Rosalie Howarth is a San Franciscan radio guru and was recently voted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. Naturally we all got a bit excited when she played ‘Deck The Halls’ on KFOG and hats off to the cool pronunciation of ‘Redtenbacher’s Funkestra’. Her first ever purchased record was ‘Disraeli Gears’ by Cream (yes!) and her first ever concert was the Montery Pop Festival of which she says “My life took a left turn right then!”. We are thrilled that a few decades later her ‘left turn’ led her past us…may there be many more ‘left turns’!
‘Santa’s got a brand new bag thanks to Austrian bassist Stefan Redtenbacher and his crew, who convert classic carols into booty-shaking instrumental grooveathons. Shake your jingle bells.’
2.5 stars (out of 3)
Darryl Sterdan, QMI Agency.
(About Darryl Sterdan: National music writer Darryl Sterdan is old enough to know better. He lives mostly in his head but also on his couch in Winnipeg, where he listens to music, thinks about music, writes about music and obsesses over music 24/7/365. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But he really will have to get that couch cleaned one of these days [from Toronto Sun].
And in addition to all this funky feedback Our track “A Very Funky Christmas” was selected for a Japanese Christmas compilation called “Rock Santa Rock!” released by the Japan-based Rambling Records. Yee haw!
And a big thank you to ‘Mr. October’ who has us on heavy rotation during the ‘May The Funk Be With You’ radio show on KVRX, a FM radio station in Austin, Texas. Their strap line is: ‘None of the hits – all the time’… we love it and we are in great company with The Sugarman Three, Johnny Guitar Watson and Smoove & Turrell.
Whoah! We are super happy about the great response we are having in the US with our Christmas album. Here a few selected tidbits:
Listen to this short snippet of San Francisco radio station KVRX. It cracks me up how the prime drive time DJ and program director Dennis Constantine is pronouncing ‘Red-ten-bacher’…very good job I think:-)
Being positively reviewed in the same ‘breathe’ as the Chicago Christmas album makes our day!
‘A Very Funky Christmas: Redtenbacher’s Funkestra (Wooden Hat Records) Featuring real brass, this 5 track collection starts with perky rearrangements of four classics and finishes with an original, the title track. It is the best arrangement of the lot; the solid rhythm section serves as a backdrop for Thomas Feurer’s array of flutes, clarinets, saxes and yes Virginia a cowbell.’
Brad Auerbach, Entertainment Today.
(About Brad: Brad Auerbach has been covering the media and entertainment scene for many years. He has written for Time Out London, Village Voice, LA Weekly and once upon a time won a New York State College Journalism Award.)
And we love this one. Rudolph really checked us out and put some thought into the music. Awesome!
‘This is one of those EP’s that owes its life to modern technology. The players on this album punted the album back and forth over the Internet across international borders until it was ready, willing and able to be heard for Christmas 2012. They did everything but tweet it to each other. The result? Well, if you’ve been unable to track down a copy of the much-maligned Salsoul disco Christmas from the 1970s, believe me folks, this all-instrumental five-song outing will do.
It’s extremely well played and it sounds great, but I know a fair number of people out there never go near a music player without their disco-filtering helmet on, so this isn’t for those folks. Slap-bass aficionados, on the other hand, will get an early Christmas gift. They give us “Deck the Halls,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Ding Dong Merrily on High,” “We Wish You a Merry Jingle Bells Christmas” and the title song, which keeps the spirit of the more familiar carols alive without sounding like any of them.’
Rudolph from ‘The ho-ho-home of a rock ‘n roll Christmas’.
Well, we know that we had our share of fun when we shot the footage for our ‘Deck The Halls’ video. But we didn’t expect other people to join the fun by shooting a video all of their own. However, this is precisely what happened!
This bunch of clearly super talented college students from the University of Austin, Texas decided to have a break from studying for their finals and came up with their own Christmas video that uses two tracks from our ‘A Very Funky Christmas’ album. They used ‘Deck The Halls’ for the intro and ‘Hark The Herald Angels Sing’ for the rest of their quirky video. These guys are no slouches…there is a lot of great stuff (and work) in this – different locations, choreography, props and the whole editing shooting match! I love it all for its pace, quirkiness and humor.
In particular I love the scene when one of the students is miming along to my bass solo with what looks like a red Fender Jazz bass on top of a house right next to a massive illuminated Christmas star (I know, of course I would, having played the bass in first place:-). I also like the timer and burnt ‘sausages’ moment – on one level I like to see it as a reference to ‘burning tune and bass solo’ and on the other hand I’m in shock to see burnt ‘sausages’, being Austrian and all…anyway, priceless! The other scene that made me laugh out loud is when two of the guys make a little gingerbread house and are all pleased with themselves when they finish it…until the mistletoe is coming down from the ceiling…whacky and funny! But as I said…I love the whole thing really.
Strangest thing…we don’t even know their names! So, please come forward super talented colleges students from Austin, Texas so we can show our gratitude. And to you, dear blog reader, what is your favorite moment in this video?
Well, this is a first on a few levels for the Funkestra!
First of all, to get a review in the Los Angeles Times (“Pop & Hiss” – The L.A. Times Music Blog by Randy Lewis) is totally awesome. Secondly, it is quite titillating to be mentioned in the opening gambit in the same sentence as Cee Lo Green and Tracey Thorn (former vocalist of Everything But The Girl).
To top it all off we received 3 stars out of 4 and I’m totally psyched about that. Especially as Rod Steward’s, Olivia Newton-John’s and John Travolta’s Christmas offerings were not so lucky and received ‘only’ two stars (sorry mom :-).
So, overall very happy that the ‘left-field collective Redtenbacher’s Funkestra’ as Randy calls us, is not only in such distinguished company and in such a distinguished music blog, but generally also seems to be liked for the quality of the music. So, for me Christmas has come early this year.
If you don’t want to trawl through the full article – here are the relevant bits:
It’s word association time. Say the first word that springs to mind: “holiday —-.” Did you think “Season”? “Sale”? “Hangover”?
How about “music?” This year, there are plenty of new holiday albums to pick from. Cee Lo Green, English pop-rocker Tracey Thorn and the left-field collective Redtenbacher Funkestra are just a few of the dozens of entertainers with albums out there made for celebrating the season. But which ones will offer yuletide cheer and which will feel like the same old thing, re-gifted?
And here’s the actual review:
*** Redtenbacher’s Funkestra, “A Very Funky Christmas” (Wooden Hat). This five-song EP is just the thing to brighten up any staid holiday gathering. These instrumentals percolate with Latin jazz-funk, bringing big-band juice and rhythmic punch to four yuletide classics and one original, the title track.
Read the full story at the LA Times Website.
We sneaked you a peak of the cover, titillated you with two video teasers, dressed up in our funkiest Christmas costumes and played and danced for you in the ‘Deck the Halls’ video. Now it is finally time to present you with our gorgeously designed Christmas CD ‘A Very Funky Christmas’.
We have infused funk, 60s boogaloo, jazz and 70s disco into classic christmas songs to take your Christmas holiday joy to the next level. We plucked, strummed and blew our little hearts out to get you into a funkified Christmas spirit…
So now please help us!
If you leave a comment on all three of them (iTunes, Amazon & CD Baby) we’ll also send you the physical CD in the beautifully designed Digipak with the artwork by Irina Pamyatnih. Totally free!
Just shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org after you’ve left your comment.
Where can you buy it?
Poor little elves.
Spare a thought for them all the way up there in the Arctic circle, toiling away in the darkness to finish all the presents in time for the boys and girls to unwrap on Christmas morning.
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could do something to make their lives a little easier, in this, their busiest time of the year? Well never let it be said that Redtenbacher’s Funkestra are neglectful of our tiny, hard working, supernatural friends.
“If they must toil, let it be in funkiness” Quoth band-leader Stefan Redtenbacher.
And so now we have funky elves, dancing girls, and is that Mrs Claus herself busting her funky moves at the North Pole? You decide after you’ve watched this spanking new Funkestra video for “Deck the Halls”!
And don’t forget, the forthcoming album, “A Very Funky Christmas” will be dropping in just a few days on the 15th November!
We looked through quite a few portfolios and drafts from illustrators around the world. Independently from each other we picked Irina Anatolieva Pamyatnih from Sofia, Bulgaria as our favorite. Her illustrations included covers for children’s books, flyers and art drawings that all oozed the right feel for what we were after. Once we unanimously decided on Irina we contacted her and it was a pleasure to work with her. She was an absolute pro about all aspects of the task in hand and on top of it a very nice person to work with. We think she really managed to encompass the spirit for our Christmas album which we will release on November 15.
Irina – you rule! Awesome album cover and happy faces all-round!
Check out Irina illustrating the process of creating the album cover.
A Very Funky Christmas, infuses funk, 60s boogaloo, jazz and 70s disco into classic holiday songs. This collection surely will inspire you to boogie through the season and take your holiday joy to the next level.
But don’t take our word for it! Check out what the James Aston Band has to say about the upcoming Christmas release on November 15th.
A Very Funky Christmas – Redtenbacher’s Funkestra
Released by: Wooden Hat Records
Release/catalogue number: RSB 72978
Release date: Nov 15, 2012
Stefan’s trusty 1972 Fender Jazz Bass is patiently enduring a pink rubbery pendulum as it waits for the 15 of November, the release date for ‘A very funky Christmas’ by Redtenbacher’s Funkestra.