As The Wave celebrates its 20th year of broadcasting, Chicago born and raised multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson is celebrating the release of his 20th album, XX! The "Windy City" has taught him well, offering the inspiration of bands such as Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire. And perhaps some inspiration came from a bit further south in Cincinnati, Ohio where funkster Bootsy Collins could be found. Bootsy, a former member of James Brown’s backing band, ‘The J.B.s, lends his vocals on ‘Dance Like This’ which he co-wrote with Chance Howard (The Time, Prince). This hip swaying tune will get anybody up on the dance floor….guaranteed! A fitting celebration of Brian's 20th! In an interview on my show back in 2007, Brian mentioned the "school of funk" where he was educated by listening to albums by James Brown, George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic and Prince. He learned his lessons well, as demonstrated by a track like "Keep Movin’’ (saxophonist Everette Harp, guitarist Paul Jackson Jr.) - a powerful number displaying Brian's mastery of the Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3 organ, piano, keyboards, and of course trombone! 'The Hangout’ with Ray Parker Jr. blends a high octane mix of piano, guitars and a diggin’ rhythm section courtesy of bassist Derek “D.O.A” Allen and Chicago based drummer Khari Parker (Destiny’s Child, George Benson). On songs like ‘It’s A Love Thing’ and ‘Looking Back’, Brian goes 'old school' with a keyboard sound reminiscent of the early days when he was writing tunes in his college apartment for his very first album, Long Night Out (1994). XX is a culmination of years of learning and reflects Brian’s passion for making cool music with an edge. We’ve enjoyed the ride 'B.C.' - here’s to another 20!
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