This week, let's check out some videos featuring the Wooten Brothers, who are coming to St. Louis to perform next Saturday, June 24 at the Chesterfield Jazz Festival, headlining a bill that also will include Bach to the Future with Tracy Silverman, Anita Jackson, Soul Cafe, and Kim Fuller & Maurice Carnes.
The band includes bassist Victor Wooten, the youngest of the four brothers, and drummer Roy Futureman" Wooten, who are best known as half of banjo player Béla Fleck's group, the Flecktones; keyboardist Joseph Wooten, who's released solo albums with his own group, Hands of Soul, and toured in recent years with the Steve Miller Band; and guitarist Regi Wooten, the oldest sibling, who teaches and gigs in the brothers' adopted hometown of Nashville. (A fifth brother, saxophonist Rudy Wooten, died in 2010.)
They've been playing together nearly all their lives, drafting Victor into the family band when he was just six years old, and later honing their chops while in high school by playing in a country music review at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. Although as adults their careers have taken them in different directions, the brothers have continued to work together when the opportunity has arisen, teaming up since the early 90s on what's nominally Regi's weekly gig at the Nashville club 3rd and Lindley when they're all off the road, and squeezing in occasional tour dates between their other obligations.
In their last extended tour in 2013, they visited the studios of radio station WMMR in Philadelphia to record the version of Sex in a Pan"- one of Victor's tunes, first heard on the Flecktones' 1992 album UFO Tofu- seen in the first video up above.
You can see the Wooten Brothers' take on Led Zeppelin's Kashmir" during a 2013 gig in Virginia, followed by another clip with some more footage from the 2013 tour.
The fourth video is from 2014 at a jazz festival in Bratislava, Slovakia, and though it's billed as the Victor Wooten Band, the ensemble also includes Reggie and Roy on guitar and drums, plus keyboardist Karlton Taylor and saxophonist Bob Francheschini (who was here In St. Louis with Victor's trio earlier this year at the Old Rock House).
While Joseph missed out on that festival gig, you can see plenty of him in the final two clips, which are taken from the brothers' performance at his wedding reception this past February in Franklin, TN.
The penultimate clip picks up in mid-song with Victor showing off some bass thumping before the rest of the brothers come back in on what turns out to be version of the 1970s hit Play That Funky Music." (Apparently even musicians as famous as the Wootens have to play some cover-band standards if they're doing a wedding gig...)
In the final clip, Joseph sings the soulful ballad We Are All In This Together" with his son Jessie Wooten on drums, Victor on bass, and, eventually, everybody on background vocals.
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