Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band
It's time to make a booty call.
Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band is bringing some funky stuff to Harrisburg's Appalachian Brewing Co. Wednesday, Feb. 12. The fusion sextet is out on "Booty Show In The Snow Tour."
"We did a competition on Facebook for the name (of the tour)," said Mary Frances, who sings and plays keys in the group.
She added that the band might come to regret the name as this frigid winter continues. The group's home base in Asheville, N.C., got pummeled with a snowstorm last week.
But Frances, aka Mama Funk, said the Booty Band is poised to raise the temperature Wednesday with its horn-driven blend of funk, rock, soul and old-school rap.
"We encourage dancing, and we might even invite (people) on stage if we see enough dancing," Frances said. "I might make an appearance on the bar myself."
But back before she bar-hopped, Frances studied classical piano. She started lessons at 7 and continued her music education at Appalachian State University. Later, she learned that other Booty Band members went there, too.
The classical training informs how Frances plays today, but she said it took her a while to find her style.
When she started playing left-hand bass in addition to piano, she studied other ambidextrous artists, including John Medeski and Robert Walter. She also started listening to powerful female artists like Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt.
Frances explored her funky side in a duo with drummer Lee Allen. They both joined the Booty Band about four years ago.
In the group, Frances cultivated a sultry look for her alter ego — Mama Funk.
"That part of me takes over on stage," she added.
Band members' nicknames were born on the road. Frances said they come up with lots of inside jokes in the van — sometimes for 40 hours at a time. Her moniker stuck, but some of her bandmates like to switch it up.
They also like to sport attire as loud as their tunes.
"I love picking out outfits for stage," Frances said. She has fun accessorizing with hats and jewelry.
On its current tour, the group is celebrating the release of its new album, "Onward!" Frances said the previous album pulled songs from before the Booty Band formed. "Onward!" includes tracks the group came up with together.
"(It) really features the sound we created," she added. "When we went into the studio, we wanted to capture the live essence of the show."
Members explored various effects, mike techniques and analog equipment to give the album a signature sound. They also fell in love with filming music videos. But when the weather starts to thaw, the band will be raring to get its booty back into the studio.
"We write a lot on the road," Frances said. "Releasing an album a year is a good goal. It keeps it fresh. (We have) a lot of energy flowing between the five of us."
If you go
Shake what you got when Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band takes the stage Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Appalachian Brewing Co., 50 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg. Doors open at 8 p.m. Hexbelt will open the show. Tickets are $10. The show is for those 21 and older. For details and tickets, visit www.abcbrew.com.
Details about the band:www.bootyband.com
More band interviews:flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory