A fact that has been left out of a lot of the previews for Bootsy Collins' show tonight at First Avenue, the legendary, starry-eyed bass player is bringing quite an MVP band with him -- one that arguably makes this gig more noteworthy than recent tour stops by his former employer, George Clinton & P-Funk.

Bootsy's current touring entourage includes two of his fellow heyday-era Parliament/Funkadelic players: keyboardist Bernie Worrell (also of Talking Heads notoriety) and guitarist Blackbyrd McKnight. Also aboard the Bootsy train this time are two other P-Funk alum, drummer Frankie Kash and keyboardist Razor Sharp Johnson, plus bassist and vocalist Colonel Hardgroove of Public Enemy's live band and yet another bassist of note, TM Stevens, a one-time member of the Pretenders who also played on James Brown's "Living in America." Oh, and there are seven more members of the band, too.

The troupe was put together to promote Collins' fun new album, "The Funk Capital of the World," which includes appearances by Clinton, Snoop Dogg, Chuck D, Ice Cube and Bobby Womack. Greg Kot of the Sun-Times had a good chat with Collins to preview the show tomorrow night in Chicago. Tonight's gig at First Ave is an especially early one that starts about 7 p.m. -- which only leaves this army of funksters about three hours to play before the club's weekly Latin dance night. I hope that's enough time. 

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