Thinking big, Bootsy Collins’ 2011 effort is a conceptual trip, a funky history lesson brought to life by the P-Funk veteran, his rock-solid band, and a slew of guest stars, ranging from rapper Ice Cube to professor Cornel West. In between, there’s funk-rock shredding from freaky and frequent collaborator Buckethead, some psychedelic storytelling by way of an old Jimi Hendrix interview, plus better-than-expected prose from both Rev. Al Sharpton (on the cultural magnificence of James Brown) and Samuel L. Jackson (on how the funk era was a Renaissance for the hood). Underneath it all, the P-Funk jams pop and stroll with that same old swagger, while Bootsy himself beams down his wild bits of Mothership wisdom, including “It’s recess time, so put a smile on your mind” (“Don't Take My Funk”) and “If you wanna lead the orchestra, you’re gonna have to turn your back to the crowd” (“Siento Bombo”).
In this engrossing and informative companion to her New York Times bestsellers Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty, Cokie Roberts marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by offering a riveting look at Washington, DC, and the experiences, influence, and contributions of its women during this momentous period of American history.