"Funk is a feeling. It's a vibe. It's something natural that you've got to have. It comes straight from the heart. You've got to feel that," Payne, 58, said.
Payne, founder of the
The band will kick off
Payne started playing bass at 14, inspired by early funk pioneers like Parliament-Funkadelic. He studied their records closely, trying to learn everything he could about the music.
"When I listened to the instruments and bass lines, I imagine that would be me," he said. "I always wanted to be part of it."
Payne started touring with
Those gigs didn't provide the benefits like health insurance or retirement, however, so Payne found a job as a maintenance worker at
He started Thump Daddy in 2004 after returning from a six-month tour with
Although he had always been a sideman, Payne decided it was time to start his own group.
"At somewhere along the line, you've got to draw your line and say you've got to do it for yourself," he said.
The band borrows a lot from the funk groups Payne grew up studying, from the thumping bass lines and syncopated drum breaks to members' outlandish costumes.
Payne often takes the stage in a top hat, marching band jacket and loud patterned pants. He said he dresses in costumes because that's what the original funk groups did.
"That's to enhance what you're doing," he said. "It's all about a party. You want to make people feel like they're having fun."
Thump Daddy's performance this Friday is the first of 2014's "Live on the Levee" series. The popular free concert series brings a new band to the stage each Friday from late May until the end of August.
Live on the Levee started in 2004 at the suggestion of
He said concert goers will see lots of bands making their first appearance on the Live on the Levee stage this year.
Visit www.liveontheleveecharleston.com for a complete schedule.
(c)2014 the Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, W.Va.)
Visit the Charleston Daily Mail (Charleston, W.Va.) at www.dailymail.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services