Bubonik Funk grooves into Boone

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Nov. 21, 2013 | Modified: Nov. 25, 2013
Bubonik Funk grooves into Boone

Charlotte-based Bubonik Funk will perform Nov. 23 at Murphy’s in Boone.

Photo by Sean Pressley

To funk modernists and groove revolutionists Bubonik Funk, there is a sort of paradox associated with being one’s own manager and promoter.

“If you have a manager, you aren’t seeing all the money you want to be seeing or having the amount of control that you want to have,” said Dylan Ellett, who provides vocals and plays organ for the Charlotte quartet. “But if you don’t have that (management), you feel like you are doing a disservice to yourself. You see stories that some bands have proper management, but they are not very good, or they are this amazingly talented band that doesn’t have good management and are never heard.”

As for Ellett, he feels Bubonik Funk is the latter. Folks can judge for themselves Saturday, Nov. 23, when the band performs at Murphy’s in downtown Boone.

Since forming as sophomores in high school, the funk rockers have become tighter with their onstage performances at an assortment of venues, including North Carolina college campuses and music halls across the northeast, some of which have landed the band alongside Grammy-nominated acts.

“I guess there is a model there,” Ellett said. “If you are a talented band, you work hard, and if you are on the same page with everyone as far as ambitions go, you can go anywhere.”

Stylistically, Ellett describes the band as “four different guys with four different styles of music that come together in a nice funky blend.”

Drawing inspiration from their funk forefathers of the 1970s, Bubonik Funk takes an interestingly modernist approach to some of the era’s greats by putting a revivalist spin on the tunes its members love.

“We play funk music with funk-rock soul and elements of hip-hop,” Ellett said.

Over the years, the south Piedmont soul masters have developed a close bond with their Asheville counterparts, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, which the band closely identifies with musically.

To those planning to catch the group on Saturday at Murphy’s, Ellett cautioned they are not the same band, and their onstage dynamics are proof of that.

Of the band’s first Boone performance in 2010, Ellett said there was a certain element of cohesion missing, due to academic commitments and the restraints that come with being a scattered band.

“If you see us now, as opposed to then, we are the band that we always wanted to be but couldn’t,” Ellett said. “During the past 18 months, we felt like we were pursuing this to the best of our abilities. Everything feels more tangible and real now. Before, it felt like it was just out of our grasp.”

Regarding the band’s excitement at playing Murphy’s, Ellett said he feels right at home, as if he’s part of the audience.

“Murphy’s is a really cool spot,” he said. “You are on eye level with people, and that forces you to perform differently. There’s no sense that I’m above you or that I’m the life of the party. I want people to walk in there and feel as if they are part of the performance. I think Murphy’s has that right kind of vibe, and it might be one of those special kinds of nights.”

The show starts at 10:30 p.m., and cover costs $5. Murphy’s is located at 747 W. King St. in downtown Boone. For more information, visit http://www.bubonikfunk.com.

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