On Sat., Nov. 3, Chicago's Bumpus made the trek north to lay down the funk in Brew City. These white boys (and girl) played that funky music at their gig at The Social (424 S. 2nd St.).
The band formed in 1994 as a quartet called Natty Bumpus and the Booty Whompers. They did a lot of spoken word and hip-hop over acoustic guitar, bass and drums. Throughout the years, the band has gained and lost members, but also honed its sound.
Reminiscent of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, or Sly and the Family Stone, Bumpus makes groovy, happy music with three vocalists, a great bassist and Cardboard Box, a hip-hop MC alter ego.
This band loves to get the crowd dancing and its brand of funk makes it hard to stand still. Currently the band comprises lead vocalist Rachel Yamagata, lead guitarist and vocalist James Johnston, tenor saxophonist and guitarist Rob Polachek, Travis Chandler on the bass and keys, Adam Kaltenhauser on drums and Brent Puls, aka Cardboard Box, on tenor sax, flute and vocals.
Bumpus' recently released second album, "Stereoscope," on Kaprow Records, has met with good reaction from press and fans. The record mixes elements of the band's live performances with the polished feel of a studio album.
Bumpus returns to Milwaukee for a gig at Thai-Joes on Sat., Dec. 1, and at BBC on Fri., Dec. 14. For more band info, or to purchase their new album, check out www.bumpusweb.com.