Funk, Drumsticks and Soul rocked The 518 Craft in Troy on Sunday night

As host of the weekly “Funk, Drumsticks, and Soul” Sunday Night series, The 518 Craft has become home to the latest of the many jam sessions open to musicians and listeners alike.

Bassist Brad Monkell organizes the event and leads a core band featuring Liam Davis on guitar/vocals
and Joe Woodul on drums. For all intents and purposes, the definition of funk and soul is very loose and open for these sessions. However you looked at it, old school ruled!

Photo by Rudy Lu

The tone was set by the core trio opening with the Meters’ NOLA classic, “Cissy Strut.” Jazz-influenced funk – or funk-influenced jazz – was well represented by Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe
Island,” “Chameleon” and Jaco Pastorius’s “The Chicken”.

A whole crowd of other musicians joined in or substituted. Some songs included vocalists.
Trumpet, saxophone, and keyboards appeared at the end of the jam. Stevie Wonder’s extensive catalog was represented by “Superstition” and “Signed, Sealed and Delivered.” Other songs in the set included Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” Aretha Franklin’s “See Saw,” and Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Making Love.” Louis Armstrong’s classic “What a Wonderful World” featured trumpeter Tony Gambaro. Everybody who wanted to had a chance to show their chops, whether as a team player or as a soloist.

Photo by Rudy Lu

The ending was perhaps the most surprising: A three-song medley featuring the core trio plus Devin Tetlak on keys performed Jimi Hendrix’s “Wait Until Tomorrow,” “Little Wing” and wrapped up with Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” (based on the Guns ‘n’ Roses cover). The quartet was clearly enjoying themselves, frequently eyeing each other to see how much further the others could lead in their musical journey.

A large crowd of musicians gradually filled the bar during the jam, with an even larger crowd of listeners waiting for a nice unwind before the start of the week. And to add to the beverages offered at the 518 Craft, fried chicken legs and biscuits were served. What else would you want after a long weekend?

Photo by Rudy Lu

Thanks to all the guest musicians who participated in this event, including:

Chris Beam, Nick Dwarika, Dan Lawson – Bass
Luke Pascarella, John Drabik, Owen Bennett – Guitar
Mark Tritico – Drums
Devin Tetlak – Keyboards
Chris Coin – Saxophone
Tony Gambaro – Trumpet
Brianna Nicola, Om Quillio – Vocals

And, of course, Brad Monkell and The 518 Craft for being the home of another community-based, musical get-together.

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