Christian Ryan

Saxophonist/Flutist • Performer • Arranger • Instructor

Awesome Bands I Don't Play With - Part II: funkUs

I get this question a lot, "So how many bands do you play with?"

Well, you can get that answer here.

While some may consider that list pretty extensive, there are certainly tons of great bands and artists out there I am not officially a part of.  With that in mind, I've decided to make a series of blog posts highlighting some of my favorite groups and individuals around Florida I do not play with.

The 2nd installment of this series features Orlando's own groove rock legends, funkUs.

These guys have seen and done it all.  From 6 CD releases, to performing at festivals all around Florida such as Bear Creek and Orange Blossom Jamboree, to recently sharing the stage with notable national acts (and some of my favorites) Soulive, Victor Wooten, Jeff Coffin and the Mu’tet, Railroad Earth, The New Mastersounds, The Lee Boys, Dumpstaphunk and Consider the Source.  Dubbed as "flavor rock", they have showcased their skills to audiences everywhere since 1998.  Members currently include 4 of Orlando's top musicians in the scene: Dave Mann (guitar/vocals), Bill Bairley (keyboards/vocals), David Cox (bass), and Jason Herald (drums/vocals).

Dave Mann is the man.  Founder of the one and only Jambando, special guest extraordinaire, the host of many epic jam sessions, and one of the most versatile guitarists in Orlando.  The question isn't what Bill Bairley can do, but what can Bill Bairley not do?  One of more busiest musicians I know, in addition to funkUs you can see Bill performing with the Mike Quick Band, ripping guitar in the soulful Black Dust Revival or with his own 8 piece blues group Band of Renown, mastering sessions at his own Bad Bear Studios, and building effects pedals and restoring guitars & amps in his spare time.  David Cox is a pocket machine, which perhaps comes from his abilities not only as a bassist but a drummer and keyboardist.  When not performing with funkUs, he can be seen with his own project Meiuuswe on keys or filling in for many of the top bands in Orlando.  Jason Herald is not only the drummer for these guys but a multi-instrumental performer and songwriter for family favorite The Outer Toons, and a regular working Disney musician.  What a resume for a band, huh?!

You can dig on their latest album, Coconut Monkey, below and see them get down at at Little Econ Love Fest in March!