Birchwood and Big Sam’s Big Night – The Funky Biscuit (Boca Raton, Fla. – July 25, 2014)
On Friday the 25th, The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, Florida, had the second of their three anniversary shows. The venue was celebrating three years of being a music venue and boy did they have some good acts lined up for the three nights of their anniversary. Friday’s bands were Selwyn Birchwood Band as an opener, and for the headliner they booked Big Sam’s Funky Nation. Big Sam and his Funky Nation hail all the way from New Orleans, so it was definately a good time. Birchwood’s band gave the crowd a good time as well.
Selwyn Birchwood is a blues guitarist, lap steel player, and a singer, who originates from Tampa, Florida. His band is a four piece made up of himself, his saxophone player Regi Oliver, his bass player Donald “Huff” Wright, and his drummer Curtis Natall. Birchwood’s band really brought the blues in the house with his set, which consisted of new material from his recently released album titled, “Don’t Call No Ambulance”. He performed practically the entire album but still manged to get in some of his old songs, as well as playing a tune by Muddy Waters on the lap steel. When he was performing the Muddy Waters song “I hope you like this one, and if you don’t than don’t blame me blame Muddy Waters.” Though Birchwood did get the shorter set time it certainly did not seem like it was short. He really seem to showcase all the talent he could within this time.
Birchwood really reminded me of why I like blues so much. One of the best things about Birchwood’s set was that although all of his songs were blues songs they were not all sad and depressing. Birchwood had a ton of uptempo songs in his set, but he still contained some diversity and did some slow tempo songs as well. The Waters song that he did was one of these slow tempo songs. His Sax player gave him a bit of a funk sound and made his band more than just a typical blues band. All in all a really stellar set. Though the best part may be the fact that he never seemed to loose the audience’s attention.
Now next up was the main man, Mr. Big Sam and his Funky Nation. Big Sam plays the Trombone in his five piece band. The other four guys in the band play trumpet, guitar, bass, and drums. To classify what genre Big Sam’s band is is a little challenging because his drummer, “Chocolate Milk” drums like a drummer for a hip hop group. He really did a great job at holding down the beat while Big Sam was busy singing and dancing on the stage. “Chocolate Milk”, when no one else was playing was always on top of the beat. Besides having a killer drummer, one of the other great aspects of Sam’s band is how well his guitar player, Joshua Connelly, and his bass player, Jerry Henderson blended so well together. It was great to watch these two because it was obvious that they definately loved trading off licks. His trumpet player, Drew Baham was very much the sideman of the project. Him and Sam would dance around on stage trying to get the folks energized. They certainly got the crowd energized, especially the ladies in the audience. These tow definately flirted with many of the ladies in the audience. This was all in good fun, of course. At the beginning of the show they went into a track known as “The Funky Donkey”. During this song Big Sam and Baham invited as many ladies as they could on stage. Then one the ladies had been invited on stage the two taught them how to do “The Funky Donkey”, which was a dance.
The set was really fun and entertaining, the band even came out and did an encore, which they rocked the house out with. All the audience was loved tje emcore, as well as loving the show. At the beginning of the night it seemed as though it was empty, but as the night progressed and by the time Big Sam came on the place had definately filled up. Once again The Funky Biscuit has done a great job of booking really killer entertaining acts.