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Published: 2013/11/23
by Stu Kelly

Kung Fu and Moogatu, Washington, D.C., Gypsy Sally’s- 11/21

Gypsy Sally’s is a brand new breath of life in downtown Washington, D.C., in Georgetown. This venue has so much character; the audience members can feel at home nestled around music memorabilia scattered on the walls and around the bars, everything from Grateful Dead ticket stubs to Eric Clapton vinyl records. There’s no wonder Gypsy Sally’s is known to be the place “where the music never stops.”

Moogatu, a local powerhouse jamband warmed up the night with their classic funk chops. Moogatu featured a local hero, Ron Holloway, from Northern Virginia, on saxophone for the entirety of their set and Holloway flawlessly found room to add his soulful licks to the band’s dynamic funk foundation. The group kept the crowd pumped up and ready for the madness that was about to unfold throughout the course of the evening. It’s safe to say that Moogatu further developed their name around the locals, who will surely keep an eye out for their future success.

After a brief set-change Kung Fu came out swinging with full force, laying down their jazz-fueled, funk, rock and roll fusion, which captivated the audience right from the start. The crowd was rapt in complete approval as the band held the energy firmly in their grasp. Adrian Tromantano wasted no time breaking into a full drum solo, which neatly wrapped around to find Chris DeAngelis laying down some soulful bass lines before the rest of the band slammed back into a thick and funky groove. The band was more than just fundamentally locked in with one another, more importantly the band was notably vibrant and content. The band was feeling the energy of the intimate room, they took this in stride as they let loose and experimented to their full potential.

The group opened up with “Samurai” and Tim Palmieri ripped up a piercingly adept guitar solo that was anchored well by Todd Stoops on the keys. Stoops provided rich funk chops that wrapped around the rest of the music effortlessly. Stoops is so much fun to watch as he tenderly hammers down on his army of instruments. Stoops continued his groove in stride as the band segued into “Bobcorn,” where Rob Somerville added some stellar work on the tenor saxophone.

Ron Holloway returned back to the stage and sat in for “Do The Right Thing,” a relatively new track added to the Kung Fu catalog, that’s expected to be released on the band’s sophomore album. As Holloway broke loose and opened up the music, Somerville watched on in all smiles before adding some of his own flavor to the mix. The remarkable chemistry between Tramantano and DeAngelis provided the perfect foundation for the rest of the band to explore parts unknown.

Another highlight came later in the set when the band dipped into their first cover and laid down a smoking rendition of “Green Earrings,” by Steely Dan. After a nice jam that the band let unfold for a series of extra bars, the band closed the show with “The Hammer,” leaving the intimate, yet busy room, more than satisfied. Ron Holloway returned to the stage for the two-song encore, which featured “Steppin’ In It,” a cover by the legendary Herbie Hancock. The band then closed out the evening with “Bringing Up The Rear.”

Fresh off their recent success from the Bear Creak Music and Arts Festival, Kung Fu continued their fall tour, which included stops in Charleston, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia. Currently, the band is putting the final touches on their new album as well as preparing for a gig in New York City on December 29th with Dopapod, post Phish.

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