Rickey Calloway is one funky dude. Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, Calloway has been performing funk music for decades. He has worked with the Dap Kings (Amy Winehouse’s back up band), Will Sessions, Frank Williams, The NT Express and the Crack Mirrow Band. Mr. Calloway was kind enough to share with BOJ the ways of the funk.
BOJ :How did you begin your interest in music? What drew you to funk music specifically?
RC: I went to a movie theater at the age of 12 and I watched The TAMI Show, featuring Mick Jagger & The Rolling Stones, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – and the star of the show was James Brown & The Famous Flames. So, when Mr. Brown started his Funk Movement in 1965, with “Pa Pa’s Got a Brand New Bag”, I knew funk was the thing for me. The grooves, the beats, the breaks – a hold new world of music.
BOJ: When did you start performing funk live? Where was your first funk show?
RC: I was on my first live talent show at age 13 at William M. Rains High School in Jacksonville, Florida. Shortly after that I got a weekend gig at a popular Night Club called the Apollo South in Jacksonville, Florida, and the Down Beat Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
BOJ: What kind of acts have you worked with?
RC: Bands I’ve worked with, The Crack Mirrow Band, Frank Williams & Little Beaver & The Rockerteers, The Will Sessions Band, The Dapkings and my own personal Band – The New NT Express. Living in Orlando, Fl – some times I hire out of musician’s friends for special shows. There are plans to use Fred Thomas & The James Brown Band soon.
BOJ: Who were your musical influences starting out? Who do you love to listen to?
RC: James Brown influenced the most. Others I like are: Aretha Franklyn, Joe Tex, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, Luther Ingram, The Temptations, Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, Snoop Dog, Rick James and Sharon Jones.
RC: My Favorite Song is, “Its a Man’s World” (by James Brown)
BOJ: What can we expect from Rickey Calloway in the future?
RC: A new 16 Song CD/Album called “I touched the Clouds.” Fall tour dates will be announced when confirmed.
BOJ: What is your favorite performing moment?
RC: My Favorite moment performing was when I got a chance to open for Johnnie Taylor in Jacksonville, at The Apollo South. Also, when I got the chance to addition for Joe Tex opening for his show in Winter Park, Florida.
BOJ: What inspires you to create funky music?
RC: What drives me to create music is the love I have for people. The passion I have for this beautiful thing called music, sometimes I can do a song an see people so happy or crying if my song touched them. I believe there is a spiritual connection between music and people.