The FunK Experience
Comprised of original Funkadelic’s co-founding member, Billy Bass Nelson, Gary “Mudbone” Cooper (P-Funk, co-founder Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Sly Fox, Dave Stewart), and Tracey “Spacey T” Singleton (Fishbone, Mother’s Finest, Soundbarrier). The FunK Experience unites the talents of world class musicians whose careers span over 50 years of music history.
Nelson has long exemplified his skills in identifying musical talent, which can be traced back to the genesis of Funkadelic in 1967. After recording a demo for “Testify,” a top 10 hit for the group who was known then as “The Parliaments,” Nelson soon began gathering talent around him to finish out the sound, inviting Eddie Hazel on guitar and Ramon Tiki Fulwood on drums to become the 3-piece band that Nelson named “The Funkadelic.” Two years later, the band’s first LP Funkadelic was released, bending ears and minds across the planet.
Prior to the release of this ground-breaking record, the synthesis of funk and psychedelic genres had not yet been conjured. Embarking on an unprecedented journey, the members of Funkadelic forged a new sound; Bernie Worrell and Tal Ross joined the band, and the sound that was Funkadelic took on a life of its own.
Now over 50 years later, Nelson’s contribution to the genre of funk and music history is remarkable in its own right, and becomes legendary in his list of collaborations with, Motown, Chairman of the Board, The Commodores, The Temptations, Parliament, George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars, Gary “Mudbone” Cooper, and many others. Nelson received his first major recognition for his contribution to music when he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2019, he was bestowed the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for Pioneering, and his “Creative contribution” of outstanding works in the field of recording.
Alongside Nelson, is Gary “Mudbone” Cooper; songwriter, vocalist, producer, drummer, whose career spans from the early 70’s till now. He debuted on Parliaments first (Gold plus album) “Chocolate City,” adding extended dimensions to P-Funk vocal textures and arrangements, as well as drumming on some unforgettable classic hits “P Funk Wants to Get Funked Up,” “Night of the Thumpasorus Peoples,” “Aqua Boogie,” “Atomic Dog,” to name a few.
Mudbone is widely recognized for the classic hit “I’d Rather Be With You,” he co-wrote and originally recorded with Bootsy Collins, for Bootsy’s Rubber Band. It’s one of the most sampled songs of all time. “I’d Rather Be With You” has been sampled by artists ranging from Dr. Dre-NWA, Beyoncé Knowles’ album “Dangerously in Love,” Snoop Dogg in the film “Baby Boy,” Sugarbabes, Adina Howard in “Freak Like Me,” in 2018, Childish Gambino’s Grammy Award Winning hit titled, “REDBONE”, in which Mudbone has been awarded a 4xs Platinum and Gold hit from BMI, and the RIAA. Most recently covered by Megan Thee Stallion’s Multi-Platinum “B.I.T.C.H.” The song has proven to be a significant milestone in the history of Funk and R&B music, and a major cornerstone in Hip Hop.
Mudbone has collaborated with many of the music Industries leading artists, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Prince, Babyface, Mtume, Dave Stewart, Annie Lennox, Bob Dylan, Bono (U2), Brian May (Queen), Jimmy Cliff, Bill Laswell, The Ramones, Jack Bruce & Ginger Baker of Cream, Roger and Zapp, Q-Tip, Roy Ayers, Phoebe Snow, David Byrne, etc. His Top of the Pops charting hit, Sly Fox’ “Let’s Go All The Way” has been used in Movie Soundtracks for Iron Man 3, Grand Theft Auto video game, Insane Clown Posse etc. In 2019, Mudbone was acknowledged for his contribution to music and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
According to Nelson, there is no other musician alive capable of summoning the sound of the original Funkadelic guitarist than Tracey “Spacey T” Singleton. In 1979, Spacey T met one of his musical heroes, original Funkadelic guitarist Eddie “Maggot Brain” Hazel. After hearing Spacey T play guitar, Hazel introduced him to producer Jeffery Bowen of Motown, who invited him to record with Bonnie Pointer of the legendary Pointer Sisters. The sessions introduced him to his heroes Sly and Freddie Stone. During this time, Eddie Hazel and Spacey T developed a close appreciation of one another as musicians and as friends. Spacey T studied Hazel’s sound and technique, to inherit Hazel’s legacy as one of the greatest guitarists in funk history.
In 1984, Spacey founded Soundbarrier, which became the first all-black heavy metal band to be signed to a major record label. Spacey T recorded and toured internationally with Mother’s Finest, playing lead and rhythm guitar. He then caught the attention of another legendary band, Fishbone, and was invited to join the band as their guitarist until 2003. Spacey T remains a highly sought-after session musician.
To round things off in this amazing group, the driving force behind the band is classical guitar virtuoso Neil Wilson and hard-hitting drummer Hugh Cox, Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow. Hailing from Scotland, both joined Mudbone when he and Billy toured as the opening act for P!nK’s European Tour.
Don’t funk around, tell everyone you know about The FunK Experience. Write us, come see us, jam, and have a Funky Good Time!