Funky Nashville
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Funky Nashville


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"Funky Nashville - “Hitch A Ride”"

Review from,

Much like in Canada, where it seems great music is around every corner, something must have gotten out into the water in Denmark. A few months ago I reviewed a band called 2nd Street, and in the process I was contacted about Funky Nashville, a band Iceberg Records was hoping to be able to market to an American audience. I liked what I heard. The band’s music, a blend of surf-rock, pop, country and jump blues, is like nothing I’ve ever heard in this country, despite the fact that Funky Nashville draws from a number of signifi cant American musical developments over the last fifty years. Particularly the country and surf-rock blend made me think radio might be intrigued by their prospects - especially now that country music has been making consistent inroads into the pop market.
What I didn’t expect when I first heard the band in the fall of 2005 was for them to craft an album that would become such a favorite. But this three-man band from Copenhagen has an inate ability to develop a hook. Each of the eleven tracks on Hitch A Ride are infectious and hip, awash with steel guitar (used as a bass element, no less!) and the staccato rhythm of mexican-styled trumpets, while vocalist / guitarist Sverre Stein Nielsen takes it all to the next level with his gravelly-yet-smooth blues vocals.
Think Johnny Cash meets U2 in a bar with Cake-frontman John McCrea during a fourday bender and you might have a slight inkling of the potential this band posesses. “Hitch A Ride,” the first track (and lead-off single) from the album is a toe-tappingly addictive alt-country number with a killer hook; a non-traditional murder ballad involving a male hitchhiker taken hostage by a femme fatale driver, has the potential to take college rock and top-forty radio by storm, if only stations will be willing to take the chance. From there, the album is chock-full of single material. From the merengetinged “Mexican Stars” to “Ain’t No Cowboy” -- something of a reworking of the likes of Dave Loggins’ “Please Come To Boston,” all would make solid additions to traditionally tepid summer playlists. In that particular song, the main character is pursued by a woman who wants him to return to town and settle down, but (unlike Loggins’ protagonist) he chooses to dump her rather than give up the cowboy life. “I wish
that you were homeward bound,” she says, mournfully. He responds: “Baby, please don’t worry; I’m sure you’ll fi nd another man.” Now that’s cold!
The key, however, is that while crafting a series of solid singles, the band has built an album from the bottom up that tells the traditional cowboy story, updated to a modern setting and blending genres in a way that hasn’t been done to my knowledge. It’s a brilliant effort, one that deserves to break through into the American radio market in a big way. To overlook Hitch A Ride would be a massive mistake. Here’s hoping this won’t be the best album of 2006 no one hears. -, by Jonathan Sanders

"Funky Nashville - “Hitch A Ride”"

By Matt Rowe

From the opening notes of “Hitch a Ride” you can tell that you’re in for some good music. With a blend of down south Texas twangy guitar and Mexican horns, good songwriting and some dark elements, ‘80s style ( a bit like Depeche Mode), the song begins Hitch a Ride from Denmark’s Funky Nashville. Yeah…funky, I know. But these guys have tapped into that bit of magic that makes music so much fun to discover and listen to.
The album moves into the second track, “Gone Away” with a “Peter Gunn” guitar sound running through along with a splash of good old harmonica. “Mexican Stars” adds the Morricone whistle that might have you looking for Clint Eastwood steeping away from the side of a building, evaluating you with the questioning eyes.
The Texan twang of the guitars run through all of the songs found on Hitch a Ride. And while there might be a sense of sameness threading through the album, it is a different take on musical styles and blends (you have to love that Johnny Rivers’ “Secret Agent Man” guitar found at the centre of “Ain’t No Cowboy.”)
The album provides 11 tracks with 3 bonus tracks included. One of the bonus tracks is an excellent remix of “The Witch Queen of New Orleans,” half Roy Orbison and half CS&N (“Woodstock,”) with the familiar TexMex Morricone whistle in it. Despite a concentrated fascination with southern US culture (Texas into Mexico) circa ‘60s musically, Funky Nashville have taken that culture and created an alternative (why do I hate that term?) to today’s alternative sound. -

"Funky Nashville - “Hitch A Ride”"

By Jason Mackey

When most people think about popular music in Europe, they immediately think of techno. The continent seemingly has an uncanny ability to remix our favorite, and sometimes forgotten, ‘80s songs into creations that are possibly better than their originals. The three members of Funky Nashville, who are Denmark natives, also take their cues from American music. But instead of simply remixing a song, Funky Nashville takes the distinctive elements of American country western and combines them
with modern rhythms and accompaniment, upbeat tempos and strong bass lines. The result is a distinctive musical style that is fresh and exciting.
Funky Nashville excels at creating poppy country/new wave hybrid singles with catchy choruses and echoing background vocals. Memorable tunes are developed through layers of sound that are placed perfectly and never clumsily stacked. The introspective title track “Hitch A Ride” and the poppy anthem “My Corazon” have the ability to make listeners join in singing, but more importantly leave them satisfied with the musical experience. “Love” blends three vocal layers with the lead proclaiming “Love is the answer so they say.” “Eerie Old Town” uses production techniques to create echoes and
distortion that adds to the already existing variety present on this disc.
The one track that sums up the sound of Funky Nashville is also the highlight of the album, the instrumental “El Paso Bound.” Playing like the a song from the sound track of a Quentin Tarantino movie, the track successfully conveys what Funky Nashville is all about; mixing the classic sounds of western music with modern vocals, harmonies, rhythms and grooves. Throughout the album the group uses classic country elements such as the slide guitar, mouth harp, horns, whistles and harmonicas. “El Paso Bound” is no different and many of these quirky musical stereotypes are put to full use, but in
a way that sounds natural.
In today’s music scene it’s hard to find a unique sound that is also full of talent. Funky
Nashville has both going for them. Hitch A Ride is full of tightly wrapped numbers that
are perfect for spicing up your CD library. -

"Funky Nashville - “Hitch A Ride”"

By Emil

Somewhere in my mind there exists a hypothetical movie assembled from bits and pieces of every Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Sergio Leone flick I’ve seen on cable television. In it, Benicio Del Toro plays a hit man who’s driving through a rattlesnake-infested desert, on the run from an insane Texas Ranger played by Christopher Walken. The movie starts out really cool, with shots of sun-bleached wasteland, a tense gunfight in a run-down motel, and Benicio spouting some bad-ass one-liners. Eventually, the whole thing goes a bit overboard, particularly in the final scene where, having been pumped full of lead by a SWAT team, Benicio chugs an entire bottle of tequila and it comes trickling out the bullet holes in his gut.
Funky Nashville’s “Hitch A Ride” would make the perfect soundtrack for that movie. It starts with a menacing gunslinger vibe, twanged-out guitars chiming like church bells as mariachi trumpets set the stage for a shootout. On both the ballads and the rockers, Funky Nashville play everything for maximum cinematic effect, adorning the arrangements with choirs of background vocals, horns, strings, percussion, and tons of reverb. Now and again a hip-hop loop or static-y industrial sound effect reminds you that this is the 21st century, but otherwise the songs exist in a timeless netherworld
of phantom truckers, lost highways, and ruthless banditos – a version of the American West that only existed in paperback novels and Hollywood movies.
When not strumming flamenco riffs on his acoustic, vocalist/guitarist Sverre Stein Nielsen sings about “gambling my life away” and “sweet love… under the Mexican Stars” in a voice somewhere between Dwight Yoakam’s drawl and Morrissey’s melancholy croon. Yes, it’s all a bunch of Spaghetti Western clichés, but Funky Nashville are so dead-on in their delivery that you can’t help but get swept along.
Like any good direct-to-DVD B-movie, “Hitch A Ride” comes packaged with a few deleted scenes that were better left deleted. Of the three bonus tracks tacked onto the end of the album, only “Searching for Love” works, and probably because it’s in the same Spaghetti Western style as the album tracks. As for the others… Nielsen’s attempt at a Big & Rich-style honky-tonk rap on “Everything We Do” falls flat, while the gumbo-flavored disco-funk of “The Witch Queen of New Orleans” just proves that only Dr. John can sing songs about voodoo ladies without sounding ridiculous. Bonus tracks aside, for a bunch of guys from Denmark, Funky Nashville do an impressive job of channeling the spirit of the American West – or at least of the American West as it’s depicted in pop culture. While it’s probably not going to fit in with either mainstream country radio or the alt-country scene, “Hitch A Ride” is probably one of the ten best country records I’ve heard this year. Now, if only Benicio Del Toro could make a movie to go along with it... -



A Good Day To Drive – 2003 (Iceberg Records), Scandinavia
A Good Day To Drive – 2004 (Iceberg Records/ZYX), Germany
Hitch A Ride – 2006 (Iceberg Records), Scandinavia
Hitch A Ride – 2006 (Iceberg Records/ 215 Records), USA/Canada


I Will Survive/Everything We Do (soundtrack to the movie Männer Wie Wir/Guys And Balls) – 2004 (Iceberg Records/ZYX), Germany

Funky Nashville has been added on more than 30 radio stations in America. Among the highlights are:

Non commercial stations:

- XM Satellite Radio, Washington DC (Nationwide) Show: Café
- Acoustic Café - Nationally Syndicated Show
- KBUT, Denver, CO
- WHFC, Baltimore, MD
- KSER, Seattle, WA
- WCBE, Columbus, OH
- WFHB, Indianapolis, IN
- KXCI, Tucson, AZ
- KUNM, Albuquerque, NM
- WORT, Madison, WI
- KUNI, Cedar Rapids, IA
- WVMR, Roanoke, VA
- KUMD, Duluth, IA
- KRVS, Lafayette, LA
- WEVL, Memphis, TN
- KBOO, Portland, OR
- KPUR, Portland, OR

Commercial Stations:

- WRLT, Nashville, TN.
- WVOD, Mateo, NC. (Charlotte Market)
- WWVV, Hilton Head, SC (Savannah Market)
- KRSH, Santa Rosa, CA.
- KUMD, Duluth, MN



A band in the making
In the spring of 2001 three musicians got together in a small cottage in the Danish countryside. The intention was to arrange and polish a number of new tracks for a coming recording. Meanwhile, the combination of spring sunshine, whiskey and an uncontrollable eagerness to play were such an inspiration to the trio that the weekend resulted in an overwhelming jam session.

Late Friday night a funky groove was put into loop on the computer. A ”swampy” bass was added, a country riff was reeled off and a clear sounding melody was sung as the superb finishing touch. Like a bolt from the blue a new sound, a completely new musical style hit the trio – the country groove. Instantly the trio re-saddle and changed their musical style and band name the very same night. Funky Nashville was born.

The past
Prior to the above memorable weekend Funky Nashville called themselves Weatherbeat. Weatherbeat was formed in 1997 and consisted of 5 members, the style being melancholy pop/rock. Weatherbeat released 3 promo CDs and got quite some airplay on the Danish national radio; they toured Denmark playing festivals and clubs, however, the desired record deal didn’t happen. Two members left the band in 1999 and the coming year activities were at a minimum. The remaining three members didn’t give up though and they got together again to record a self-financed album in 2001. A lot of songs were recorded (and a lot of money was spent) until the above-mentioned turning point. Weatherbeat ceased to exist, Funky Nashville saw the light of day and all the old song material was discarded.

The search for new songs and a record deal began. Funky Nashville succeeded in obtaining both and the band signed a contract with the indie label, Tractor Music. The release was still paid for by the band themselves, as the label did not have quite the amount of needed means, so the album was recorded and the label took care of the video production for the first single.

In April 2003 Tractor Music and Funky Nashville released the first single Everything We Do, which received good airplay on the Danish national radio. At the same time the band signed a publishing deal with Iceberg Records Publishing/EMI Music Publishing. The album release was just around the corner but the financial means were all spent and Funky Nashville’s cash credit had hit rock bottom. From the side line Iceberg Records entered the scene and offered to release the album. The band accepted and the result was a record deal.

The albums
A Good Day To Drive
The creation of the debut album A Good Day To Drive was a long and complex process. The music was made with the Internet as an indispensable intermediary, as the singer Sverre Stein Nielsen was living in New Zealand when the creative process peaked. Fragments, riffs and entire tracks went forth and back between New Zealand and Denmark and the result is the 12 songs on the album A Good Day To Drive.

The album was well received in Denmark and soon after a record deal in Germany was signed. Along with the release in Germany Funky Nashville had two songs in the German/International motion picture Männer Wie Wir (Guys & Balls – US DVD-release in 2005). In addition to that they had yet another placement in a movie the Hollywood production The Long Weekend.

Success breeds success and the music video for the song Everything We Do was pre-loaded on the Samsung SGH-D500 cell phone. The phone that has sold the most units worldwide! Being on the Samsung phone has resulted in many positive reactions from people all over the world – many of them asking the band to visit their country etc.

Hitch A Ride
The creative process of the second album Hitch a Ride seemed a lot easier as lead singer Sverre Stein Nielsen had returned from New Zealand. The three band members could really focus on composing and the result was 11 new songs of which quite a few had single potential. And thanks to the brilliant work of Danish producer Carsten Heller the music had even more dimensions, though the style was still a complex mixture of groove, road music, rock and Morricone. The first single Hitch a Ride is a fantastic example of how skilfully the Danish trio plays their catchy tunes - wrapped in a cinematic and very characteristic musical universe.
At a music conference in Europe Manfred Zähringer the President of Iceberg Records met David Chackler president of American record label 215 Music, and this encounter resulted in a new record deal for Funky Nashville in USA and Canada.

The album has received fantastic reviews by the US critics (see Press Quotes and Reviews) and the first single Hitch a Ride has been added on several important US radio stations (see radio station list).

Again Samsung has chosen a Funky Nashville song (Hitch A Ride) to be pre-loaded on cell phones. The phones have so far been available in Europe, Asia and The Middle East.

The music
Funky Nashville is a remarkable mix of country,