Five Firsts: Jermaine Wells of the Ill Funk Ensemble

December 2nd, 2011, 10:30 am by Greg

Jermaine Wells

Jermaine Wells

NAME: Jermaine Wells
BAND AFFILIATION: The Ill Funk Ensemble
INSTRUMENT: Lead vox, Rap

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Biggie Smalls’ “Ready to Die”

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Bilal Oliver at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square, NYC in 2000.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … a xylophone in sixth grade for the Christmas show. I played “Silver Bells” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … my own rap at age eight. The first cover song I ever performed in public was “Poison” by BBD in the fifth grade.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Future, in high school. We were an R&B band – just voices, no instruments.

Jermaine Wells – lead vocalist and front man with Nippertown funkateers the Ill Funk Ensemble – steps out on his own with his debut solo EP, “For Dancing Girls & Admirers.” The CD release party will be held at Savannah’s/Dublin Underground in Albany at 8:30pm on Friday (December 2).


Nippertown Music News: Phantogram, Ill Funk Ensemble, the Blisterz, the Slaughterhouse Chorus

July 20th, 2011, 9:56 am by Greg

Spin magazine named Phantogram as one of the “20 Must-Hear Artists at Lollapalooza 2011,” which takes place August 5-7 in Chicago’s Grant Park. Phantogram phans won’t have to travel quite that far to get a dose of their “blending of electronic loops, hip-hop beats, shoegaze, soul and pop,” as Spin puts it. Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter will be stepping into the spotlight at Pearl Street in Northampton at 9pm on Sunday, sandwiched inbetween opening act Com Truise and headliners the Glitch Mob. Tix are $15 in advance; $20 at the door.

The Ill Funk Ensemble has advanced to the semi-final round of voting in Soulive’s Royal Family Affair Battle of the Bands. Eight bands are currently in the running for two performance slots at the Royal Family Affair music festival that’s taking place at Stratton Mountain in Bondville, Vermont on August 12-14. Based on online voting, the top five bands will advance to the final round where the two winning bands will be selected by Eric Krasno, Neal Evans and Alan Evans of Soulive. You can vote here. The winner will get a main stage performance slot, while the runner-up will perform at the fest on an indoor stage. Voting continues through Monday (July 25).

Read the rest of this entry »

CD: The Ill Funk Ensemble’s “Catching Wreck”

June 10th, 2010, 1:00 pm by Greg

Catching Wreck(, 2010):

Let’s face it, contemporary hip-hop is a producer’s game. So, the concept of whippin’ up some crack hip-hop with a live band is seriously tricky business. If you’ve ever seen them doing their thing live, however, you know that Nippertown’s Ill Funk Ensemble can bring it on the bandstand.

But whether they could successfully translate that same live excitement to a track-free studio recording was anybody’s guess, though. Until now.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!The Sanctuary For Independent MediaBerkshire On Stage