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Bernie Worrell & the WOO Warriors
Review 11/12/98 From: Dr.Brookenstein
At S.O.B.'s in New York City (with Rhythm Republik and D'Tripp) What a night!! What a pleasure it was to have a problem getting into the club because my name was not on the guest list! So, I had to have the guy at the door check with Kregg Ajamu (I was supposed to be on Kregg's list for his group, Rhythm Republik). Anyway, the problem was resolved and I walked to the bar area. I ran into a woman named Debbie, who is a friend of Tim P. Kinley (GROOVE MANEUVERS), and we were taking about the "P", namely the Bootsy Collins autograph signing at Tramps in New York City on Tuesday, November 17th (The hour-long event is supposed to be at 8:00pm, followed by a performance by the sons of the "P", FUNK-KIN)!! Also, I ran into the Internet's own Richard Panse (PFUNK53@aol.com) and Nat Bender (who has a funk website of his own). RHYTHM REPUBLIK members: Eric "Boogie" Wilson, Howard "Stro" Stroman, Roslyn "Indigo Queen" Jackson, and Kregg "Mystical Lover" Ajamu At 9:45pm, Rhythm Republik began their set with the uptempo number "Daddy I Wonder", followed by the funky "Sweatshop Blues".......it was so good that they broke into a little song called "Stay Broke". "Sunchild" was a funky song that I never heard before.....they performed it at the Izzy Bar sometime ago, but I had to leave the show early! "Mystical Lover" sounded better than when they performed it at the Sony Blockbuster Entertainment Center on Saturday, November 7th....that was the show for the private party thrown by Cendant Mortgage Services, for the Cendant employees and their families!! "Thigh" and "All Saints Fall" sounded pretty good. Following those two tunes was the social message "Never Put Me Under (Rise-Up)", which had an African chant of "Sankofa Ashay" by the Rhythm Republik leader, Kregg Ajamu. The Rhythm Republik set ended at 10:45pm. At 11:15pm, D'Tripp began their performance with some funky shit. This is a seven-member band featuring a showcase of jazz-funk with a hint of hardcore rock music! Unfortunately, during the middle of the performance, my camera began to malfunction (DAMN!) and I lost two good rolls of film! I had to eject and re-insert the battery, and then leave the club for 12 minutes to get some more film. Unfortunately, D'Tripp had already finished their set somewhere around 11:50pm and I re-entered the club at 11:55pm. At 12:35am, the WOO Warriors band members (Mike Reuben, Gregg Fitz, Donna McPherson and Van Romaine) took it to the stage, followed by Bernie Worrell himself!! (I ran into Mike, Gregg, Donna and WOO vocalist B. J. Nelson either outside or inside the club, prior to the show.) Bernie did a funky spaced-out instrumental called "Re-Enter Black Light (Entersection)", followed by a taste of Sly Stone's "Thank You (For Letting Me Be Myself Again)". B. J. Nelson was introduced to the WOO crowd, before the group performed a hot version of "Red Hot Momma"!! Following that was the WOO standards "Y-Spy", "If You Don't Like The Effects" and "Straight Ahead". Let me say that Mike Reuben was super-tight on the WOO-tar (guitar) that night!! I mean, SUPER-TIGHT!! The WOO Warriors performed a new song that I wasn't familiar with, but B.J. sounded wonderful! The more I hear B.J.'s voice, the more beautiful it sounds! "Supergroovalistic" was good, but I wish that Van Romaine's mic was turned up s'more! "Comin' Round The Mountain" was good, but the song "Cosmic Slop" caused some fire sprinklers to go off because of the hot WOO-tar licks of Mike Reuben!!!! His solos were off da hook! What scared the hell outta me was when the band actually tackled one of the best Funkadelic ballads ever, "You Scared The Love Outta Me"....DAMN!!!! Gregg sounded great on vocals, and so did Bernie and B. J. It was FONKAY!!! The WOO Warriors did a nasty-ass version of Parliament's "Liquid Sunshine"....Bernie, Gregg and B.J. just performed the chorus part and B.J. tackled the silly schoolyard rhyme "No more paper, no more books......no more teacher's dirty looks!!" with upmost funkiness and ease!! By the way, Van Romaine left the stage and Gabe "Undisco Kidd" Gonzalez (leader of Enemy Squad and one-time P-Funk Allstars drummer) took his place. May I say that Gabe is a bad motherfucka on the drums!! He kicked it with the band during "You Scared The Love Outta Me" and "Liquid Sunshine"!!! E-SQUADELIC IN DA HOUSE!!! Now that everyone was liquified to the point of near-evaporation, the band moved on to "Flashlight", followed by Bernie's adaptation to the original called "WOO-Lite"....I had my flashlight shining with the words "WOO-Lite" written on each side.....B.J. and Mike noticed and smiled! Well, all those guys had left was "Standing on the Verge of Getting It On"....everyone in the club was well past that point.....they were getting it on and beyond!! Still, I can hear the loud, funkatizing, high-powered energy of Mike Reuben's WOO-tar!!! EVER FONKIN' ON, BABA!!!! The WOO experience ended at 2:10am.....WHEW!!!!