Roosevelt Collier Funks Up Dunedin Brewery (Again!)

Roosevelt Collier can do anything. Rock, blues, punk, bluegrass, you name it. But what he really does best is funk. With that in mind, he put together a one-off quartet for a show at Dunedin Brewery on August 18th, and it was positively incendiary.

Pedal steel master Collier has matched up often with The Heavy Pets, so inviting guitarist Mike Garulli was an easy choice. He picked his regular trio bandmate Matt Lapham (Shak Nasti, The Absinthe Trio, Con Leche) to play bass, and it seemed only right to include Michael ’Thunderfoot’ Garrie (CopE, The Juanjamon Band) on drum kit.

If you’ve seen Collier and friends before, you know that much of the setlist involves funk tunes improvised on the spot. Such was the opening 23-minute opus, with Lapham and Garrie laying down the nastiest low-end beat for Garulli and Collier to surf on. Both of them blistered their solos. The second jam was more of the same delicious funk.

Collier next teased a Led Zep vamp for a couple minutes before diving into a Lenny Kravitz jam. Lapham was brilliant all night and had a great solo here. Then keyboard man Alex Sears (S.P.O.R.E.) was called up to join the party. They began Herbie Hancock’s “Spank-a-Lee” before Collier said, “Wait a minute. Wait a minute” (as he often does!), halting the proceedings to invite Juanjamon and tenor sax to the stage as well. Another epic 22-minute jazzy funk jazz ensued, Juanjamon with a killer solo, then Garulli, Sears’s clarinet work underneath simply sublime. And Collier, Lapham and Garrie just romped.

After the break, the band roared into action with “Chameleon,” all six gentlemen on stage (OK, Sears technically was OFF the stage to the left), Garulli truly in shred mode. Toward the end of the 17-minute workout, MC Nook added a brief rap to the proceedings. What followed was brilliant run through Cee Lo Green’s “Crazy,” with Collier’s pedal steel handling the vocals. It was simply magical. Juanjamon soloed again, then Collier, with Sears’s electric piano dancing underneath.

Juanjamon handled vocals on a great version of “Cosmic Slop,” which proceeded another sonic jam featuring Sears’s synths before drifting into “Don’t Stop (’Til You Get Enough),” including a brief “Third Stone from the Sun” tease at the end. Garulli really tore this one up.

Collier then said they were going to play some blues, exhorting Garrie to kick it off, which he did in style with a superb blues shuffle. Before long, Collier twisted it into “The Way You Make Me Feel,” an amazing 25-minute jam to close out the night. Everyone had a chance to shine.


Because that’s the way Roosevelt Collier rolls.

[ONE: Funk1, Funk2, led zep > lenny kravitz, Spank-a-Lee > jam, ??; TWO: Chameleon, Crazy, Cosmic Slop, jam > Don’t Stop (’Til You Get Enough) > Third Stone from the Sun tease, shuffle blues > The Way You Make Me Feel]

All photographs by kind permission of Jeffrey Moellering /

One more thing. I’ve been to Dunedin Brewery more than 100 times. And I have never, EVER noticed that 3D tunnel in the middle of the wall. I’m claiming it’s because there is usually a drummer in front of it. WOW!

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