Friday night marked the return of Who’s the Fat Guy? to their home in Boston, and one of their favorite venues to play, Bill’s Bar. This trio has been making a lot of noise in the flourishing Boston music scene over the past year and this night was no exception. Enthusiasm was heightened on this particular evening, especially for Brad Cumberbatch, the trio’s drummer, as he shared his birthday and music with friends and fans.

The evening started with the techno groove band 128 Colombia Project. One Flew East stepped up next for a short set of their original jam pop. This band shows a lot of potential with stellar two person harmonies and solid musicianship. By midnight, the crowd was ready for Who’s the Fat Guy?

The opener, Someone Stole My Bike is a disco groove centered around the slap bass work of Kurtis Shakemore and the funky Clavinet work of keyboardist Mark Ross. Ross and Shakemore also team up for some smooth harmonies on this one. Midway through the set, guitarist Ryan McMaken joined the trio for the swamp funk of Meltdown and the disco infused Urban Groove. During Anything You Want, Ross hosted a duel between his left hand on the Pianet and his right hand on the Clavinet, jumping back and forth during his solo.

WTFG? tore through an hour and a half of original music, drawing on influences ranging from the poppier sounds of Jamiroquai to the improvisational jazz of Medeski, Martin, and Wood. Ross’ set up is very similar to a mid ‘70’s Stevie Wonder: Clavinet, Pianet, and Fender Rhodes. Stevie’s influence definitely shows through on certain songs, like the clavinet driven Crazy Chi. Clocking in at over ten minutes, this song proved to have some of the hottest jams of the night, with guest Mike Cucchi sitting in on harmonica. The set closed with a cover of the Ween classic, Pony.

Who’s the Fat Guy? will be kicking off their New Year’s run in Philadelphia on December 29 at Doc Watson’s. On the 30th they’ll be at Valentine’s in Albany, followed by a New Year’s eve show at Chopp’s Lounge in Beantown. I thoroughly enjoyed this show and encourage you to check them out when they come to your town.

Vicki Pettigrass
JamBase Beantown Correspondent
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 12/20/00]

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