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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band shakes its way to Starkville

Courtesy Photo

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band brings its funky sounds to Dave’s Thursday. The band, based out of Asheville, N.C., draw from acts like Parliament and Funkadelic and encourages its audiences to dance their cares away.

Maybe once in a lifetime the sound of a few visionaries banded together for a common goal resonates throughout a nation, inspiring the irresistible urge to forget the woes of this conflicted world and shake one’s booty with indelible elation. Starkville, Miss., plays host to one such sound this week.

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band plays at Dave’s Dark Horse Tavern Thursday at 8:30 p.m. These purveyors of original funk have toured the nation with their current lineup for four years, though the original group has made booties move for 11 years. A Starkville visit usually falls within one of the band’s 150 shows per year, and 2013 will be no exception as the band shakes the walls of Dave’s Thursday on its way from Wilmington, N.C., to New Orleans, La.

An anonymous veteran bartender at Dave’s said previous performances from Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band have gotten everyone dancing — sometimes even the bartenders.

“Usually wall to wall. They’re fun. A lot of people dancing. You kinda can’t help but dance a little bit,” the bartender said.

Lorrin Webb, senior graphic design major, said she enjoys dancing at the Booty Band’s shows. 

“I get my best dance of the year at their show, typically,” Webb said.

The Booty Band draws heavily from classic funk artists like Parliament, Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone and James Brown. However, inspiration from early hip-hop groups and rock bands, such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, gives the Booty Band a harder and more modern sound than early funk achieved. 

The Booty Band came on the scene around the time new funk (or nu funk) began to develop. While other pioneer bands of the genre tended to adopt a jam-band-like structure, the Booty Band sticks to the catchy, riff-driven structure of the legends that introduced the world to funk back in the 1970s.

Webb spent the past summer in Asheville, N.C., where the band is based. She said she enjoyed the privilege of seeing the band perform many times and described the sound as more funky and fun than anything Starkville is accustomed to. 

“Funky is the first thing that comes to mind — and bright — some of the best dance music. Funk is one of my favorite things to dance to,” she said. “But they also have a lot of hip-hop influence … (It is) exhilarating and refreshing because of the quality of the musicians, which we don’t see a lot of here in Starkville, unfortunately.”

Mary Frances, keyboardist and vocalist for Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, described her band’s sound as heavy funk, and she pointed out the individual contributions that each member brings to the table to formulate the band’s grooving, amalgamated sound. She said the soaring synthesizer lines, the heavy thumping bass and the blaring trombone give this five-piece band a big sound.

The plethora of talent and musical knowledge that the Booty Band boasts has blasted it to success over the years, allowing the band to play all over the United States. Its resolution is to continue playing shows at Dave’s in the midst of tours filled with larger, more prestigious venues intrigues. 

Frances said another project of hers, the two-piece band Eymarel, introduced the Booty Band to Dave’s. The innovative keyboardist recalled setting up on the floor amidst the tavern patrons and said the appeal of Dave’s lies in its intimacy, which offers something larger venues cannot.

“We play a lot of big stages and big shows, and it’s awesome, you know, but there’s something really fun about still having those shows where you’re right there with the crowd and everybody is in your face and you’re connected like that,” she said. “I think that’s something that no matter what level your career goes, that all bands still enjoy that intimate setting.”

Frances said anyone coming to the show unfamiliar with the band should prepare to forget the stresses of life for a few hours with good old-fashioned rump shaking.

“I would tell them to expect to get ready to shake their ‘boo-tay.’ Sometimes you gotta let it all go … everything happening in your day … and get on the dance floor and have the time of your life,” she said. “That’s our mission in life — spread the funk. So come join the mission.”

Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band releases its fourth album, “ONWARD!,” on Oct. 22. Frances said she is excited about the new album and said it is her favorite of the band’s albums to date. The band’s music video for its new single, “Trunk Fallin’ Off,” was just released and was filmed in Atlanta’s famous Clermont Lounge. The music video and more information about the band may be found at 

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Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band shakes its way to Starkville