Classic funk grooves, slick guitar riffs, punchy horn lines, old school keys and turntable cuts—this is Moses Mayes. A sound defined by the vision of three students of groove that encompasses elements of past and modern funk fusion.
Formed in 1999, Moses Mayes and the Funk Family Orchestra began what was to become a very successful weekly funk show at Braemar Bakery in Winnipeg. These shows led to an album, which sent the band on a cross-Canada tour, and culminated with a 2001 Prairie Music Award.
After several years of touring, the Moses Mayes sound matured, as they exhibited the influence of artists such as Jamiroquai and Herbie Hancock. This musical journey, both geographic and metaphorical, resulted in the instrumental album “Needle To The Groove”, an acid-jazz fusion of funk-grooves and synth-scapes. This album marked the official removal of the Funk Family Orchestra from the Moses name.
Following that album’s release, Moses Mayes, now veterans of the club and festival circuits, shared the stage with such legends as Herbie Hancock, Kool and the Gang and James Brown. Wanting to continue to grow musically, Moses began collaborating on songs with several different vocalists. Several of these sound fusions ended up on the experimental EP, Rock It So Hard, while others were destined for the full length album produced by dance-floor killer Jamie Shields of The New Deal. Winner of a Western Canadian Music Award in 2007, Mose’s album, Second Ring was a forward-thinking fusion of funk, jazz, house and pop that stayed true to MM’s old-school roots but wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries.
The years following saw several changes in the band line-up, as well as the formation of several side projects by some of the remaining members – Lebeato (Nathan-Mark-Grant), Cyclist (Mark) and T:CHR (Nathan). 2011 was a year of further transformation for the band, as founding members Mark Penner and Grant Paley decided to move on to explore other opportunities. Stephen Arundell stepped forward as the new lead guitarist in the new line-up, with Antin, Nathan and Julian continueing to fill out the rhythmic core.