The Baked Potato Studio City, CA
Players: Derek Frank, bass; Ty Bailie, keyboard; Joshua Ray Gooch, guitar;
Randy Cooke, drums; Demian Arriaga, percussion
Material: Derek Frank and his crew comprise a funk/jazz band that can groove from the very first note that’s played. At this show, hints of Booker T & the MG’s and Spyro Gyra filled the Baked Potato as Frank and the boys showed ‘em what they got. The show started off with “Get Em,” as the bass led the way for skillful jamming at its best. Most of the tunes were instrumentals and mainly bass driven as Frank and Cooke gelled together, and from the onset there was no stopping the band. Great song after great song was dished out for the audience to soak up as the boys served a bevy of beautiful material that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
Musicianship: Top-notch players. Everyone was spot on, especially Frank. He is a superb bass player, with plenty of major credits, who is extremely creative and, coupled with Cooke, who is a monster on the skins (in a very good way), make for an astounding rhythm section. This left Arriaga all alone to drizzle sweet sprinkles of gooey, melodic icing on every song and he proves to be the unsung hero this evening. Gooch has superb tone on his rig and adds juicy chops on every song. If there is such a thing as too much fun, it is Bailie on the keyboard. He comes out to play and leaves everything on the stage.
Performance: The performance was excellent. Frank had great rapport with the audience and that kept things interesting between songs. It was a great jam fest that everyone participated in, including the audience. Tunes like “Hunker Down” and “Off the Top” were super-funky and took you to a sacred groove place while “Give It What You Can” was excellently drummed and had your toes tapping the whole way through. All great songs, as the bongos and tambourine took each tune over the top.
Summary: The Baked Potato was jumpin’, jivin’ ‘n wailin’ as the Derek Frank Band held court. They came to play and they put on a wonderful show. The performance was a perfect balance of tunes from Frank’s most recent album, and older material plus a cover song or two. If you’re into funk and jazz (and even if you’re not), and you enjoy well-written music with funky grooves, you can’t go wrong with these guys. Their latest studio effort came out in September 2020 and is titled Eleven Years Later. It is available at all online stores now.