Funk Vets Converge
Players in the Masters of Old School cover their own former hits.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
In 1973, Sly and the Family Stone released the funk masterpiece Fresh. Now, the bassist who played on that landmark album, Rusty Allen, is in a unique position where he plays with the Bay Area’s Masters of Old School: he covers songs he recorded as a member of the legendary funk outfit.
Pianist Jimmy Mc Kinney is also in that same sort of situation when the Masters of Old School perform Chaka Kahn or the Commodores, bands that he played with.
Led by vocalist Anthony “Antonio” Young, the five-person Masters have been performing old school hits for the past decade. Young says the group plays classic dance-floor fillers by folks like Rick James, Stevie Wonder and Cameo.
In the past, the Masters of Old School have performed at San Francisco’s Monte Carlo and Oakland’s Oak Tree. But from 2000 to 2003, the band had their most high-profile gig as the house band for the home games of the Golden State Warriors.
In the near future, the group might be playing their own R&B tunes for dancing crowds. Young says that he and his bandmates are hoping to release an album of original material by the end of the year. “We have plenty of originals, but we don’t play them onstage yet,” he says.
The Masters of Old School play Sly McFly’s, 700 Cannery Row, Monterey, Saturday, March 27, at 9pm. 649-8050.