Flow Tribe
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Flow Tribe

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"SpunTV.com talks Tribe"

Listed by Where Y’at Magazine as one of the Big Easy’s “bands to watch,” the Flow Tribe explodes onto the music scene with a spine-tingling fusion of rock, blues and that good ole New Orleans funk. Reminiscent of bands like Sublime, 311, James Brown and Parlaimet Funkadelic, their lyrics are telling of fondly remembered slow Louisiana days and up till sunrise nights. Intensely charismatic and unquestionably infectious, there’s no denying that the Flow Tribe is a band that’s intrinsically intertwined to the Magnolia state soul infused high. - SpunTV.com


"Flow to the music of Flow Tribe"

Flow to the music of Flow Tribe
By Kellie Johnson

Listening to Flow Tribe perform live is a true musical experience. The music is upbeat, the lyrics are fresh, and the crowd just cannot stop moving. The founders of funk and soul music would be proud of Flow Tribe’s musical composition and their lively performances.

The band members met when they attended Brother Martin High School in New Orleans. Lead singer of Flow Tribe, K. C. O’Rorke, described their meeting as “we hung around in the back yard of Chad’s house jamming and realized that what we had was something good.”

Some members went to college, and Hurricane Katrina brought them back together, according to their MySpace bio. O’Rorke said that the band members “are literally rebuilding New Orleans.”

The members of Flow Tribe include above mentioned Chad Penot as bassist, Blake Quick as lead guitarist, Bryan Santos as guitartist, Russell Olschner as drummer and John-Michael Early as washboardist/harmonica player. The latest edition to the group,

John-Michael Early said that he was “gladly surprised” about the crowd at Fred’s because “there are so many new people besides the regulars.”

It did not matter whether members of the audience had seen or heard Flow Tribe before; all seemed to enjoy themselves. The energy which the band performs is indicative to their chemistry as musicians. According to Jessica Schultis, a senior in biological sciences, “This is the best New Orleans band I have heard at Fred’s.”

K.C. O’Rorke said that The Meters have had a big influence on the music of Flow Tribe. O’Rorke and other band members look to compose music that is “heavily a traditional New Orleans sound with an update.” The band name comes from the way they make music.

O’Rorke said, “We all jam, define the music and try to make a different sound each time.”

Flow Tribe played songs such as “Funk 2 U,” “Feel My Funk,” and “Throwing Stones.” Included in these was O’Rorke’s favorite original song called “Black Mamba.” This song is extremely funky and easy to move to. The crowd as very receptive and enjoyed Flow Tribe’s diverse sounds.

When O’Rorke was asked what kind of music Flow Tribe can be classified as playing, he said “good music.” Good answer. He also stated that Flow Tribe attempts to personify “a street parade on stage.” This is reminiscent of their New Orleans influence.

Thursday was the second time that Flow Tribe had performed for the Adult Sock Hop featuring none other than D.J. Jubilee. For those who could not make it to the show, there are many more to come. For the line-up of Flow Tribe performances and to sample a few songs, check out Myspace.com/FlowTribe. Flow Tribe will release their first official album, Pregnant with a Baby Called Funk, on May 16 at Rock-N-Bowl in New Orleans with fellow performer Amanda Shaw.



Send your comments to editor@tigerweekly.com

Originally Published: Issue 605 - April 23, 2008

Comments

1.Great Show...we love the Flow...
Ashley | 2008-04-24 - 01:09:11 PM (CDT)
2.This band had IT going go... Good Luck, let us know the next time you play in Baton Rouge!
Jenifer | 2008-04-24 - 01:14:48 PM (CDT)
You Rock!
Jill & Susan | 2008-04-24 - 01:17:08 PM (CDT)
4. Free the Flow and your ass will follow!!!!
Dude | 2008-04-24 - 05:07:47 PM (CDT)
5.Flow with the Tribe and you will jive!!!
Dude #2 | 2008-04-24 - 06:14:41 PM (CDT)
6.We are down with the Flow
Stephen | 2008-04-25 - 06:33:17 PM (CDT)
7.flow tribe is this shiznite
Dude #3 | 2008-04-25 - 06:45:46 PM (CDT) - Tiger Weekly


"Ones to Watch"

Building on the rich history of New Orleans funk comes the next generation jam band paying homage to their Crescent City roots. Flow Tribe formed in 2004 and consists of high school buddies: Black Quick (guitar, vocals), K.C. O’Rorke (vocals, trumpet, keyboard), Chad Penot (guitar, bass), Brian Santos (guitar, bass), Russel Olschner (drums), and John-Michael Early (harmonica, washboard).
“We started the band playing on our back porch the summer after we graduated high school,” O’Rorke explained. “We realized that we really had something going on, and we went from playing at friends’ houses to playing Tipitina’s and Voodoo Fest.”
Flow Tribe made its first appearance at the Voodoo Experience this year on the NooMoon stage on Saturday, October 25. The experience, O’Rorke said, was one of the biggest thrills thus far.
“Playing Voodoo Fest was such a milestone for us,” he said. “We’ve been to every Voodoo [as fans] since ‘99. Just being a part of it this year made it really special. It was a very humbling experience, but we’re a very grateful and humble band. We don’t take anything for granted.”
Because this is the first true professional music venture for the members of Flow Tribe, they are not lacking in new experiences. Recently, the band shared the stage with Trombone Shorty, which was a thrill.
“He’s an incredible performer, and sharing the stage with someone like that, we can learn a lot,” O’Rorke said. “The New Orleans community has really embraced us and been supportive. It’s hard for a band to make it out there sometimes, especially when you’re from a city with such a high level of great music, but we’re really finding our niche.”
While the band formed in 2004, it wasn’t until after Hurricane Katrina that the members truly set out to bring the band off the back porch to carve out their place in the music scene.
“Our drummer went to Iraq for the National Guard for a year, and then after he got back, Katrina happened,” O’Rorke recalled. “After that, we thought we should really try and make this happen.”
Although young and still finding their musical as well as touring path, Flow Tribe is full of charisma and a desire to live up to the reputations of those great New Orleans musicians like the Meters, Dr. John, Professor Longhair, and Irma Thomas, that they cite as influences.
“I would say our music is built on the tradition of New Orleans funk, but it encompasses a lot of rock and blues, and there’s something that cracks your backbone,” O’Rorke said. “We approach the music like a street party and we want to bring that to the stage. We try to take what we grew up listening to and update it. We don’t want to make it too obvious, but it’s rooted in a real tradition.”
In August of this year, Flow Tribe released its debut 12-track album Pregnant with a Baby Called Funk. O’Rorke said the first track on the album, “Feel My Funk,” best summarizes what they are trying to accomplish musically.
“It’s the kind of song your mom is gonna get out there and dance to, but she might get a little hot,” O’Rorke said with an obvious laugh. “It’s a great intro to the band, because of the way it’s arranged with the classic horns in the beginning, and the semi-sexual raw message.”
Keeping with the fun nature of the band, Flow Tribe included an extra bonus track on the album.
“It’s a song about being a werewolf,” O’Rorke chuckled as he explained the bonus track. “It’s talks about my overly hairy body. It’s an ode to my Italian heritage.”
When it comes to the lyrics, O’Rorke said he takes an organic, jam band approach. In fact, the band’s name pays homage to the writing process.
“It comes from the fact that our music is improvisational in nature,” he explained. “I make up the words as we’re playing, so it’s a very flowing process. The tribe part of our name represents how we all come from different musical backgrounds, but we make up a core unit.”
Where Flow Tribe deviates from the traditional jam band is during the live set. Although the writing process is improvised, the songs are solidified by the time they’re performed on stage.
“By the time we hit the stage, we know what the song is going to be,” O’Rorke said. “The actual writing process is almost like a freestyle rapper. I don’t write anything down. I just say the words when I get that initial feeling from a song. I just go with it.”
You can learn more about Flow Tribe by visiting their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/flowtribe. O’Rorke said the band is currently building a new and updated website, which will include many new features. - Where Y'at Magazine


"Quotes"

“Their funky brand of music and O’Rorke’s vocals bring to mind G. Love and Special Sauce.”

Clare Austen-Smith, Tulane Newspaper October 17, 2008


“The founders of funk and soul music would be proud of Flow Tribe’s musical composition and their lively performances.”

Kellie Johnson, Tiger Weekly Issue 605 April 23, 2008


“Flow Tribe are one of the better funk-soul rock bands that you’ll find in New Orleans right now.”

Brett Schwaner, Antigravity Magazine VooDoo ’08 Issue p.19


“They make it obvious through the recorded Pregnant with a Baby Called Funk that they’d be great to see live.”

Thomas Rush, Where Y’at Magazine CD Review VooDoo Edition


“Bizarrely irresistible.”

Capt Abernathy of Groovescapes February 7th 2009


"Building on the rich history of New Orleans funk comes the next generation jam band paying homage to their Crescent City Roots."

Samantha Morgan, Where Y’at Magazine January Ones to Watch
- Several Publishers


"Soul Capital & Flow Tribe"

Posted: 10/17/08
Flow Tribe once said they could take any event into the fourth dimension. Last Saturday night at the Boot, they took the stage looking like they had already been there and back. They were up to the task again, however, and succeeded in transforming a usually mellow Saturday night crowd into actual concertgoers. Lead singer K.C. O'Rorke sang and talked his way through their set, feeding off the energy of the crowd and managing to suck in even the most unconcerned Boot goers. They tore through such favorites as "Feel my Funk" and "4th Dimension," while acknowledging their jam rock roots by taking the time to jam on stage. Flow Tribe has been a part of the New Orleans music scene since their inception in 2004. The bandmates themselves met in high school. Their funky brand of music and O'Rorke's vocals bring to mind G. Love and Special Sauce.

The high energy performance of Flow Tribe, however, wasn't the only reason the crowd was so pumped. Tulane favorites Soul Capital opened up the concert, giving those new to Tulane a little taste of the local hip-hop scene. Soul Capital is made up of Tulane students Miles Felix and Ben Brubaker, with Felix working the turntables and Brubaker on the mic. Brubaker is also the president and founder of Hip Hop for Hope, a non-profit organization that puts on local Hip Hop shows to raise money for schools in the Ninth Ward. Despite the difference in the genres of music, the crowd loved both bands. The Boot was pregnant with a baby called funk... and it looks like it will be again sometime soon.
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© Copyright 2008 Hullabaloo - The Hullabaloo by Clare Austen-Smith


"Pregnant with a Baby Called Funk CD Review"

Flow Tribe, a local funk/rock/blues band does well to blend the three. Along with dashes of other genres, they’ve fashioned an album that lends itself to a type of music that isn’t created in New Orleans very often. They make it obvious through the recorded Pregnant With a Baby Called Funk that they’d be great to see live. The group shines brightest during the instrumental portions of their songs when they’re allowed to roam freely around their instruments more. The drummer and bassist have audible chemistry between them with the other band members coming in to supplement their style. With everything from the harder version of funk reminiscent of Pepper to the calmer O.A.R. influenced tracks, they still maintain a sound that is their own. They have a good standard core of the funky music that is expected of funky music. Classic funk chords being played on guitar surrounded by the other instruments dancing alongside seems to be the theme of the album. They find original ground to cover, especially in the track “The Worx,” which isn’t in the same 4-4 I-know-what’s-coming-next structure. The lead guitarist has a knack for pulling original sounds out of his guitar, a difficult thing to do in this day of home-recording, multitudes of gadgets, gizmos and electronics and every John, Dick and Harry putting their material out there. If you’re a funk fan, it’s likely that this disc is for you. It’s funky. It’s got the fast paced bass lines and the wah-wah-pedal infused axe with a spattering of other instruments being placed tastefully over the top. Go get it, support your local funk band. Heck, do me one better and buy their album at a show. –Thomas Rush
- Where Y'at Magazine November CD Reviews by Thomas Rush


Discography

Check Yo Pockets (2007) released locally

Pregnant With A Baby Called Funk (2008)

Sloppy Seconds (2009)

Photos

Bio

Boiled in the musical melting pot of New Orleans, simmered in Louisiana soul, the 6 diverse musicians in Flow Tribe are transcending the traditional barriers of the music establishment with their unique style and sound. With the delicacy of a sledgehammer, Flow Tribe fuses psychedelic/blues and funk/rock to captivate any crowd within hearing distance. Age is irrelevant, anyone with functioning eardrums will be vibrating and salivating to the sweet sounds of Flow Tribe. From the Voodoo Music Experience to on top of a Mardi Gras float, the sound beast that is Flow Tribe guarantees a mind bending live performance by talented performers who bring the crowd in contact with a higher musical power. Namely, the power that cracks yo backbone, flips your switch, and transports you into the 4th Dimension.