Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend Bootsy Collins is a musician, songwriter and producer. He has lent his talents to James Brown, Parliament/Funkadelic, Bootsy’s Rubber Band and Deee-Lite, to name a few. The best living bassist on Rolling Stone’s Best Bassists of All Time list, Bootsy, “redefined soul and funk bass playing in the Seventies, and, by proxy, rap and pop in the Eighties and Nineties,” writes the magazine. “You can hear his influence in practically every bass player to come since…” Bootsy’s influence on popular culture is inescapable. His image and sound are stitched into the fabric of modern music, be it R&B, funk, rock, electronic or hiphop (Prince, Dr. Dre, Thundercat, Janelle Monae). He’s transcended generations through mentoring and collaborations, including Childish Gambino’s “Red Bone,” a loving homage to Collins’ 70s smash, “I’d Rather Be with You.”
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For Bootsy, it’s a philosophy: “The Power of the One is what pulls us through,” he says. “Everyone has “The One” inside of them. You never know who is using you for guidance, so always be pure and never fake the funk. Everybody’s got a light. Everybody needs to shine. It’s there, we just have to trust and use the guidance that is within us, and know that The One knows your program. It was written inside your heart before you made that mad dash racing to be the first one to the egg! You are perfect in the eyes of The One.
Produced, co-written and arranged by Collins, The Power of the One began before the pandemic at Sweetwater Studios and was completed during lockdown at his own Boot-Cave Studios in Cincinnati. “In these tragedies and in these storms is when the most beautiful messages can come out,” says Bootsy. “Funk is making something out of nothing. As a team, it’s easier to pursue your dreams. It’s official: Family Approved, One Nation under a Groove!”
And with that, Bootsy called on a few of his humble musician friends to join him and let the real party begin. Now for the pure funk track we call the “Funkship Area-51,” Collins channeled his P-Funk days, with fellow James Brown bandmember, Christian McBride. Snoop Dogg takes the lead on “Jam On” along with Brandon “Taz” Niederauer on lead guitar, and the song “Creepin’” features blues guitarist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram.
A longtime mentor to musicians, Bootsy enlisted Cincinnati singer Emmaline for the Latin song “Lips Turn Blue.” Dr. Cornel West, Victor Wooten, Béla Fleck, Steve Jordan, EmiSunshine, Rod Castro, The Williams Singers and Az Yet join Bootsy on “Stargate” (an update on “Stars,” the MusiCares benefit single released in June). For their first collaboration, Branford Marsalis appears on two songs, “Club Funkateers” (with Victor Wooten), and Collins’ arrangement of Sly and the Family Stone’s “WantMe2Stay,” with the great Larry Graham on bass and American Idol singer, Uché.
All Songs Produced by: Bootsy Collins
Recorded by: Tobe Donohue at The Bootcave
Additional Recording by: Shawn Dealey & Mark Hornsby at Sweetwater Studios, Fort Wayne, IN
Analog Engineer: Bootsy Collins
Logic Engineer: Ouiwey Collins at The Ark
Mixed by: Tobe Donohue at The Bootcave
Additional Mixing by: Shawn Dealey at Sweetwater Studios
Mastered by: Ken Love