With a lively funk sound that seems to have traveled straight up the Mississippi from New Orleans, Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band is set to headline Paducah, Kentucky's Lowertown Arts and Music Festival next weekend. Guitarist, manager, and founding member of the band, JP Miller, visits Sounds Good to discuss the upcoming performance.
Although Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band's boisterousness is evocative of the streets of New Orleans, Atlanta, and other funk-driven music scenes, the band was formed in Appalachian college town, Boone, North Carolina, in 2002. The band moved to Asheville, NC in 2005, where they quickly became a staple of the music scene. Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band was also the first act to release an album through Echo Mountain Studios, which has since released albums from popular artists such as Manchester Orchestra, Sylvan Esso, Turnpike Troubadours, The War on Drugs, and Angel Olsen.
In 2017, former Ashevillian and friend of Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, was awarded a Grammy for Best Children's Album for his record Infinity Plus One. Recorded at Echo Mountain Studios, Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band played "most of the music on the album," says Skidoo.
The band, which includes guitar, drums, horns, bass, synth, and vocals, are described on their website as 'true musical road warriors,' which can be confirmed by Miller. "For many years, the band was staying on the road for about 200 days a year and playing roughly around 170 to 180 shows. [We] definitely stayed very busy. We've played 49 out of the 50 states. The only state we haven't gotten to yet is Hawaii because we can't drive there." This coming weekend will be the group's first performance in Paducah.
Miller says that after traveling across the entire continental U.S., he's found that "funk is a genre that a lot of people like, but it doesn't get the recognition that it deserves. We'll play a show and there'll be little kids dancing around, and there will be like 70 year old grandmas and grandpas cutting up on the dance floor. When you play music that makes you dance, it's something that everybody likes." Miller says that while many people attending the band's performances wouldn't be able to name their favorite funk artist (except, perhaps, the band themselves), funk is a universal genre that affects music lovers of all types. "It's something that is an uplifting music and it makes people feel good."
Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band will close out the Lowertown Arts and Music Festival on Saturday, May 18th at 9 p.m. on the Main Stage. For more information on Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band, visit their website. More information on the 2019 Lowertown Arts and Music Festival is available here.