Outta Sight Night 

There are a few things Nashville needs to officially become The World's Great City Ever in the History of Cities. The first, obviously, is a Major League Baseball team — Triple-A ball is OK, but The Show would be a lot better. Second, we need some light rail that actually transports people in the city to places in the city, instead of just carting a smattering of suburbanites past the strip malls in Donelson. And most importantly we need a place where we can catch some seriously funky music on the regular. While Metro Council and MLB aren't likely to take our opinion into consideration (hello, convention center!) the good folks at funk and soul label Outta Sight are doing their civic duty to make sure you shake your booty.

This Wednesday marks the kick-off for the Outta Sight Night at The Basement, a bi-weekly showcase of the best soul and funk that the city and the region have to offer — and it's an answer to our prayers, frankly. Since the dissolution of the Funky Good Time monthly dance parties last year and with Outta Sight's flagship artists Charles Walker & The Dynamites out on the road all the time, Nashville's funky music community has been adrift. Yes, there have been some pretty great shows here and there, and you can always count on The Coolin' System to supply sublimely hip sounds, but even they aren't rallying the old crew like you would expect them to. (Though, to their credit The Coolin' System have managed bring out a whole lotta new folks, and for that they deserve a long distance high five. Good lookin' out guys.)

But that sort of displaced, disparate scene of funk and soul enthusiasts is about to be a thing of the past. Outta Sight honchos Bill Elder and Doyle Davis — the former the guitar player/band leader for The Dynamites, the latter the co-owner Grimey's and the host of the late, lamented D-Funk show on WRVU — are striving to reconnect Nashville with its history as a major hub for soul and funk, and reconnect the contemporary soul scene with its Southern roots. There's no reason the soul/funk revival should be contained to the coasts and labels like Dap-tone in New York or Stones Throw in L.A. And don't even get us started about the trade gap between Southern soul fans and European reissue labels — the patriotic blowhard in us hates the disparity, but damn it if we can't stop buying their repackaging of our art.

Needless to say, the Outta Sight boys are going to put their money where their mouths are, booking a month of live funk and soul that will surely light a fire under your feet. The first show, Feb. 10, is a one-two punch of the aforementioned Coolin' System — honestly, one of this city's most overlooked musical treasures — and The Junkyard Horns, the sax-pocalyptic side project of The Dynamites' Chris West. Week two, Feb. 24, finds us getting a visit from Chicago's eight-piece soul providers The Right Now, while the third and final week sees the debut of The New Majority, a collaboration between The Dynamites' Bill Elders and Dee, the vocalist for Murfreesboro frat-funk stalwarts Sky-Hi. Oh, and the Dynamites are playing at Mercy Lounge Feb. 12, but we're gonna guess you knew that. Now all we need is train to get us to the show and a team that can make it to the World Series, and everything will be Outta Sight.

Email music@nashvillescene.com.


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