Little Hercules, mighty funky

Funk rock band will play two shows this weekend

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People can expect a high-energy show from Colorado funk rock band Little Hercules. Fresh off a tour in Hawaii, some festival dates and recording, the band will come through Steamboat tonight and Saturday to get funkadelic on the crowds at the Tugboat.

The band, bassist/vocalist Cristian Basso insists based on its 10 years playing Steamboat, is pretty well known, and is pretty funky. Lately, Little Hercules has been up to the usual: you know, playing with guys from the Dead, making booties shake, that sort of thing.

Basso spoke with 4 Points about recent encounters with great jammers, the musical population of Hawaii and how undeniably awesome James Brown's band was:

4 POINTS: What can people who come out to these shows expect?

CRISTIAN BASSO: You know, we're a funk band. People in Steamboat know us as a funk rock band, with strong influences in New Orleans funk. Really though, people who know us might be interested in what we've been up to in the last six months or so.

4 POINTS: Ok. Yeah, I just moved here and don't know anything about you guys beyond your MySpace page. So, go for it.

CB: Little Hercules, we went up to jazz fest in New Orleans for our sixth year in early May, and played four shows down in New Orleans and did some new recording with some friends of ours, including Eric Lindell : The band's about halfway through a new record.

4 POINTS: I saw that you just got back from playing some dates in Hawaii - how was that?

CB: We met Bill Kreutzmann from the Grateful Dead, he requested the band play a party at his house : we hope to continue that new musical relationship.

Hawaii was great, we just had a great response from the people there. And now, we have promoters lined up for our next tour in February.

I was surprised at the number of musicians who were over there (in Hawaii), including Todd Rundgren and Bill Kreutzmann from the Grateful Dead. When a band comes in from out of state, they all come out of the woodwork, so that was a really great experience to be able to play with them and share some time with them.

4 POINTS: So, this is really more for my own knowledge, but where does the name Little Hercules come from?

CB: It comes from, you know that movie, "The Nutty Professor"? (goes into a small reenactment of the dinner table scene where the mom proclaims her son a "little Hercules" and claps a lot) - basically that's where it comes from. And conceptionally, it kind of jives with what we're all about, having a good time and keeping it loose.

4 POINTS:And for anyone that hasn't heard you guys before, just to give an idea of where the sound comes from - what are five albums you're listening to?

CB: Currently? A lot of Eric Lindell. Some G-Love. Always listening to Funkadelic, stuff like Hardcore Jollies, great record. Dumpsta Phunk, for sure. I guess lastly, I would say someone like old faithful, James Brown, stuff like the JBs Anthology.

4 POINTS: Oh man. Love some JBs.

CB: Yeah, that's good stuff.

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