The Masters of Funk concert at the Landers Center in Southaven certainly lived up to it’s billing last Sunday.
Borrowing from the vocabulary of the late James Brown, “America’s soul philosopher,” I’d say those present had a funky good time. If you’re a Baby Boomer or just love Classic 70s FUNK, you could be excused for thinking you died and went to heaven.
Of course, the night was a celebration and farewell to Larry Dodson, the long-time lead singer of The Bar-Kays who has now officially retired, as he introduced his successor, Chris J, to hundreds of fans.
The first group to take the stage was Lakeside and they were “All the way live.” And yes I did lift that line from the hit song on their 1978 album (“Shot Of Love”). They also performed other classics like Fantastic Voyage and Raid.
With the evening’s lengthy line-up, each act was limited to two to four songs. Next up was Steve Arrington, former lead singer of Slave. Arrington now performs by himself but you couldn’t tell because he and the house band were seriously in sync.
Those in the crowd spent way more time on their feet than they did in their seats as the funk masters rolled out: Yarbrough & Peoples, Brick, Cherelle and Rose Royce. And, of course, The Bar-Kays.
Then everyone came back out and did more songs, with a grand finale then blending their talents and energies into a crowd-pleasing send-off.
Capping the evening for those with the hook-ups was a retirement party for Larry Dodson after the show was over.