In New Orleans, a city indisputably overflowing with funk, the high honor for Best Funk Group of 2008 was awarded to Big Sam's Funky Nation at the 2009 Big Easy Music Awards. For the past few years, Big Sam's Funky Nation has been a driving force of urban funk. The band is led by trombone powerhouse, Big Sam Williams, formerly the trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who the San Francisco Chronicle calls "the top man on the slide trombone in the birthplace of jazz." Presiding over his Funky Nation is Big Sam, a big man with an impeccable urban fashion sense, who blows the funk out of his trombone and refuses to let the audience sit still. Between solos and trombone riffs, Big Sam second-lines (a uniquely New Orleans style of street-dance) and gets the crowd going both in movement and in replies to his call-and-response MC-style. An extremely talented group of musicians makes up the Funky Nation, bringing with them a rock sensibility, the improv-style associated with jazz and the horn-heavy front section that's the hallmark of big band funk. The energy level is high voltage when this band takes the stage, as Eric Podolsky of Jambase notes, "Big Sam's Funky Nation... pulls no punches when it comes to bringing a straight raw party." Big Sam's Funky Nation has undeniable personality, as well as masterful chops. Also, the band was recently featured on VH-1's Soul Cities, on Live with Regis & Kelly and on the Travel Channel's America the Wright Way.