Thursday, April 24, 2008

Brian Culbertson brings the funk to Manilow tour

Brian Culbertson, the opening act for Barry Manilow, has a new album out Tuesday.

The opening act for Barry Manilow is categorized as a smooth jazz artist because he plays piano and favors melodic instrumentals.

But Brian Culbertson sounds as if he’d be just as comfortable opening the Crossroads KC show with George Clinton Saturday night. His new album is “Bringing Back the Funk,” and he calls his band Brian Culbertson and the Funk Experience.

Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire, a boyhood idol of Culbertson’s, is the executive producer. Some of the guest players are Clinton’s former bassist Bootsy Collins and guitarist Phelps Collins, former EWF keyboardist Larry Dunn, bassist Larry Graham, horn players Gerald Albright, Ronnie Laws, Maceo Parker and Tom Scott, and singers Ledisi and Musiq Soulchild.
“I’ve wanted to record an album like this for many years,” Culbertson has said, “one where I could really cut loose.

“Having Maurice involved from the beginning is what really sparked many others to participate. Once the cats found out he was producing with me, they said, "Where and when do I show up?!"

His Web site and his look have been “funkifized” too, though you’re on your own to see what that means. (www.brian