Friday Funk: ode to ledengary funk guitarist Will Bernard
Tonight’s Friday Funk installment began as Poison Pushy, a simple feel good groove from Galactic drummer Stanton Moore’s third solo album that’s most notable for guitar solos at 1:35 and 3:16 from Will Bernard, one of the hidden gems of funk guitar.
Bernard has been compared to Grant Green, John Scofield, and other jazz guitar legends. And Stanton Moore, a legend in his own right who’s worked with just about every jazz and funk heavyweight of the past 40 years, said Bernard is the most versatile guitar player he’s ever worked with.
I had read before that Bernard worked with one of my favorite MCs Boots Riley of The Coup, but never looked up which songs. So when I started to write this installment last Friday, I dug through liner notes from all of my Coup albums only to find one song with guitar by “Bernard Williams.” The song is Fixation from 1998’s Steal This Album, which is the best of The Coup’s decades-long catalog, and a must have album for any funk or hip hop fan.
It drove me nuts for a couple days wondering if Bernard Williams was Will Bernard, then I finally tweeted at Boots and this was his reply:
Pretty cool to piece it all together. And these two tracks are sure to help you get your cool back for the weekend…