is just a great documentary about a band of musicians who called
themselves the Funk Brothers. This group of
unbelievably talented musicians just happened to be the backup
band for dozens of Motown singers and songwriters as well as play
the music on almost every song which ever got recorded at the
Motown studio in Detroit. Any fan of music, no matter what
genre of music is the person's favorite, will completely enjoy
This documentary is unique in that it combines three different
avenues for telling the story of the Funk Brothers. There
are interviews with all the living members of the band.
There is concert footage where the remaining band members recently
united to play many of the Motown hit songs which are sung by both
old and new artists such as Chaka Khan and Joan Osbourne.
The third element of the movie are some reenactments of scenes
which show some funny episodes from the band's history such as
when one guitar player was too drunk to stand up to play in the
studio so he played the guitar laying down on the floor on his
Along with some great Motown songs sung in concert footage, there
is also lots of discussion on some of the unique sounds and guitar
licks which originated by this band. It was most interesting
to hear about the creation of one of the most heralded guitar
licks in music history for the song My Girl. Additionally,
there is a nice history lesson whereas scenes of the 60's such as
the Vietnam War and the murder of Martin Luther King came to
influence the creation of songs at that time.
It's also amazing that the Funk Brothers were actually made up of
both black and white musicians who remained close friends for
decades, much during the times of racial unrest.
There's not much else to write about this film except to stress
again how entertaining and informative that this movie is.
I'm guessing that most people, like myself, have never heard of
the Funk Brothers band nor knew that these musicians were the
players on most if not all of the Motown songs. It's sad to
see that these people were not recognized for their talent and
contributions to these songs during their time playing in the
studio as well as backing up the singers in live concerts when
they were on tour. But at least they are getting their due
now by the making of this film and hopefully many people will go
see it. I'm really pulling for this film to win the best
documentary Oscar at next year's Academy Awards.
Simply put, if you like music,
you will love this movie.