Over the last few years, the band Funkshway has been getting bar patrons movin’ and groovin’ in the Downtown Houma area. The band consists of Houma natives Christopher Briggs (guitar, trumpet, vocals), Keith Clement (bass, vocals), Justin Key (guitar, keys), Landon Lottinger (percussion, trumpet, vocals) and Costa Rica native Osvaldo Brinceno aka the Costa Rican Cannon (drums). We met up with bassist and vocalist Keith Clement before Funkshway’s upcoming festival debut at Downtown on the Bayou this Saturday.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC?
The band is still young in being formed. Just like any relationship, I believe we are still in our honeymoon phase in terms of we all have a lot of creative ideas that we would like to try out and not corner ourselves too early into a hole with our music. That being said, we try to create songs with great vibes and beats that make you wanna groove. They also have to have a funky punch to them, like when that dirty hamper of clothes hits ya nostrils. I mean funk is half of our name, so we try to hold ourselves accountable to give it to ya.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE VENUES TO PLAY?
Intracoastal Club, Boxer and the Barrel and the Brickhouse. They are the only places we’ve played due to the length of our material and originality. Many places in my opinion want to take the safe route of just finding people to play the radio hits, which is understandable, but we need more places like the Intracoastal Club, Boxer and the Barrel and the Brickhouse and the patrons that fill their venues. They take a lot of risk to allow musicians the freedom to artistically express themselves through creativity and originality, and we love them for it.
DESCRIBE THE MUSIC SCENE IN THE BAYOU REGION.
Not to be cliché, but it is really a melting pot. There is literally every type of music you could want out there, even some that will leave you guessing what you witnessed. You wanna hear a great cover band, indie music, rap, swamp pop, rock, edm, punk, country, surf rock or shredding metal that will make you wanna yell at children? It’s all out there. The thing is, you have to seek it out and support it because not all of it will be equally or fairly represented. Take a chance on a cover charge now and then. You might be surprised by what you hear. There’s bucket loads of talent down these bayous, and a ton of it never leaves the bedroom. I’m positive that there are many people that can run circles around me musically. Playing music live might not be their thing, or they haven’t found the right people to surround themselves with musically. Whatever the case, I hope they never lose that drive that keeps them playing.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE CHOSEN TO PLAY AT DOWNTOWN ON THE BAYOU?
We are stoked to be one of the chosen bands to play Downtown on the Bayou. It gives us a sense of fulfillment to know that others enjoy what we do enough to want to invite us to an event to perform. We absolutely appreciate the opportunity they have given us to funk it up.
HAVE YOU PLAYED AT ANY OTHER FESTIVALS?
Nope, this is a first for us. It’s a little nerve racking to put yourself out there naked, so to speak, with your music, not knowing what the reaction will be from the people you are performing to, but we’ll show up and do our thing like we always do. Will we survive? Will we blow minds? Will we flop and get laughed out of town? Tune in this week and find out for yourself. •