Cincinnati's Freekbass Funks Up John Lennon on New Holiday Single "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"

The singer/bassist and his band The Bump Assembly recorded their cover of the Lennon and Yoko Ono classic at New York City's Astoria Soundworks

click to enlarge Freekbass and The Bump Assembly - PROVIDED BY FREEBASS
Provided by Freebass
Freekbass and The Bump Assembly
Freekbass and his band The Bump Assembly celebrated a fruitful 2019 by releasing a special holiday single to help close out the year.

The powerhouse Funk ensemble — which again scored the Funk/Soul/R&B trophy at this year’s Cincinnati Entertainment Awards — put its groovy spin on "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)," the 1971 single by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The band recorded the track at New York City's Astoria Soundworks.

The track (and accompanying music video) features vocalist and regular collaborator Sammi Garett, as well as saxophonist Greg Sanderson, who plays with Garett in the Brooklyn-based Funk ensemble Turkuaz. It seems likely that Garett’s Turkuaz duties will pull her away from The Bump Assembly even more in 2020 — the band is scheduled to tour with Talking Heads’ guitarist/keyboardist Jerry Harrison and Northern Kentucky native Adrian Belew to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Talking Heads’ Remain In Light album (Belew played on the LP and was a member of the Light touring band).

“We have grown so much this year, and we know we owe that to you,” Freekbass said in an email sent to fans announcing the single and thanking them for their support in 2019.

"Thanks to everyone that has let me melt their faces over a lifetime of shows," keyboardist Sky White added in the "thank yous." "And to all of those who have supported my face melting career, I cannot express my gratitude enough. My wish is for your faces to heal, so that we may do it again.”

Freekbass is working on a new album for Colorado’s Color Red. He also has a Feb. 8 date booked at Cincinnati’s Ludlow Garage. For more info, visit

Scroll to read more Local Music articles
Join the CityBeat Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.