Hello, you must be funky | VailDaily.com

Hello, you must be funky

Wren Wertin
Special to the DailyLittle Hercules joins Carlos Washington and the Hellafunke' Allstars at the Moon at 10 p.m.

When members of Little Hercules played a gig with Carlos Washington in Denver a few months ago, the only surprise was they hadn’t met earlier. The funked-out, jazzed-up musicians put on an explosive show that had booties wagging. They team up again, with DJ Dot Com and the Hellafunke’ Allstars at the Half Moon Saloon in West Vail today at 10 p.m.

“I have all these good musicians together, and we’re going to combine forces and do a party,” said Washington. “A couple of months ago, I did some Panic after shows. I did one with Little Hercules – I didn’t know who they were, and they blew the place down. It was packed.”

“We love to start new musical relationships, and to have someone like Carlos invite us to do this with him,” said Cristian Basso, Little Herc bassist. “And I think the people who didn’t have a chance to check it out in Denver will really enjoy it. He’s bringing in some pretty high-caliber guys who have great track records.”

“I’ve been going across the country, finding the baddest players,” said Washington. “It’s just down to earth, funky and fresh.”

Tonight the lineup includes Marc Dalio and Andy Irvine. The plan for the evening goes like this: DJ Dot Com will begin the festivities, followed by Little Hercules and then the Hellafunke’ Allstars. Washington intends to play the whole time – some serious trumpet stamina.

“It’s going to be a hit parade,” promised Washington. “I’m excited, I love to come back to the Half Moon. I love that room.”

Little Herc’s lead guitarist, Scotty Kabel, is music directing for the evening.

“Carlos was antsy to get our disc so he could learn all the parts,” said Basso.

Though by no means their first record, Little Hercules’ self-titled album released this summer has been rocking the market. Just this week they’ve signed a non-exclusive booking agent and a demo-shopping deal with Path Productions in Eagle, which is also Good Vibrations Studio.

“Hercules has been enjoying this release immensely,” enthused Basso. “We just got back one of our first reviews, from Riff Magazine, and it couldn’t have been kinder. And we’ve been hustling the CD out to other people. … Billboard just forwarded their copy to an editor. We’re really just trying to get as much press on the new CD as possible, because the gigs are going to follow the press.”

They’re getting some radio play in Atlanta, and are also in rotation on the satellite channel for unsigned bands. That’s a particularly important place to be, said Basso, because a lot of studio types listen to it for the next big discovery.

“Little Hercules is about to blow up right now, and I’m just trying to get close to them,” said Washington. “Hopefully this plays over into a nice little project.”

Other projects for the trumpet player include encouraging youth jazz bands. He’s been stopping at local schools, and boys and girls clubs, to encourage musicians to take an hour out of their week to teach kids how to play.

“That’s my challenge for musicians like myself – to support their local boys and girls clubs through music lessons, as well as donating old instruments, like old trumpets.”

But there’s nothing old about his trumpet – it’s always new with groove.

For more information on the show, contact the Half Moon Saloon at 476-4314. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555, ext. 618.

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