Supergroup West Coast Funk Busters to play Dolan’s Warehouse

Buck Taylor

Louisville, Kentucky singer Buck Taylor will lead a supergroup of musicians through a set of funk, soul and rock and roll this weekend at Dolan’s.

Onstage with Buck will be Ray Fean on drums (Tuesday Blue, Celtic Woman); Eoghan O’Neill on bass (Moving Hearts, Chris Rea); James Delaney on keyboards (Clannad); Ray Diamond on guitar (Riff Raff); and special guest is Ray’s brother and Irish rock legend Johnny Fean on guitar (Horslips, Zen Alligators, Celtic Woman).

Buck Taylor was reared in a house filled with music in Louisville, Kentucky. He and his siblings are all accomplished musicians. His first cousin Johnny Taylor (R.I.P) is a Memphis Soul legend. The hits ‘Who’s Making Love to your ol’ Lady’ and ‘Disco Lady’ are soul standards in the US.

Buck namedrops some of music’s most famous when he recalls the acts he has recorded and performed with – deep breath! – Aerosmith, Journey and Chuck Berry. He started doing backup singing with his brother in James Taylor’s band. In our interview he didn’t even mention Patti LaBelle, Joan Jett, J. Geils Band, New Kids on The Block, Dan Aykroyd / The Blues Brothers (Booker T & The MG’s), Dr. John and Jimmy Buffett!

Buck Taylor performed regularly at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

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Buck met and married Irish lass Fidelma in Boston.

“When I met her, it was sparks right off the bat,” he laughs.

For the last 12 years, Ballina, Co. Mayo is home for Buck and Fidelma and their four kids.

“My first time in Ireland was at her sister’s wedding,” Buck recalls.

When Fidelma wanted to move back to Ireland, Buck quit his band and the family moved to Ireland.

So what did this Kentucky soulman make of the Mayo music scene?

“In the first year I went around to see what the music scene was like and I saw lots of country and western,” laughs.

“I just got some guys together and played in a little pub and started packing the place and it all took off from there.”

Buck’s soulful voice and love of funk promises a great set of songs from West Coast Funkbusters assembled by Ray Fean who have only played one gig so far and everyone went wild for that show.

Expect to hear some James Brown, Barry White, Lionel Richie.

“It’s gonna be all dance music and love music.”

These versatile master musicians are renowned for rock, blues and Celtic music but the question is can they get their funk on Mr Buck Taylor?

“They do! They play with soul, with feeling. They bring the funk!”

Ray Fean drummed with Limrock legends Tuesday Blue who signed to EMI, releasing their debut album ‘Sibumi’ before winding down in 1990. Since then Ray became an in-demand session drummer for recording and live work and went on to play with Coolfin, No Sweat, Ray Lynam, Donal Lunny, Riverdance, Horslips and continues to play with Celtic Woman now playing with them for over 13 years. He and Johnny Fean will rejoin the Celtic Woman show for rehearsals next week with a tour of Australia upcoming.

Ray Fean has been with the Celtic Woman project since its inception. After recording the debut album, US television broadcaster PBS filmed the group’s first concert at The Helix in Dublin. The show exploded in the US where 13 years later Celtic Woman will tour over 90 dates a year in large venues across the states,

Creating the West Coast Funkbusters is a fun side project that Ray was keen to pull together.

“Funkbusters is for fun. Liam Delaney [keyboards] suggested that it would be great to get together with Buck Taylor and form a band.”

“Some of the most musical fun you can have is playing party music and that is what this is – it is party music. It will be old funk stuff. You can expect a good shuffle night out.”

Ray’s older brother Johnny has agreed to join the Funkbusters for a short set this Saturday.

Johnny Fean, as you all know well, practically invented a guitar genre when he used his proficiency of trad music with mandolin and banjo and played traditional Irish melodies on his electric guitar. He added steel to the Celtic mythology of trailblazing Irish rockers Horslips in the 1970s.

Ray suggests that Johnny will do the stuff he wants to do on the night.

“It’ll be a mixed bag. I’m not sure we can do ‘Trouble with a Capital T’ or ‘Dearg Doom’ with Buck singing. It would be an interesting angle if a singer from Louisville Kentucky gets to sing ‘Trouble with a Capital T’ with Johnny Fean.”

Don’t rule it out – it is going to be a night of funky dance music and soulful love music and maybe, just maybe, some red blooded Irish rock anthems.

The All Star West Coast Funk Busters play Dolan’s Warehouse this Saturday January 20.