Funky Oroville

Kool & the Gang Feather Falls Casino, Fri., Jan. 16
There are few things I like more than watching and listening to a good rhythm section, and there is no rhythm section I enjoy more than a seriously funky bassist and drummer teamed with a hot rhythm guitarist. Add keyboard textures, a four-piece horn section, a hot lead guitarist and five or six guys who can really sing and fill a stage with choreographed, synchronized dance moves, and you have a combo that’ll keep me happy as long as they want to keep up the funk.

Which explains why I got a frisson of anticipation when I saw that Kool & the Gang were making an appearance at Feather Falls. The creators of “Jungle Boogie” and “Get Down on It” meet every criteria of the above description. And at Friday night’s concert the band kicked down the goods in a big way to an enthusiastic sold-out crowd that didn’t take too long to get out of their seats and turn the casino show room into one gargantuan dance floor.

Founding members bassist Robert “Kool” Bell and drummer George Brown are total masters of the groove, seamlessly blending psychedelic funk a la George Clinton’s P-Funk with smooth jazz influences and throwing in a bit of disco fever to keep things interesting for the dancers. And speaking of dancers, it really was “Ladies’ Night” at the casino, as hundreds of Butte County’s finest crowded to the front of the stage to cheer on this charismatic 11-piece band.

Disco may be dead, but it’s still indubitably Kool.