published Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Prepping for a heaping helping of funk

"Supergroovalisticprosifunkstication."

It takes a special kind of genius to come up with a song title like that, and George Clinton certainly qualifies as both special and, as one of the most noteworthy purveyors of funk around, a musical mastermind.

I've been stoked about seeing Clinton and his band, Parliament-Funkadelic (hereafter P-Funk), since they were announced as a headliner months ago. If for no other reason than to see whether they warrant their status as one of the most exciting live acts you'll ever see, tonight's show is going to be one to write home about.

Ever since I bought the album "Mothership Connection" (which contains the aforementioned song), I've been a fan of Clinton, but everything I've discovered about them through my research and talking to other fans has amped that excitement up even further. The band is legendary for the sheer spectacle of their live shows, and I've been threatening physical harm to friends who are ambivalent about coming. Even if you're not a fan of funk, this is going to be something special. As a matter of fact, I'm convinced this show will be the most fun I've had watching a Riverbend headliner since Earth, Wind & Fire in 2007.

When I spoke with Andy Tallent, the public relations director for Friends of the Festival, he told me the show may include more than 40 people on stage. Even accounting for a line of backup dancers, the band is going to be huge.

Of course, all that doesn't actually get started until 9:30, so here are my recommendations for filling the pre-headliner hours today:

* Nathan Farrow Band (6:45-7:45, Tennessee Lottery Stage): Farrow is one of the most prolific singer/songwriters on the local country scene. He and his crew were nominated last year for multiple FYI Awards categories, including Best Male Vocalist, Best Country Band and Best Live Band.

* The Classic Rock All Stars (7:45-9, Bud Light Stage): Any group that has the stones to call itself "all stars" must be confident they can sell themselves to audiences. This trio consists of Jerry Corbetta (original lead singer/keyboardist with Sugarloaf), Mike Pinera (original lead singer/guitarist with Blues Image and guitarist/singer with Alice Cooper and Iron Butterfly) and Peter Rivera (lead singer/drummer with Rare Earth). I'm certainly intrigued.

See you out there. Oh, and be sure to wear your sunglasses. If Clinton means what he tells us in "Mothership Connection," it's the law when he's on stage ("so you can see what you're doing").

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, young adults, technology and people of interest. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German. He previously worked as the features editor for Sidelines at Middle Tennessee State University. Casey received the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence for Reviewing/Criticism in ...

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