- Breaking The Rules
- Gimme Dat
- I Need Ya
- Bad Karma
- What’s Yo Name
- Mountain Top
- Coffee Pot
- Love On My Side
- Big Sam Williams – Lead Vox & Trombone
- Drew ‘Da Phessah’ Baham – Trumpet & Vox
- Joshua ‘iConn’ Connelly – Guitar & Vox
- Jerry ‘JBlakk” Henderson – Bass & Vox
- Chocolate Mike Williams – Drums
- Dwayne ‘Big D’ Williams – Percussion
REVIEW FROM OFFBEAT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2014
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Who knew Big Sam’s signature “Noladelic” dance party could get even better? Big Sam’s Funky Nation’s fifth album, Evolution, takes its sound to the next level of unadulterated funk. An album wrought with love, pain and rebirth, Evolution is a testament to the band’s progression from New Orleans upstarts to a national funk phenomenon.
While the lyrical content of Big Sam’s Funky Nation has always been breezy and charismatic, Evolution’s first tracks dive deeper and darker. The album opens with Jerry Henderson’s bass riffs in a danceable descent into anarchy. Electric guitar and heavy percussion accompany Big Sam as he sings of living in the now regardless of consequences in “Breaking the Rules” and “Freak.” This darker tone maintains with Big Sam’s relentless vocals, served up supported by rollicking guitar riffs and bouncing brass. After less than ten minutes of music the album proves itself to be versatile and compelling.
Although Big Sam’s Funky Nation has changed stylistically, it preserves its signature stamp on funk and jazz. Catchy, buoyant songs such as “Tweet” and “Coffee Pot” will surely become dance floor favorites as the infectious rhythm and energy spreads through clubs and festivals around the country. Big Sam’s frequent trombone solos compel listeners to drop everything and shake it without apology. Triumphant singles “Love on my Side” and “Addicted” form perfect inverses of the first two tracks, exalting in the power of love while turning the brass up another notch.
Albums that highlight a band’s stylistic progress often risk alienating old fans. However, Big Sam’s Funky Nation strikes a perfect balance between avant-garde and tradition with its Evolution.