Interview above, by Eric Berg.
When you head out for a walk on your lunch break at the Monterey Jazz Festival, you’re essentially window shopping for music — it’s up to the embarrassment of riches to grab your attention and keep you from drifting off. We only heard a few songs from Big Sam’s Funky Nation, but the five-piece from New Orleans stopped us dead in our tracks with some highly unorhodox tunes, at least for a jazz festival packing 56 years of tradition.
“I see a lot of you with your phones out,” said Sammie ‘Big Sam’ Williams. “If you’re gonna tweet,” he sang over and over, “tweet about me.”
The crowd laughed, clapped and danced with their hands in the air. We didn’t see a whole lot of tweeting. Still, Big Sam was undeterred. Minutes later, with distortion pedals pressed, the band closed its set with a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man.”
KUSP’s Eric Berg talked with Big Sam after the show, and asked about the Sabbath. “I like to give people the element of surprise,” he said.