From the bass thunks that rattle your spine to the brass trills that tickle your eardrums, funk music was made to be felt and not just heard. Pennyshaker has perfected the art of bringing an impeccable, rock 'n' soul groove force to Richmond audiences for seven years: Ticia Carter's gilded pipes still blow like a perfect storm, while her boys lay out a comparable neo-soul juggernaut. But it seems like now they've reached that place so mysterious to bands -- maturity.

Over time, the group's hung on to all but one band mate, and when it comes down to it, guitarist Darren Moxin says, "Leaving would pretty much mean divorce at this point, and divorce means alimony and angry late-night phone calls and restraining orders, and we just don't need any of that now, do we?"

Humor aside, the cohesive quintet remains dedicated to crafting solid, timeless music and no longer wants to be "the next big thing."

"We became less concerned about finding the riddle of getting to the next level and started concentrating more on maintaining our relationships with ourselves and our music," Moxin says. "As a result, we have grown in the way we write and even think about our music. As a band we've never been closer, or better."

Pennyshaker's live show is a testament to that fact, filling venues such as the nearly defunct Bogart's Back Room to capacity.

"Bogart's will definitely be missed by many local bands and by people who knew they could go there, spend five bucks, and hear new music in a really laid-back environment," Moxin says.

So, what's next for the funky bunch? While they jokingly have their sights set on winning Mega Millions and finding a cure for the common cold, they agree that they'll undoubtedly keep doing the music thing. They've just emerged from the studio and have posted seven new tracks on their Web site ( and intend to keep bringing the funk to a club near you.

  • Hear a sample ofPennyshaker "Jenny Jane"

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