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Cummaquid, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Cummaquid, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band R&B Soul




"The Gathering at Chaffee's Reviewed"

I was just making my way to the main stage at this year's Gathering at Chaffee's when I heard the first strains of “Play That Funky Music,” instantly recognizable, carrying over the cool summer-night air.

For a moment there, I almost scoffed. Kinda predictable, that old horse is, I thought.

But flash-forward about six minutes or so: The band is in deep, bending and working that old funk-rock staple out in ways I hadn't figured possible, giving it a whole new (and way better than I'd ever heard before) kind of pulse.

I look around, and see this crowd is really gettin' down now – and, man, I am too.

The tentacles of the mighty Funktapuss – extending their reach over a usually-quiet section of northwestern Pennsylvania countryside – had pulled a crowd of hundreds into their grasps, and I didn't see a soul trying to get away. Just the opposite, in fact: Everyone caught in the moment – myself included – was exactly where they wanted to be.

It seemed the players who make up the Funktapuss' appendages felt the same.

“This is a beautiful, beautiful crowd. I'm lovin' it,” frontman Latez Crawley, all smiles and all smooth, told the audience before going back into the grooves. “We've been havin' fun all day” at the Gathering, he said. “I love it.”

The Gathering at Chaffee's – to my first, too-short experience there late last month – was indeed easy to love, and hard to leave. A lot like family.

And those who bring the big, little fest about – founder Doug Chaffee, promoters Tracy Evans and Ryan Bartosek, other organizers, volunteers, and the bands – say that's what it is, and they're happy to have their family growing.

It's “really great to be a part of something that so many people look forward to each summer,” Bartosek said. “I was on cloud nine all weekend knowing that both the artists and the audience were having a blast.”

Evans (who's also Funktapuss' general manager) said the Gathering is about hundreds – and what's looking to grow in coming years to be thousands – “of like-minded people coming together to enjoy time with old friends ... making new ones, and joining forces to jam the day and night away to some pretty amazing music. Nothing compares to the feeling of walking up to and waking up to the sounds of people forgetting their problems for a weekend,” and from both sides of the stage, “it's nothing short of amazing,” she said.

As far as the music goes, the whole weekend – two days full of sets by plenty of local favorites, new-to-here acts like Funktapuss and main-headliners Aqueous and Cope – was “a gigantic eargasm,” Evans said.

I was only there for a Friday-night quickie myself – long enough to catch the Funktapuss and Aqueous sets – but I can't say I left the Gathering feeling at all unfulfilled.

That rendition of “Play That Funky Music,” easily the best I've ever heard, was worth the trip in and of itself. And Aqueous – amazing, prog-jam wizards, those fellas – treated my ears (hell, my whole body and being) to what was, again, easily a best-I've-ever-heard with their rendition of Supertramp's “The Logical Song.”

And those are just a couple of examples of the many ways in which minds were blown.

“I'm losing myself in my space,” a guy beside me who was dancing – a truly into-it, beyond-thinking groove – kept repeating. “The music – I keep losing myself in it, losing myself in my space.”

“Well that,” I told him, “is never a bad space to be in, my friend.”

He smiled. So did I.

And everyone danced some more. - The Erie Reader

"Funktapuss plays tonight at Crooked I, Friday at Chaffee"

Mr. Spock of "Star Trek" has a saying, "Live long and prosper." Nice, but that can't hold a phaser next to the signature phrase for Massachusetts band Funktapuss.

"Live, Love and Be Funky" -- that's their advice, and the title of the last song on their self-titled CD. They play sax- and keyboard-driven funk that accentuates groove.

"Berklee (School of Music) classifies funk as anything with a 16th note subdivision, so that pretty much leaves it open to anything," said sax player Ryan Tivey, and he should know. Tivey and drummer Chris Santos studied at Boston's Berklee; they started Funktapuss with high school buddy Brian Vanderbeek, who lays down the group's popping bass lines.

By "open to anything," Tivey means Funktapuss plays far more than P-Funk and Stevie Wonder, though they cover them. Their set list, in addition to originals, includes songs by Soulive, Prince, Chaka Khan, Bill Withers and Tower of Power.

"We also do Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky,'" Tivey said. "That's a popular one. We're big fans of Daft Punk; we started doing that one when it came out."

Lead singer Latez Crawley joined last. Funktapuss had started as an instrumental unit, but Tivey said that didn't go over great in a vacation hot spot such as Cape Cod. One night at a bar gig, Tivey overheard a stranger goofing around and approached him.

It was Crawley.

"I heard him talking and literally I was like, 'Do you sing? Do you know 'Superstition' by Stevie Wonder?' He said yes, so we got him on stage."

Talk about getting lucky. Crawley fit right in.

"This was his first band," Tivey said, "but he dressed like a rock star."

Still does; Crawley varies his outfits. "You never know. He makes anything work," Tivey said. "He's come out in a dress. He's come out with an alarm clock around his neck."

Crawley evolved into an exciting frontman who suits the band's energetic sound.

"I call it heavy-metal funk," Tivey said. "Tommy (Davis) is a big Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix fan, so it translates into some hard-rock sounds. Like Red Hot Chili Peppers with a saxophone." - Dave Richards, Erie Times-News

"Funktapuss Tours with Zach Deputy"

Festival fave Zach Deputy—known for his infectious, one-man live looping dance party performances— will be changing up his solo show this season, touring throughout the late winter/spring with a full band made up of members from the Cape-based band Funktapuss.

News of who was in the band was kept quiet, but Deputy’s camp revealed their identity in Deputy’s monthly Zach Attack Newsletter on December 15, with the following:

“…unless you are from Eastern Massachusetts or Cape Cod, you have likely not heard of the band Funktapuss. Well, Zach hadn't, either until a flat tire after his appearance at the Naukabout Music Festival led to him walking into a bar [the Naukabout after-party at The Beach House] and getting blown away by a cover of Tower of Power's "What Is Hip?".

"Now, it would take a serious performance of this funk standard to blow away any seasoned musician, but Zach was captivated. The band was exceptionally tight and they were feeling it. So was Z, so now half of Funktapuss is backing him up on his band tours in the spring.

"Brian "Beek" Vanderbeek—a protege of Victor Wooten—lays down the bass lines, joined in the rhythm section by drummer Chris Santos and keyboardist Ryan Tivey. Santos and Tivey both attended Berklee College of Music, and the kicker here is that these three started playing together in high school. Tivey also doubles on sax, and the trio are accompanied by Asheville, NC based journeyman percussionist Shen Hunt and Sam Williams on rhythm guitar.

"Some of you may know Sam—he lives in the van with Zach and assists Jeremy with lights and production—but you may not know he is a talented singer-songwriter/guitarist. Zach Deputy Band is built around Zach's Caribbean tinged soul/R&B sound and promises to get your butt moving, or else...”

When Zach Deputy released Another Day in September, 2011, he embarked on a new journey as a performer. The record showcased his singer-songwriter side and some of the mellower aspects of his moods and music. Best described as soulful rhythm and blues, Another Day has come close to cracking the Top 100 on the AAA radio charts, hitting #106 before they froze for the holiday break. The record is up for numerous independent music awards, and following Zach’s third year in a row on Jam Cruise, he and the band will be “woodshedding” for a couple of weeks at his home outside of Savannah, GA.

The Zach Deputy Band is scheduled to perform along the East Coast in February and the beginning of March, broken up by a trip to Costa Rica with the Jam In The Jungle festival in mid-February. - Tsunami Music Publicity

"National Act 'Funktapuss' to Perform May 4 at Tower Hill Tavern"

National Act 'Funktapuss' to Perform May 4 at Tower Hill Tavern

Published Date Monday, 29 April 2013 11:17

LACONIA — Tower Hill Tavern, located at 264 Lakeside Ave, The Weirs, will host the touring act
Funktapuss on Saturday May 4 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
Funktapuss is a five-piece band with roots in traditional Soul, R&B, and James Brown-era funk, and
is currently touring the nation in support of their original debut album. Their lineup of musicians, which draws directly from the lineage of great American funk musicians, includes: bassist Brian Vanderbeek (a protégé of Victor Wooten); keyboardist/saxophonist Ryan Tivey (student of Fred Lipsius from Blood, Sweat and Tears); drummer Chris Santos (Zach Deputy Band); Boston-area guitarist Tom Davis; and the celebrated Gospel-trained NYC vocalist Latez Crawley.
Founder Brian "Beek" Vanderbeek founded Funktapuss in 2007 when he landed back in the states after a six-year deployment with the United States Navy. His active duty included several years in the Iraq War, and since returning home he's committed his work to making people celebrate life and "get down."
Heralded as a "touring machine" by one industry rep, Funktapuss' stage show echoes the records of
Maceo Parker, Parliament, Stevie Wonder, and Earth, Wind & Fire, while still incorporating the "fiery
riffing of Zeppelin and Stevie Ray." Their one-night stop at Weirs Beach comes amongst gigs in Boston, NYC, Philadelphia and Atlanta. - The Laconia Daily Sun


Self Titled Album:

1. Lesson

2. Go If You're Gone

3. About Love

4. Nightlife

5. The Truth

6. I Know

7. Live, Love & Be Funky



Funktapuss is a five-piece groove factory that churns out smooth, sweaty New England style funk. Popping bass lines and hot guitar drive the bopping rhythm section, the backdrop to the bands smooth, sexy vocals. With funky keyboards and saxophone added to the mix, Funktapuss keeps the crowds smiling and feet on the dance floor.

Make no mistake, Funktapuss has got chops. United States Naval veteran Brian Beek Vanderbeek is an accomplished musician. Mentored by bass legend Victor Wooten, Beek has spent time as a hired gun, backing up artists such as Jennifer Johns and Medusa, and recording with Satellite Grey. Multi-instrumentalist Ryan Tivey pulls double duty, playing both keyboards and saxophone. Tivey majored in music education at Berklee College of Music where he studied under Fred Lipsius, a Grammy award-winning artist known best as a member of the band Blood, Sweat, and Tears. Tivey also had the opportunity to learn from Bruce Katz and has had the pleasure of jamming with Jerry Portnoy of the Eric Clapton Band, Richard Dreyfus, David Garabaldi, Susan Tedechi, and Derek Trucks.

Building on a relationship with Beek and Tivey that dates back to their high school years, drummer Chris Santos helped form Funktapuss after earning a musical performance degree on full scholarship to Berklee College of Music. Santos, Beek, and Tivey have also toured together as members of the Zach Deputy Band, playing high profile venues and festivals throughout the east coast. Self taught guitarist Tom Davis draws from a wide spectrum of influences that run the gamut from Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughn, to Jack White. The end result is fiery riffing that rears its mighty head, adding to Funktapusss wow factor.

Accomplished vocalist Latez Crawley rounds out the band. Coming up in both gospel and school choir, Crawley competed at the all-district and all-state level and performed at Walt Disney World. Crawley earned a degree in theater music from American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. He went on to play major roles in various musical productions before joining Funktapuss in 2009.

From concert halls, to the bar, to the club, Funktapuss is a touring machine that brings the party wherever they go. They can rock a huge late-night festival crowd, or have heads bobbing in the jazz club. If you ever wondered what it would sound like if Stevie Wonder and Maceo Parker got together, youre going to want to check out Funktapuss.