The Funeral Part 2: Andy Suhre

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Andy Suhre, best known as the only acoustic troubadour / part-time unicyclist of the UMass campus, was also one of the first to pay his respects to the fall of the funk icon, Sweet Baby Lou. As legend has it, Andy first met Lou at an open mic in a drag bar in southern Vermont, where Lou ended up playing for 14 hours. This extended set cost Andy his time slot, but it started a friendship; one that would bring him through the funkified halls of WMUA on many occasions.

Andy was solemn for most of the ceremony and added some kind (albeit drunken) sentiments about Lou and his family. “Bacon and Eggs”, the sexual love ballad, was dedicated to Mama Lou Whittaker (Lou’s Mom), who Andy said, “always had it going on.”  In the end, Andy dedicated a number of his tunes in Lou’s honor, including the ever appropriate “Ballad of a Junkie” and “The Comedown”, both of which contained elements of real love – the kind of love that grows between two men who both play guitars.

Andy Suhre- “Bacon & Eggs”

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The Funeral Part 1: The Telephone Company

The Telephone Company and Sweet Baby Lou had a long tangled history, and the band took his passing much like the best of us… very poorly. The band, which currently holds the mantle of “Sweet Baby Lou’s House Band”, became only the second group to hold this moniker. The first was of course Lou’s own band, the famed Amherst funk troupe “Funkasaurus Rex.”

But as Reverend Greg Zapata aptly said of the Telephone Company, “They were his favorite band,” before adding “to steal from.” But despite this rocky history, when push came to shove, the Amherst band most lauded for their cleanliness chose to put aside the past squabbles in order to kick off The Sweet Baby Lou Memorial Funeral and Tribute concert as the event’s headlining act.

The first of two sets by The Teleco on this evening included a blistering rendition of “Cabbage”, the always somber “Comfort Mountain” and a kickass original track about the birth of Lou. On this original dubbed “1932”, lead singer Nick Bush categorized the anguish felt by millions of the funk faithful when he snarled “Cut short in the prime of life / oh lord it’s just not right.” It was a fond salute to a man who deserved much less.

The Telephone Company- “1932”

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The Return…

So after a bit of a hiatus (yeah it lasted a bit longer than planned) The Reverends have finally recovered from their grief and will be posting all the sweet tracks and vids from the final Sweet Baby Lou Memorial Funeral earlier this month. Let the cheering commence. Now you can relive all the action and stream the entire six hours (soon enough) and weep all over again.


He was a friend. A lover, of people, drugs and funk music.

In the air we can hear birds call. But their notes are muted.

They have been that way since the docks. The docks where Lou’s bloated body was found, mutilated, unrecognizable. Tonight is his funeral / benefit concert. Remember the man as he was. And always will be.

Special Guests: Bella’s Bartok, The Telephone Company, The Frills, Sasqwash, Time & Place, Motown Bennie & Friends and many, many more…

Here Lies ‘Sweet’ Baby Lou Rodham Whitaker Jr.

WMUA 91.1 12-6AM

WMUA Request Line: (413) 545-3691

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Stream Us Online at WMUA. ORG

*one more time*

The Mourning Begins

And now my friends, it’s time to face the truth. Sweet Baby Lou is dead, and there’s no coming back from that. With the news breaking live last week, Sweet Baby Lou was bombarded with call-ins from around the globe. Some were teary-eyed, others were just looking for their personal possessions and to collect their outstanding debts. However some notable call-ins were made including Funkasaurus Rex (Lou’s old band) Big Daddy Lou (his father) and of course a slew of seedy local characters.

Sweet Baby Lou is Dead Pt. 1: “The Phone Call”

“Joey” Lou’s Bookie

Big Daddy Lou (Lou’s Dad)

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Sweet Baby Lou’s Quest for the Ganja

Two weeks ago, back when Sweet Baby Lou was still alive, he took us on a 4/20 goose chase the likes of which hasn’t been witnessed by the UMass docks since the UMass docks were instituted. With The Reverends in tow, Sweet Baby Lou embarks on a quest for the magical leaf with the evil Officer DeFlumeri hot on his tail, out for justice.

Sweet Baby Lou’s Quest for the Ganja Pt. 1 : Lou’s House

Sweet Baby Lou’s Quest for the Ganja Pt. 2: Officer DeFlumeri

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DeFlumeri V. Syldor

Last week Sweet Baby Lou host Charlie Felder moderated this debate between inflammatory SBL alum Brad DeFlumeri and Will Syldor. The topic? Race, religion, abortion and just about everything spicy that a conservative and a liberal can disagree upon. In case you didn’t make it to the Cape Cod Lounge to the see the slugfest firsthand, here is the debate in full as captured by the Reverends of Funk. Will you learn anything perhaps not? But as Maximus says in Gladiator, “Are you not entertained?”