Music lovers rocked to the beat in downtown Marshall on Saturday as local band COMN Funk hit Telegraph Stage to film the band’s first video shoot for their debut single ‘Humpin’.’
“People came out and supported us,” said member and drummer Mike Mitchell, after the video was filmed.
“I ask everyone to look forward to hearing this record when it comes out,” Mitchell said.
The song is a remake of the legendary 80s Gap Band jam “Humpin'”. The local COM’N Funk Band put a new spin on the song, celebrating the mid-work week, Wednesday, commonly referred to as “Hump Day”.
Mitchell said their newly recorded song has been a smash hit so far, attracting listeners as young as 10, describing it as “fire”. The song features local rapper/lyricist Tyson Manning, whose stage name is “Professor T-Money”.
To add a fun twist, the band created a line dance to complement the song. The dance was performed by Fit Line Dance, of Longview, for the video. COMN Funk invited the public to come join in the fun. The band members were delighted to see the crowd of supporters.
“We want to say we appreciate you all from our community; we appreciate your support,” band member and keyboardist Oscar Jernegons told the crowd.
He also thanked Fit Line Dancers for their participation.
“We really appreciate it,” Jernegons said. “Thank you and keep us in your prayers.”
The group’s producer, Dr. Gregory McPherson, who is also director of choral music at Wiley College, shared how thrilled he was to help with the release of the record and the debut of the video.
“This is just a great opportunity for me to be able to give back to this community. I’ve lived a very blessed life,” said McPherson, a notable producer, composer, arranger, bandleader and performer whose work has won Oscar, Tony and Emmy awards.
Mitchell says COM’N. Funk always strives to create clean, fun music for the whole family. Mitchell said the local band decided to do a remake of the Gap Band song because the ’80s band represented the lively, fun jazz and rhythm and blues sounds that COM’N. Funk Band emits.
The band members have been performing together for approximately 30 years, entertaining crowds at various venues including parties, weddings, festivals and more. They debuted as a group last year over Memorial Day weekend.
The band members are mostly proud to be able to represent their hometown and continue to build on the great musical heritage of Marshall, proudly recognized as the birthplace of boogie-woogie music.
“We are from home. You have a local band and we just thought about how Boogie Woogie came out of Marshall being the first R&B band that came from a small town in East Texas,” Mitchell said.
The name of the group is inspired by its members – Carl Mitchell, Oscar Jernegons, Mike Mitchell and Nathan Thomas. The C is for Carl, the O for Oscar, the M for Mike and the N for Nate.
Mike Mitchell is the band’s drummer; Carl Mitchell plays bass. New York native and Wiley College graduate Oscar Jernegons plays keyboards, Derrick Beck plays keyboards and Nathan Thomas strums guitar.
Next, COMN Funk will perform at the new Davidson Restaurant in Gilmer, beginning at 8 p.m. on May 14.