Never the darlings of critics, Grand Funk Railroad simply soldiers on year after year, playing meat-and-potatoes rock 'n' roll for the people, and, as Rolling Stone's David Fricke once wrote, "Grand Funk were the people's choice, and the people were right!"
With the original rhythm section of drummer Don Brewer and bassist Mel Schacher still intact, Grand Funk rode the rails into Oshkosh, Wis., last Thursday as part of its 2007 tour and put on a powerhouse performance. Joined now by former .38 Special singer Max Carl, the same guy who penned the hit ballad "Second Chance," and ex-KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick, Brewer and Schacher laid down some seriously muscular grooves, proving that time hasn't mellowed them one bit.
Among the highlights of the show was a fist-pumping version of "Walk Like A Man." At the close of the show, Brewer belted out "We're An American Band" to the faithful, who braved a slight downpour to enjoy the festivities, but it was the yearning "I'm Your Captain" that left the audience spellbound.
Kulick's solos were especially strong, as evidenced by his soaring, feedback-laced rendition of the national anthem — playing off the deconstructed version first put forth by Jimi Hendrix. Merging his lead bass lines with Kulick's searing solos, Schacher's gave every song a strong backbone, while also, occasionally, stepping to the forefront to carry the melody.
To read more about the Funk, visit www.grandfunkrailroad.com, and stayed tuned for an interview with the band in an upcoming issue of Goldmine.