated and danceable. Or perhaps the term funk music comes from “Funky Butt” — the Buddy Bolden inspired song about dancing so hard that the room begins to get . . .well funky. Hope your funk today is of the sweet dance-able groove kind and not the other.


Author: Tim Sweeney

Host of Sweeney's Gumbo YaYa - a two-hour radio show that featured the music of New Orleans. It aired from September 2014 through March 2022, broadcast live on KAOS in Olympia and as a recording KMRE Bellingham and some Pacifica Network stations. Maintaining blog for a while longer.

One thought on “Gumbo YaYa goes All Funk”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: