Funktapuss Finalizes February Tour; Shares Secrets of New Album

Funktapuss has announced a tour and plans to unveil a new album in the spring.
Courtesy Funktapuss - Funktapuss has announced a tour and plans to unveil a new album in the spring.

Funktapuss, a funk, rock and soul band from Barnstable, are soon to be hitting the road for a tour and currently working on a new album, yet to be titled and due out in February.

While Funktapuss is in the running for one of the most popular original bands on the Cape, they are certainly one of the busiest: they play multiple shows a week including weekly gigs at the Island Merchant on Mondays and an open jam on Sundays at the House of Bud's; they have a show up in the City at the Church of Boston on Saturday, play regular shows on the Outer, Mid and Upper Cape, and to notch it off, they will depart for a 9 day tour in the middle of February hitting six different states in the Northeast and Rust Belt including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, and West Virginia,  all the while continuing the process of self-recording, writing, producing and marketing their debut full-length album.

"We're making the big push," said keyboardist and saxophonist Ryan Tivey. "The time is now, so we might as well give it a shot," he said, while stationed behind his keyboards, a big smile on his face.

The band's studio, on the edge of the Barnstable Municipal Airport and on the top floor of a commercial building on busy Yarmouth Road, is fitted with their own recording devices and equipment: a do-it-yourself recording den.

As to signs of success on their last tour, which ended in the fall of last year, Mr. Tivey said that he is confident the band is doing something right when audience members will stumble in off the streets and, after never hearing a lick about Funktapuss before, they move to the music and even mouth or lip sing along to the music. "That to me, is success," he said.

Asked if they had any good stories from the tour, Mr. Vanderbeek replied that "what happens on tour, stays on tour. We have some good stories," he said.

The band, all from the Barnstable area, is made up of Mr. Tivey, Mr. Vanderbeek on bass, Chris Santos on drums, Tom Davis on guitar, and Latez Crawley on lead vocals.

Before their last tour, the band recorded a short demo of four original songs that will appear on the album: "Lesson," "Go If You're Gone," "About Love" and "I Know."

The songs are a testament to the live show that has garnered the band a strong following across the Cape: an affirmation of their local success.

The demo does not come with any surprises, but features the same soul and funk vibe the band has survived on for years: James Brown funky guitar licks and drums, Mr. Venderbeek's bass carrying the pulsing and dance-heavy grooves, and Mr. Tivey's sax ringing out with huge brass. It is music that could be compared to modern soul and funk bands like Soulive or older Motown acts like Stevie Wonder. The music is tight, well-written and flawless.

But where the band boasts an edge is through Mr. Crawley's vocals; he sings with such outpouring soul on the tracks, leaving nothing behind. He throws himself into the vocals.

The band originated when Mr. Tivey, Mr. Santos, and Mr. Vanderbeek started playing together in high school in the late 1990s, known then as the Purple Monkey Dishwashers. After winning $200 at a talent show in high school, they understood their potential. Mr. Crawley and Mr. Davis joined the band in 2009.

In April, the band is planning a longer tour down the East Coast to Florida.

Want more Funktapuss? Check out this article we wrote shortly after our launch in 2011. 

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  • alvzie

    great Band and great bunch of guys!