Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band found its start as a party. Today, the six-member band is a national touring act playing music festivals and large and small venues across the country. Band members are Lee Allen on drums, Mary Frances on keyboards and vocals, Greg Hollowell on tenor sax, bari sax and flute, Derrick Johnson and trombone, Al Ingram on bass and vocals and J.P. Miller on guitar and vocals.
The band's first official studio release, "Now You Know," debuted in 2007. It received the Home Grown Music Network's Album of the Year and Band of the Year awards, as well as the third best regional album from WNCW FM, one of the top Triple A stations in the country.
"It did seem like we were the only people doing what we do," Miller said. "People are waking up to funk music."
Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band plays original and powerful live music. The band has completed three national tours and has a large fan base that follows the band to music festivals including Wakarusa, Jam Cruise, Bear Creek, Jazz Aspen, Long Beach Funk Fest, Rock Boat, Bele Chere (for six consecutive years), Floyd Fest and Smile Fest.
"It seems like there is no category for funk music," he said. "People love funk music. It's positive music that makes them feel good."
Their second studio album, "Doin' It Hard," is a reflection of the band's approach to music, touring, performing, recording and life in general. Recorded in June 2010 at the City of Progress Studios in Miami, Fla., under the cultivated ear of DJ Le Spam, who is Andrew Yeomanson, "Doin' It Hard," is slated for a May release and will be available on 12-inch vinyl, compact disc and digital download online.
"It's everything we do," he said. "The idea came out of our lifestyle. The music we play is funk. We like to get heavy with it, and life on the road can be really difficult sometimes."
Miller said the entire band puts their heart into everything they do. He said the band listens to many different styles of music while on the road and everywhere they travel.
"It's funny," he said. "One thing that makes this band a band is because everybody has so many different styles of music."
Miller said funk bands are beginning to pop all around the country, though many have come from New Orleans.
"A lot of attention was brought to New Orleans because of Katrina," he said. "Many musicians left New Orleans and they are on the road playing harder than ever before. It's helped spread the music."
Miller said the band played at Whiskey's last year and had an incredible experience on and off the stage.
Find out what funk music is all about with Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band on Thursday, March 10, at 10 p.m. Tickets are $5 available at the door.
Other live music at Whiskey's will include The Wailing O'Sheas on Friday, March 11, and More Than Lights on Saturday, March 12. All shows begin at 10 p.m. with tickets available at the door.
More music around the valley will take place at the Silver Dollar on Friday, March 11, at 9 p.m. with the Kim Stocking Band. Live music for après-ski will be at Warm Springs Lodge with Lip Service today through Sunday, March 13. At River Run Lodge, people can enjoy the delightful sounds of Jim Salestrom from Friday, March 11, through Sunday, March 13.
For a complete listing of music events in the valley, see the Music, Dance and Theater section of the Calendar on Page C3.
—Sabina Dana Plasse