At last Wednesday night’s Battle of the Bands semifinals, local Indianapolis band Huckleberry Funk ended up advancing in first place. They’ll definitely be one to keep an eye on as we move into the finals.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at some of the bands competing in this year’s Battle of the Bands. The semifinals have been going on all this month at The Hi-Fi every Wednesday, and last Wednesday was the last of them. Now that the four rounds of semis are over, we have our eight bands who will compete in the finals at The Vogue on February 15th, all of them looking to win that $10,000 grand prize, touring van, and bragging rights.
Those eight bands moving on to the Battle Royale include Forstory, Jake Schlegel, J. Elliott, Porch Kat, The Palace, Audiodacity, Bullet Points, and Huckleberry Funk.
Huckleberry Funk is a funk, r&b, and soul band originally from Bloomington, Indiana now residing in Indianapolis. Much like another funky band from Bloomington (The Main Squeeze), Huckleberry Funk initially created a buzz and gained momentum purely from the electric, live performances they’re now known for. No doubt it was one thing that gave them an edge during the Battle of the Bands.
Huckleberry Funk consists of members Dexter Clardy (lead vocals), Alex Dura (keys, sax, backing vocals), Matt McConahay (bass, keybass), Byron Boler (drums, programming), and Elias McDermott-Sipe (guitar).
After starting up around 2016, Huckleberry Funk released their debut album, “The Tear Down” in 2018. While we haven’t seen another album out of them since, they have continued to play live shows, as well as produce recorded live versions of a number of unreleased songs. Our song of the day, “Broke Times”, is one of them.
Huckleberry Funk’s “Broke Times” is appropriately funky, groovy, and full of soul. A song about ambition, the stress of the rat race, and the solace of dreams. Dexter Clardy’s vocals bring “Broke Times” to life. The control and power he expresses in his voice infuses this track with an infectious kind of energy.
At its core, “Broke Times” is really a simple song. It’s got a solid beat, a familiar progression, and a strong bass backbone to support Clardy’s clear vocals and lyrics. His half-singing, half rapping delivery really fits the tone of “Broke Times”. For the most part, Clardy sticks with singing, but occassionally slips into a more rhythmic delivery during the verses.
The amount of energy that Huckleberry Funk is able to bring to this simple, stripped down song is pretty incredible. Again, a lot of the credit goes to Clardy for his stellar vocals. But the rest of the band shouldn’t be overlooked. Byron Boler’s drumming also pulls a lot of the weight when it comes to building and sustaining the energy of the song, as does McConahay’s endlessley rocking bass groove.
Overall, Huckleberry Funk’s “Broke Times” is a great song that you should probably listen to now, if you haven’t already. It’s got everything from ambition to soul, to funk and storytelling. Huckleberry Funk are definitely going to be a band to watch out for during the Battle of the Bands finals on February 15th. Be sure to put that date on your calendar, and get out to support them, or your own favorite band for the Battle Royale.
If you enjoyed listening to “Broke Times”, you can listen to more from Huckleberry Funk on Spotify. You can also find out more information about Huckleberry Funk on Facebook, or go to their website for even more.
Finally, for more coverage on the local Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local artists from the Indianapolis community.