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The best kept secret in music


"BP Recommends - February Issue, 2003"

If you haven't heard of Freekbass, you will. Protege to bandleader and funk-bass pioneer Bootsy Collins, fellow Cincinnati native Chris "Freekbass" Sherman and his band have inherited the Buckeye State's funk flag, while winning over many funk-favoring ears across the Midwest. Taking a page from the Bootsy cookbook, Freek lets medium-tempo grooves simmer, spicing the mix with delicious hooks, grab-ya guitar parts, and trippy sci-fi synth sounds that weave in and out of the funk. Like his mentor, Freekbass switches between understated fingerstyle grooves and mind-bending, effect-saturated solos. Don't expect a Funkenstein clone, though; while Bootsy's direction and influence is clear, Freekbass and his band have a colorful, Freek-unique sound that's undeniably their own delicious thang.

- Bass Player Magazine


Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Freekbass is a technical funk band that is taking the country by surprise and by storm. The band is centered around Freekbass himself, who plays some of the most amazing bass you'll ever hear, and also supplies vocals. The rest of the band is fleshed out with drums, guitar, keys, horns, and backing vocals.

Previously a Midwest band, Freekbass is ready to extend its tour base from Chicago to the Northeast. They just finished a quick run through Pennsylvania and New York, including a sold out Halloween show at the haunted Beardslee Castle. In December they'll be returning to the Northeast for a show at the Java Barn in Canton, NY and a private high school show in New Jersey.

Understand this is no ordinary college funk band. These guys have been hand picked by funk's greatest forefather, Bootsy Collins, to bring the funk to the new millennium. Collins both manages the band and has executive producer credits on the band's latest release The Air is Fresher Underground. The album has gained the band serious attention, and has even caught the eye of the tastemakers at the Grammys, who are considering the album for an R&B Grammy nomination.

But there's more to Freekbass than just funk and rhythm and blues. They certainly do bring the hand waving, P-Funking, good time party vibe to their shows, but like several other band leading bass players (Les Claypool, Victor Wooten, or Oteil Burbridge come to mind), people are coming to check out Freekbass' unique approach and his technical mastery of the instrument.

Freekbass has recently earned several accolades for his prowess on the low end. Kustom amplifiers out of Cincinnati have honored him with the release of a Freekbass signature amp head. D'Addario bass strings, who sponsor the band, have included their song "Minute to Forever" on the music sampler they're putting into their bass string packages this season. Freekbass joins some heavyweights on the bass compilation including Michael Manring, Steve Bailey, Jimmy Haslip, and the aforementioned Burbridge.

These honors have led the band to interesting appearances, including last month's Bass Player Live Music conference in New York City, sponsored by Bass Player magazine to celebrate their 15th anniversary. Freekbass went from there to headlining the Detroit Bass festival where he was joined by the likes of Matthew Garrison, Norm Stockton, and others for a sold out show in the Motor City. So while there seems to be a band in every town that brings the funk to the college scene, Freekbass is really riding a wave of technical wizardry to bring the funk--and bass playing itself--into the future.

Fore more information on Freekbass be sure to visit his web site


If his last CD “Body Over Mind” was the funk bomb, this is the subsonic mutron-laced nuclear groove assault. Oh, the last lp was way funky for sure, albeit with a certain commercial slickness to it. This time Freekbass kicks any appeal to radio programmers to the curb and “Knocks The Walls Down” with a blistering set of format-busting no-nonsense funk.

Indeed as he sings over the opener ‘I think its time for the world to see, how we act when we are free’. Its grittier, truer, rawer, edgier, rockier, alas ‘The Air Is Fresher Underground”. Bootsy makes a much more pronounced role here, co-writing and performing on several of the tracks. He’s clear-headed and producing the future of the funk. That clarity and focus transmits to the songs, only one of which clocks in at over 5 minutes.

Both “Burnt Cat”, “Getting It” & “Check It” are all stanking slices of big foot funk with raps by Swift, those crisp Bootsy vocals, Catfish Collins laying down some superb chicken-sctach licks on guitar, and that throbbing low-end plucking of the Freekbass. Lots of Bootzilla-influenced bass playing here, it’s a real bass album by a real bass player. Nowhere are Casper’s vocals so tight as on “Always Here” of which he overdubs some smooth Freekbass vocals for a lyrical duet.

Bernie Worrell’s incredible piano interspaced throughout the bluegrass , up-the-country feel of “Do We Even Belong Together”, with its fiddle & banjo mutha-pluckings. Freekbass writing style is so up-front, he’s a master at revealing inner parts of himself and allowing us free access into his world and mind. Not only does the funk roll free and fluid here, its also a lyrical masterpiece. Plus there is a tight enhanced video on here too So let the freak in your soul feel soma this Freekbass fonk.

Reviewed For
Funk Journalist & Atlanta Radio Personality~"Bustin'"Bob Mitchell

- The Funk


A freaky sense of playing pervades bass and funk master Freekbass on his latest, The Air Is Fresher Underground. Produced by the legendary Bootsy Collins, Air snaps with crackling energy on the free flowing "Burnt Cat" and the blistering rave-up, "Play".

Special guest Bernie Worrell adds his deft keyboard touches to "Do We Even Belong Together?" And Buckethead's searing guitar solos color the hyper-kinetic track, "Always Here". But this Freekbass' party, and the bass slappin' funk veteran lays down a ferociously wicked groove on "Gettin' it". Collins' hand in overseeing the material produces a sound the leaps right out of the speakers. Pumping beats mix with hip hop, rythm and blues and funk so nasty it smells. The Air Is Fresher Underground puts Freekbass squarely in Les Claypool territory with an audacious presentation that pushes musical boundaries.

-B.W. - An Honest Tune


The Air Is Fresher Underground, 2003
Body Over Mind, 2001


Feeling a bit camera shy


The most glowing “Freekbass” testament comes from none other than bass-master, funk legend, Rock-N-Roll Hall of Famer, Bootsy Collins. While Bootsy has collaborated with numerous musicians throughout the years, including Dee-lite, Dave Stewart, Lenny Kravitz and Fat Boy Slim, Bootsy has never taken such an interest in a fellow bassist until meeting the young Chris “Freekbass” Sherman. In fact, the name “Freekbass” was ceremoniously given to Sherman, dubbed by Bootsy himself during a recording session.

“Freekbass is the new spiritual warrior for the Funk”, Bootsy says. “I’m not a big fan of playing with myself, although I have been accused of doing so in the past (smile)… this is the feeling I get when touchin’ bass with Freekbass.”

Freekbass was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. An only child, he developed a love for cartoon superheroes and comic books, relating to the underlying themes. “I always dug how these superheroes had all these powers, yet were ultimately still an outcast in society”, Freekbass recalls. “If I wasn’t Superman for Halloween, I was Elvis, so that should tell you something.”

By age 12, he was working in a local music store to work off his electric bass in lay-away. While working at the store, he began to study the classics of Larry Graham, Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, Parliament and Bootsy. By high school he had transferred to Cincinnati’s School for the Creative and Performing Arts, located in an urban, more diverse part of Cincinnati. There he found his home, gigging on the local scene by age 14.

Creatively, Freekbass’ style was very groove and funk oriented which differed from the pop and grunge music of the time. “Public Enemy, Stereo MC’s, Dr. Dre… that’s what I was feeling.” He co-founded the group “SHAG”, a hard-core funk band, taking it back to the musical roots he’d discovered in his childhood. During this time, he was introduced to Gary “Muggbone” Cooper, who asked Freekbass to play bass on a compilation Jimi Hendrix tribute album for P-Vine Records, Japan. Coincidentally, the recording session took place at Bootzilla Rehab Studios, recording den of none other than Boosty Collins. It was the beginning of an inspirational and enduring friendship that continues today.

As his group, SHAG started to dissolve due to the rigors of the road, Freekbass, embarked on his first solo recording project. His first effort, Ultra-Violet Impact, was picked up by Indy-label, Egg Records. In 1999, Freekbass put together a live touring group, which today includes guitarist Josh Knarr, and drummer Chip Wilson.

While Freekbass was already known for his bass playing, it was his live show that quickly won fans over. The combination of his infectious energy and unique fashion choices, word spread quickly about a live show that is true entertainment. In June of 2001, Freekbass released Body Over Mind, an expression of nasty bass grooves, combined with influences of hip-hop, dance and rock. The album has received favorable reviews from the US and Europe, including recommendations from Bass Player Magazine and Bass Frontiers Magazine. Body Over Mind was picked also up by Japanese label, Starlets/Sony, for release in Japan, September 2002.

In October of 2003, Freekbass released the follow up cd, The Air Is Fresher Underground. The cd features legends Bootsy, Catfish Collins, Bernie Worrell and famed guitarists Buckethead, Richard Fortus of Guns N’ Roses and John Hickey of the Woo Warriors. It also includes a video for “Always Here”, featuring Bootsy and a cameo from Buckethead. Tracks from the cd have been featured on episodes of MTV’s “Pimp My Ride” and were also included on two compilation cds by Bassics Magazine and D’Addario Strings.