Bootsy Collins Back with Tha Funk

Dreadnaught Guitar

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and legendary bassist Bootsy Collins, known worldwide for pioneering funk music with James Brown and Parliament Funkadelic, released his first new album in five years, Tha Funk Capitol of the World, in late April. Collins collaborated with fellow P-Funkers George Clinton and Bernie Worrell on the record, along with an all-star lineup of musicians and cultural luminaries including rappers Snoop Dogg, Chuck D, and Ice Cube; actor Samuel L. Jackson; banjo phenom Bela Fleck; the Rev. Al Sharpton; scholar Dr. Cornel West; and guitarists Buckethead and Catfish Collins – Bootsy’s late brother.

Engineered in part by Dan Monti (Guns n Roses, Metallica), the album also features a tribute to Garry Shider, the late guitarist and musical director of the P-Funk All-Stars.

The album’s 16 tracks are sonically rooted in Bootsy’s earth-shaking party grooves, but songs like “Freedumb” and “Minds Under Construction” reveal higher ambitions.

“There are real messages on this album that I wanted to share,” explains Collins, whose soul-deep rhythms and layered melodies are punctuated by lyrics that range from meditations on the nature of truth and spiritual transcendence, to blissed-out joy.

Collins recently spoke with about the album, his brother, working with Brown and Clinton, and the legendary Jimi Hendrix.

“Catfish introduced me to the guitar, and Jimi took me all the way,” he tells Spinner. “And not only the guitar, but his whole style, his outlook on life, the freedom. His whole expression just dumped on me, and I soaked it up. The peace-and-love thing was in, and that was such a great time. To me, he was singlehandedly doing it: the music, the way he dressed and spoke, how cool he was — everything.”

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