Uncle Kunkel’s One Gram Band performed at Brew River on Oct. 23.
Salisbury University students Wyatt Graham (bass guitar and vocals), Jake Kunkel (drums) and Luke Walker (guitar and vocals) make up the funk and blues jam band.
I am not very familiar with funk music, so my expectations were low.
However, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the show.
The trio played a solid hour and a half of jam-based funk songs.
Walker’s guitar playing was great. I was immediately drawn in whenever he used the wah-wah pedal during solos.
Kunkel’s drumming was somewhat simple and straightforward for my taste, but still effective in setting up a good groove with the bass.
Graham’s bass was the star of the show. It was relentlessly busy, hypnotic and captivating. I was moving my head with the rhythm for most of the show.
The drums energetically switching to double time on the third song was another highlight of the night.
Double time is “a doubling of tempo in the melody while the accompanying instruments remain at the slower tempo,” according to Columbia University.
The band’s cover of “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix included a strong solo.
Songs featured small vocal parts in between extended instrumental sections. Walker was the strongest singer, but Graham still had personality on the microphone.
All three band members vocally compensated for missing melodies in the instrumentation.
However, I did have one issue with the show.
While lengthy performances are associated with jam bands, Uncle Kunkel’s One Gram Band occasionally took songs into chronological territory that felt repetitious and stale.
Blazing guitar solos could not make up for this flaw in some of the band’s performances.
More variation in longer instrumental passages would have alleviated this problem.
While a bit long and repetitive at times, Uncle Kunkel’s One Gram Band’s performance was mostly well played and enjoyable.
Concert Rating: 3.5/5
By RYAN MACKESEY
Featured photo by Ryan Mackesey