The Brothers Goldman - fOnkology
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The Brothers Goldman
Arkansas Street Records (

The Brothers Goldman perform weekly at the Boom Boom Room in the Fillmore district, they have no members named Goldman and they have their own name for their style of music, which they refer to as fOnk. If I had to venture a guess as to how that’s pronounced, I’d bet you say it as if you’re saying the word “funk” with an extra rounded emphasis on the vowel. The music made by the Goldman guys has, as you might guess, some particular emphasis of its own, and clearly their aim is to be as fOnky as humanly possible. And if this album doesn’t lead to the word fOnk becoming part of any official lexicon, it sure clarifies the concept.

fOnkology is split pretty evenly between Meters-like instrumentals and vocal cuts, and guitarist/singer/composer Bill Phillipe plays, sings and writes more like he’s from the Mississippi Delta or the Crescent City than the Bay Area. His guitar skills are especially fine, trotting out an array of greasy licks that sway, soar and sometimes signal the band into tight little changes mid-song. Joe O’Loughlin and Tim Wagar are an impressively locked in drums and bass team, Wil Blades plays it way cool on the Hammond B3 organ and the (rather underused) horn duo of saxophonist Joe Cohen and trumpeter/trombonist Joel Berhman bring some swing to the fOnk. The tracks are filled with as much fOn as fOnk, and I must say that “fOnky Bottom” is probably the best tribute to a woman’s backside since Fela Kuti celebrated the joys of the “nyash.” (It’s also a natural companion piece to “Muffin Top,” which comes two tracks earlier.) This isn’t a groundbreaking or visionary album by any means; it’s simply full of crackling good music that moves and makes you want to do the same. - Tom Orr

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