Cape Cod arts organization, Song Keepers, Ltd. introduced Cape Cod to a roving performance series called The Phunk Hits, bringing the music of The GroovaLottos to the streets of the cape in celebration of a legacy of iconic venues.
"The Phunk Hits" is the name given to a touring street concert organized by Song Keepers, Ltd in an effort to liven up the streets of Cape Cod with a little authentic soul, funk and blues music by the Grammy nominated band, The GroovaLottos. Starting on July 8th, the tour hit Harwich, Provincetown, Wellfleet, Orleans, Dennis, Falmouth, Mashpee, the Onset Blues Festival, Marion and the Boston Jazz Fest.
The idea for "The Phunk Hits" came about when it was noticed in the summer of 2016 many town had outdoor musical performances by local and regional acts, mostly geared towards the perceived tastes of older audiences, featuring jazz, folk, and light rock acts. Meanwhile, regional soul-funk-blues band, The GroovaLottos recognized that these same audiences were coming to their shows; a fact that a lot of the decision makers were over-looking.
Song Keepers, Ltd, a non-profit arts and education organization co-founded by members of The GroovaLottos submitted proposals to the local cultural councils of the 14 towns of Barnstable County as well as Wareham, Marion and Carver for The Phunk Hits allowing The GroovaLottos to perform up close and personal with their audiences. Truro, Wellfleet, Orleans, Brewster, Harwich, Dennis, Mashpee, Falmouth and Marion gave the green light to SKLs vision and on July 8th, The Phunk Hits kicked off with a performance on Main Street in Harwich Port.
"Cape Cod has an unfortunate history of segregation, but from this history also comes a legacy of self sufficiency for businesses and artists of color. When venues, and arts foundations say 'no", but the average person in the street says 'we love your music!'. you eliminate the middle-man and go directly to your audience." - Billie Atkins, President of Song Keepers, Ltd
From the 1950s to the early 2000s Cape Cod was home to a number of legendary venues for blues and soul music, where national artists such as Bobby Blue Bland, Muddy Waters, Rufus Thomas, James Brown; and regionally-based artists like Weeping Willie, the Jonzun Brothers, Tavares, and Richie Rich (of Parliament Funkadelic) were regular performers at such long-gone venues as Joe Pete's, Zach's, Joe's Twin Villa, On The Rocks, Johnny Yee's, The Plantation, and the Mill Hill Club. With the exception of places like Grumpy's Pub in Falmouth and Gilda's Stone Rooster in Marion, the current local venues and their management are of a very different ilk, as The GroovaLottos can attest, where bands are mostly background noise for watching television and drinking.
"Based on the number of hits we've had on social media, direct CD sales and downloads of our album in the last several weeks... not to mention the cash in our tip bucket, I'd say our audience has found us."- Mwalim DaPhunkee Professor of The GroovaLottos
By the end of September, "The Phunk Hits" will have had about 21 presentations. So far, the program has drawn a collected audience of over 7000 people live and the performances have appeared in approximately 900 Facebook and Instagram live-streams by spectators from around the world.
Song Keepers, Ltd plans to further develop The Phunk Hits for next summer to include more artists and more locations, hoping to increase the buy-in from other towns and collaborations with the chambers of commerces that stage summer concerts. Meanwhile, The Phunk Hits will continue to keep folks dancing in the streets from Provincetown to Bourne until the end of September when the party will move inside.
For more info, visit: http://facebook.com/thegroovalottos