FAIRFIELD — BeaufunK, the band that marries Oakland and New Orleans funk styles, will celebrate the release of its sophomore CD “Blues In My Funk” at 8 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Empress Theatre in Vallejo.
The group’s sound is often described as “Oakland’s Tower of Power goes to New Orleans and meets The Meters.”
It was in the basement artist dressing room of B.B. King’s Blues Lounge in New York City that this project took root. Founding members Timm Walker and Ian Lamson, after a performance as members of the Elvin Bishop Band, were mesmerized by the energy and anticipation from a completely different audience to see the upcoming act, Ivan Neville.
When the music began, Walker and Lamson were impressed by the spirit and energy of the funk they heard.
“It was rejuvenating and captivating. At the same time, it was a little saddening because I was hearing the music of my roots but had no present project that allowed me to really funk,” bass player Walker said, in press materials.
Lamson and Walker subsequently left the Elvin Bishop Band and formed their own project. Drummer William Allums, of Louisiana, signed on. He had played with Walker for more than 15 years with Zydeco Flames.
The membership was solidified with the additions of lead vocalist Keith Brown, saxophone player Jim Peterson and Lorenzo Hawkins on keyboards.
Allums has roots in the New Orleans music tradition, particularly in the areas of gospel, rhythm and blues and funk. In addition to Zydeco Flames, he’s played with Andre Thierry and The Larry James Band.
Brown has been a part of Bay Area music for more than 20 years, including work with En Vogue producers Thomas McElroy and Denzel Foster.
Hawkins also has roots in gospel, rhythm and blues and funk. He has performed with musicians such as Luther Ingram, Lenny Williams and Dwayne Wiggins, as well as the Hawkins gospel family.
Peterson recorded and toured with Mumbo Gumbo for more than a decade. He also handles back-up vocals in BeaufunK.
Frank Acosta is the latest Bay Area talent to join the ranks of BeaufunK. He’s played with many Bay Area musicians, including Sheila E.
“Blues in My Funk” has 10 tracks, including “BeaufunK Strute” and “Fish House.”
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.