What they say…
Craig Charles (The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show on BBC 6)
Funky Mama is the brainchild of Andrea del Vecchio (drums & percussion) and Attilio Errico Agnello (sax tenor). The idea of putting together an afro-funk band had been stirring in the minds of the two musicians, both born in Brindisi, a city in the southern region of Puglia, for some time.
Andrea and Attilio met by chance in 2009 in a rehearsal studio in Rome, the city where they had both moved in search of better work opportunities. They hit it off immediately and began jamming together, and with the addition of bass player Giuseppe Nobile, started playing in small venues of the Italian capital using the name Funky Mama, which is the title of the opening track on Lou Donaldson’s album “The Natural Soul”. Already in these initial stages the primary characteristics of the band were emerging: particular attention towards the rhythm section that lays the carpet on which the bass weaves a percussive groove and the tenor sax improvises a theme.
Since then the group has been intensely gigging between the region of Puglia where they come from and other areas of Italy, as well as playing many of the main black music venues in Rome. In the meantime synths and organ are added to the lineup with Davide Di Lecce, also from Brindisi, while Antonio Pirrò takes over on bass, giving an additional push to the rhythmic section with his raw funk style. They play afrobeat & funk classics alongside tracks they compose themselves, bred through countless hours of improvisation.
In the summer of 2012 the band spends time in the studio to record some of their original material, with the addition of Carlo & Pietro Gioia, respectively at sax baritone and trumpet. With what become known as The Joy Brothers, also from Brindisi, the group finally finds the right groove: powerful live shows and a series of recorded tracks are the result.
Funky Mama are currently preparing to present themselves to the world with the release of their first official EP of entirely original material recorded between Rome and Brindisi. 4 instrumental tracks of explosive afro-funk served with the typical warmth and rawness of Southern Italy, by a band that has all the potential to grow into a major representative of the developing funk scene in Italy. The graphics of this homonymous EP are by much respected and Internationally known artist from Brindisi Andrea Sergio aka Mr.Wany . Keep an eye out for the album, a video and much more news and surprises from Funky Mama!