No matter your music-listening proclivities, chances are you won’t be able to stop your head from bobbing and toe from tapping to Ryan RnB Barber’s new song, “AVL Funk.” It’s a soulful, groove-laden tribute to the city it’s named for, nodding to such local institutions as Tuesday Night Funk Jam at Asheville Music Hall and the late, great keyboardist Jeff Knorr (to whom the video is dedicated). “Time to put some stank on it like a bathroom stall / but guaranteed to have you shaking, even having a ball,” Barber sings in the energetic opening.
From purple suits to singing eyeballs to handfuls of gold glitter, the song dips and sways for four-plus minutes and does a fine job of showcasing Barber’s prowess as a songwriter, front man and funk force (though he has some high-profile help, such as Derrick Johnson and Ben Hovey, who are featured on horns on the single).
“I want to do my part to keep funk in Asheville alive while continuing to show unity in the Asheville music community,” says Barber of the song and video. “Half the proceeds [from] the single will be donated to Jeff [Knorr]’s memorial scholarship fund.”
Filmmaker Kira Bursky was tapped to create the resoundingly local music video. Bursky previously directed Ian Ridenhour‘s “Dancing Children,” which tied for Judges Choice at this year’s Music Video Asheville. “I absolutely love directing music videos and am always looking for the next musician to create a music video for,” says Bursky, who is currently in post-production on a new video for Ridenhour. She has directed more that 50 films and music videos that have screened worldwide, from the LA Film Festival to Cannes Short Film Corner.