Five Alarm Funk have collaborated with Fred Penner for their first new single since the pandemic titled “The Band Came Back”. Growing up in the 1980s, Penner’s music had a substantial influence on Five Alarm Funk. Tom Towers, the band’s conga player had the first encounter with Penner when he met him at the 2013 JUNO Awards in Regina, Saskatchewan. They realized they shared the same birthday and later Penner helped Towers get out of the freezing cold and into an industry party. Later in 2017 and 2018, the band performed some renowned Canadian music festivals and Penner was on the line up. Five Alarm Funk was so floored by his performance that they approached him for a collaboration right away.
“One thing we knew is that when you think of Fred Penner, you think ‘fun’, and that definitely resonates with Five Alarm Funk and our mission. We couldn’t be more excited to get this song out to the world! It’s fun, danceable and really feels like we caught the essence of Fred and FAF! I think what we’re looking forward to most is playing a festival with Fred and performing this tune live with such a legend!”
The track is a spin off of Penner’s most famously known song “The Cat Came Back” with which he originally credits to an encyclopedia of folk songs dated back to 1893. Part of the original track was written by Tin Pan Alley composer Harry S. Miller.
Fred Penner says: “This collaboration has been a welcome creative journey during these challenging Covid years.”
Five Alarm Funk is an 8-piece horn-powered, percussion-fuelled sonic and visual assault. Over 17 years of hard funking, the band has burned up stages on four continents, released eight studio albums and received two Juno Award nominations. Their latest album “Big Smoke” gets right to the roots of what Five Alarm Funk is all about: epic, intense arrangements, heavy groove and a ton of fun. Five Alarm Funk’s epic live show is still what defines the band. The sweat-drenched concerts are infused with an intense spirit of fun that breaks down barriers between band and audience and moves both into a manic dance party. Wild costumes, props, and choreography compliment the seriously tight arrangements and genre-mashing grooves. That live show has taken Five Alarm Funk on dozens of North American coast to coast tours, performing at over 100 festivals in the last three years alone. The band has also begun to break ground abroad, with performances in Taiwan, Mexico, and a performance for international peacekeeping forces in Mali. Five Alarm Funk plans to keep the momentum going in 2022 with a string of Canadian shows and festival dates.
Fred Penner is a gentle man with an undeniable ability to make you feel good about yourself. This musical master brings more than 40 years of commitment, consistency and depth to a career that blends the many genres of performing and communication. Fred continues to grow and create music for his generations of “Fred Heads”. From hosting the United Way National conference in Saskatoon to emceeing the renowned Polaris Music Awards and being part of the C3 Legacy Expedition supporting the truth and reconciliation process in remote parts of Canada, apparently retirement is not in the cards for our Fred. The phone is still ringing! And his concert touring continues. His latest Juno Award, Canadian Folk Music Award, Western Canadian Music Award winning album project, Hear The Music is dedicated to all who have travelled with him on his musical journey. In his career Fred has delivered a prolific 13 albums to families across North America and countless energetic live shows for eager audiences. In his television life Fred composed the music for YTV’s Tipi Tales and is especially known for over 900 episodes in 13 seasons of acclaimed “Fred Penner’s Place” TV series – CBC (Canada) and Nick. Jr. (USA). Fred’s visibility has allowed him the privilege and joy of using his voice to support organizations like UNESCO, World Vision, UNICEF and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. In 2005, Fred journeyed to Zambia, Africa with World Vision to host a program for Child Sponsorship in the Western World. Expanding his connection to dedicated teachers, as keynote presenter at numerous early childhood conferences, he has, without a doubt, established himself as a fundamental part of the North American family educational/entertainment scene. Fred has received two honorary doctorates and received the Order of Canada for his life’s work. Whether it’s through his albums, concerts, videos, books or television, his cornerstone philosophy remains the same: “Never underestimate your ability to make a difference in the life of a child”.