Pensacola, Florida
Saturday June 24th 2017


The Funky Mothership Has Landed

By Brett Hutchins

Dancing in the sand can be a tough thing to do without the right band leading the way. Yo Mamas Big Fat Booty Band is headed to Pensacola Beach to do just that. Their six-piece horn-infused sound might leave your legs sore, but in the end it will be worth it. IN was able to chat with bassist Al Al Ingram the night before the bands next big tour got underway.

IN: First things first – whats with the name?
Ingram: Weve made up tons of different stories over the years, but Ill give you the real one. Two years before the band started, I worked in a head shop/porno store. It got extremely boring at times, so my coworker Dee and I made up a game. We would make up band names and then sing the theme song to the imaginary names. She went back to the porn closet, and when she came back, I could tell she had something special. Once she started singing the song, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was one of the best band names Id ever heard.
Two years later, the band forms and I propose the name. It didnt go over well at first, but I talked them into using it until we came up with something better. Here we are ten years later with the same exact name.

IN: You guys describe yourselves as nu-funk. What does that mean to you?
Ingram: Weve been told by a lot of different funk stars Belita Woods and Garry Shider (both of Parliament-Funkadelic), that were carrying the torch for them. With most funk bands, all youre doing is covering older songs. People arent really making much new funk music, and if they do, its more of an imitation than anything. We try to take the best of the past and forge it with some modern energy.

IN: How has the Asheville music scene helped you guys throughout your time as a band?
Ingram: The band started out in Boone, North Carolina, but weve been in Asheville for about 7 years now. Its an extremely active community that supports itself to the fullest. Our trombone player, Derrick Johnson, started a funk jam a few years ago thats become a staple. Every Tuesday night, people come out from all types of different backgrounds to play. Its not a competition we just want to get together to play the best music possible.
Funk bands have a tendency to push around opening acts and other bands, but we avoid that. Everyone involved is there to make the best experience possible every night. Our job is just as important as the guy cleaning up the bar after the show.

IN: Its been a couple years since Mary Frances joined the band. Can you talk about what she brings to the table that you guys didnt previously have?
Ingram: Shes our first real deal keyboardist. She also has that female essence that brings the guys and the girls all together. Her presence is really strong on stage. A lot of girls look up to her. Once theyre at the show, they feel like theyre funk stars themselves. Thats another thing thats unique with our band we have a powerful female influence that rounds the whole thing out.

IN: Talk about life on the road for a hard-working band like Yo Mamas Big Fat Booty Band.
Ingram: Its something that any band that really wants to do this has to understand. It is a hard life with a lot of sacrifices that people might not realize. You dont have a normal social life. You dont have your own bed. Eating on the road is tough to do without going the fast food route every single meal. Time away from family and friends can get exhausting.
You have to give it a shot, though. You have to get out there and build your fan-base, even if you run the risk of not getting paid. That belief in your music alone will sustain you through a lot shows.

IN: Youre currently touring with the New Orleans favorite the Revivalists, but the Pensacola Beach show is a headlining gig. Do you approach shows differently when youre the main attraction?
Ingram: Not really. Well invite people up to jam with us if were doing a co-bill, but we try to approach every show the same way. If there are two people, two thousand people, or two hundred thousand people, youre going to get the same Yo Mamas Big Fat Booty Band show, and its going to be a damn good time.

IN: Thats all Ive got, Al. Anything else youd like to add?
Ingram: Were really excited about the show on the beach. Who doesnt love that? If you want a preview, you can download our latest album, Doin It Hard, on our website for however much you want to pay. Get it and spread it around!

WHEN: Sunday, July 1 8 p.m. Sunday, June 1
WHERE: Paradise Bar and Grill, 21 Via de Luna, Pensacola Beach
COST: Free