12 Hits and a Bump

Article excerpt

Stevie Salas is too young to have seen the '60s blues boom, but he imagines it was a lot like today's funk boom. Only instead of digging old sides by Howlin' Wolf and Lightnin' Hopkins, the rock crowd is now genuflecting to Sly, George Clinton and James Brown. "Funk is now being appreciated as an art form, the same way Muddy and the rest of the blues players were in the '60," said Salas, a melt-your-pickups shred demon and card-carrying funkateer.

Besides touring with his group Colorcode, Salas has been working with Rolling Stones back-up vocalist Bernard Fowler in Nickelbag. Their thudding funk-metal debut, 12 Hits and Bump, sounds like King's X meets Sly on a blind curve. Its acid-headed groovemeistering is highlighted by a liquefying version of Funkadelic's "Hit It and Quit It," as well as help from an all-star cast: Ron Wood, T.M. Stevens, Bernie Worrell, Carmine Rojas, Jeff Bova, Dave Abbruzzese, Doug Wimbish and Darryl Jones, with avant-funk impresario Bill Laswell overseeing the whole thing.

Started in 1993, the project took a couple of years to complete. During this time Salas was working as Terence Trent D'Arby's music director, doing his own solo album and writing and producing for Sass Jordan. …