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Rob likes to Funk around



Who: Rob Funk

Where: The Brew House

When: Saturday nights

There’s no doubt about it: Rob Funk gets around. You can catch him cavorting with the coffee crowd every Saturday and Sunday afternoon at Second Cup. He has the occasional one night stand at Black’s Pub or the Amsterdam Café and is often spotted schmoozing at private parties. But it’s his latest relationship that has everyone talking. One that has him teaming up with good friend, Gary Yoshida on Saturday nights. They’re known to hang around the Brew House for hours creating quite the party in their presence, often attempting to keep the crowd contained well beyond last call.

So what’s Rob Funk’s charm? Perhaps it’s because he’s good with his hands. He is, after all, a guitar player and a mighty fine keyboardist too. He also knows what songs work with the crowds.

"People in Whistler like good time drinkin’ tunes and so it’s my job to give them what they want," admitted Funk. "They want to sing along, dance and have a good time with friends. With that in mind I mainly do twists on covers from the ’70s upwards but chuck in the occasional original if I can get away with it.

"Everyone likes the softies, they’re the crowd pleasers, but lately I’ve been on a Willie Nelson kick. On the Road Again is so much fun. I like the heavy stuff too like Guns ’n’ Roses and Ozzy Osbourne but I funk it up for the acoustic setting."

Rob Funk has been playing in Whistler since 1995 when the Nova Scotia pro skier moved here for obvious reasons. Adding pro guitarist and pro keyboardist to his CV, the music eventually took over.

"It’s become my main bread and butter for sure. I started at the Brasserie one night and that was the start of it. The Second Cup gig’s been going strong for several years now and the Brew House are giving me a shot for the summer. Life’s pretty good."

But does Funk ever feel like flying the coop and moving on to the bright lights and big city?

"Everybody talks about leaving, but you get stuck here so easily. There’s so much to do. I have a home studio now which keeps me busy and in the age of computers, you don’t really have to go anywhere anymore, but it’s all album pending for me this year."

The album in the works is the as yet untitled full length CD he’s recorded with the Rob Funk Band. Packed with R&B, ballads and easy listening rock ’n’ roll, the album is in its final stages – look out for it at a store near you.

Fellow Rob Funk Band member, Yoshida, is the sidekick for the summer Saturday night gig.

"Gary and I met about 18 months ago at one of Randy’s (from the store Whistler Music) Open Mic Nights and we’ve been jamming ever since," said Funk.

"It’s been great fun playing together and the crowds have been really receptive. Gary’s the right wing guy who does well as the lead player backing up the harmonies. Then I lay down the rhythms and front the singing. He’s toured professionally so he’s not afraid of trying new things too, which is great for keeping the act fresh."

Check out the dynamic duo every Saturday night until Labour Day. The Brew House Pub has a welcoming feel with cool acoustics in an "L" shape setting.