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Here Come the Mummies are wrapped up in the funk
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

You have to suspend disbelief and just have a little fun with Here Come The Mummies.

The 10 members of the funk group from Nashville wrap themselves in mummy attire, and when they talk about "the day" they mean the days of Tutankhamun and Ramses. None of their identities are known, although they're rumored to be some of the top session players in Music City, and they've managed to maintain that anonymity for nearly 14 years and seven albums.

"You take the wraps off and all you get is a pile of funky bones," says singer and percussionist Java Mummy while bandmates Eddie Mummy and Mummy Cass jam in the background. "It's not like I have a driver's license or anything with my name on it. They don't give old guys driver's licenses. When you hit 75 they start to take it away, and I'm more than 2,000 years old, baby, so I got nothin'!"

Java Mummy says the group was "a nomadic tribe of minstrels" that did "what musicians do, which is chase ladies. That's pretty much why people play music." But when the group ran afoul of a Middle Eastern royal, it was entombed but still, Java says with pride, "stayed a band." The group's brand of funk has evolved over the centuries ("We've always played the music that makes the ladies dance the most, baby," Java says) but there is some consternation in the Mummies' ranks over the world's more recent infatuation with zombies, vampires and other m,embers of the undead.

"Yeah, baby -- I mean, we're So much sexier," Java says. "I just think the problem is the looks, y'know? We sound cool, but we look terrible. We smell terrible. And we don't have hair; chicks like hair, nowadays real big, bushy hair. And a monkey in a wig looks like a chimpanzee.

"But we've been a band longer than we've been mummies, and we'll be around after (the other creatures) are gone."

Here Come The Mummies perform Saturday, March 1, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and $20. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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