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Published: 2016/04/28
by Nicholas Stock

Euforquestra with Analog Son and The BeatServer, Aggie Theatre, Fort Collins, CO- 4/2

Fort Collins Funkateers, Euforquestra returned to the Choice City for a hometown hootenanny dubbed Fort Funk. This crispy Spring evening at The Aggie Theater featured long time Trey Anastasio Band member Jennifer Hartswick sitting in with Iowa’s finest export. Supporting Euforquestra was up and coming funk contingent Analog Son and Fort Collins DJ Seth Blakeley aka The BeatServer.

After opening up the show The BeatServer would return for a tweener set before the headliner. His style was subtle and dance-centric full of hip-hop breaks and buttery beats. He kept the funky feel of the live bands at heart during his sets. Analog Son is the brainchild of Jordan Linit and Josh Fairman. Together they have recruited a slew of amazingly talented musicians to perform with them both on the stage and in the studio. This project stems from a 2013 convergence at Scanhope Sound studio with the likes of Joey Porter, Joe Tatton and The Shady Horns. Their set at The Aggie featured more local players and the undeniably talented Devon Parker on vocals.

Starting slowly with the core band the show built over the course of an hour towards the outrageously funky. Opening with a gritty street tune, “The Professor,” attendees were immediately transported to a different time and space—in an instant we were all in an episode of “Shaft.” We were treated to a new and intensely funky instrumental, “Black Diamond” before Analog Son closed with a dirty “Chaka Kahn.”

Euforquestra continues to tour relentlessly, so much so that recently their passenger van was forced into early retirement. They have just released an EP entitled Van Tracks as an exclusive download to fund the purchase of a new touring conveyance. RIP Van Diesel. “Colorado Kicked” was like a shot of expresso to this near capacity crowd.

Euforquestra like most of the funk outfits in this territory utilizes a rotating cast of characters to keep the music fresh. In addition to Jennifer Hartswick the boys welcomed back former fulltime member Matt Grundstad on percussion. Since the departure of Adam Grasso, Otis Lande (Mountain Standard Time) on bass and Matthew Bricker (Polyphonic Spree) on trumpet have joined the band fulltime. Euforquestra kept it tight and clean with the beautifully funky “Price Is Right.” After Austin Zalatel’s ode to his grandmother’s “Soup,” it was time for the talented Hartswick to make her way to the stage. She started her sit-in with a rousing version of the soulful “You’re Losing Me.” The horn section from Analog Son joined the band on Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat classic “Colonial Mentality.” “Instant Coffee” into the Booker T. blues staple “Born Under A Bad Sign” was the obvious highlight of an incredible set of music. They closed with a rowdy “Backbone” and followed that up with a tight rendition of Chaka Kahn’s “You Got The Love” to encore. As evident with both Euforquestra and Analog Son, funk is about flexibility. The inclusion of additional musicians only adds to the rich musical texture of the performance. In other genres this seems forced but given the fluid nature of soul, funk, jam, and Afrobeat it all works. Hartswick was an absolute treat and her musical prowess elevated Euforquestra as a whole. This was a solid performance for the eager and excited home team.

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