In the middle of their Spring tour, Sophistafunk returned on St. Patrick’s Day with a hometown show at Funk ‘n Waffles downtown Syracuse with good friends RUHA. Before we begin, Upstatemusicandfood.com would like to extend our condolences to Jack Brown, lead singer of Sophistafunk, and his family. Jack gave a shout out to his half Irish Aunt and told us he would be leaving Syracuse right after his performance and traveling through the night to make it to NYC to read a eulogy at her funeral.
Walking into Funk n’ Waffles is a wonderful experience. Everyone is friendly, the food is great, but the music is better. RUHA was the opening band and they were nothing short of awesomeness. With Charley Orlando on acoustic guitar, and Brian Lauri on keys, the happy and mellow music played to the beat of a drum machine. Their music is the kind you can sit back and enjoy a nice cold beer with, which is exactly what people were doing! For the last song, members of Sophistafunk joined RUHA onstage. First Adam Gold and Eman joined on keys and drums, then started to ease into a groove. Then Jack Brown jumped up to share some thoughts with a run of deep lyrics that was a very amazing thing to see and hear.
Sophistafunk’s performance included classic favorites like “Bruce Lee,” “Big Bad Boots,” and “Tell My Baby.” More importantly, their performance included sax player Tommy Weeks from the Funky Dawgz Brass Band from Connecticut. Tommy’s first show with Sophistafunk was just 2 weeks prior at World of Beers in Syracuse. He has developed a position in the band and in the music, and from a personal point of view I do not wish to see him go. He has some great musical skills. Yet again, the whole band does. Singer Jack Brown shared some exciting announcements with us all. Sophistafunk has been invited to this year’s Taste of Syracuse festival in June! Not only that, but they will also be headlining Saturday night at Sterling Stage’s Ameribeat Festival this July. This is also the first year Sophistafunk has been invited to perform at the New Orleans Jazz Fest in April, as well as this year’s Suwannee Festival in Florida. Sophistafunk is growing FAST on the national scene and getting the attention they deserve. We, Syracuse, wish you safe travels, Sophistafunk. They had just returned east from a tour to California and back, which included both a van crash and a crashed trailer. Talk about a rough experience.
Jack Brown got down into the packed hometown crowd and sang a verse of “Freedom Is.” Getting up close and personal with your fans is a good idea in my book. It shows your interest in not only the people who buy your merch, but the people who ENJOY your music. The last song was a classic Jack Brown said “We’re going back to 1992” and they belted out the Skee-Lo hit “I Wish.” All in all, I think I can say for everyone that was there that night that it was a fun and unforgettable St. Patrick’s Day. I would recommend anyone who enjoys sophisticated, funky music to make an effort to see these gentlemen the next time they’re around. You will not be disappointed. Your next opportunity to catch them in the area is April 8 at Bar 145 in Rochester and again on May 6 at The Haunt in Ithaca and May 7 at The Waterhole in Saranac Lake.
More info at: http://sophistafunkband.com/
Author: Jessica Merritt
Photography: Jerrie DiFabio