by Steve Chapman

Special to The Mail

MILLK, a Gunnison funk band, returns to FIBArk to play bookend sets starting at 2 p.m. Saturday at Riverside Park. The second set begins at 6:30 p.m. before headliner Cracker.

“We love FIBArk,” Joey Reed, drummer for the band, said. “The way everyone in town rallies for this one weekend is impressive. And everyone is super appreciative when we play. Salida is a cool town.”

MILLK creates its electric dance songs by combining disco, funk and jazz and throwing in a hefty dose of improvisation. The goal is simple –bring the party – a perfect lead-in to Saturday night at FIBArk.

“We started out only doing old-school funk covers, but now we’re about 60/40 with original songs being the majority of what we play,” Reed said.

The members of MILLK strive to deliver an old-school funk sound and get the audience on their feet, dancing. “We get a little jammy sometime. Our goal has always been making sure everyone has fun,” Reed said.

The funk sound is in the blood of all five band members. Reed grew up listening to the music, so when approached separately by guitarist Kevin Doherty and keyboardist Frank Mangum to play in each of their bands, Reed saw an opportunity – combine everyone into one group. “It just made sense,” he said.

MILLK’s combining funk with jam also made sense, Reed said. “Kevin is a Phish guy, and Frank is a Deadhead, so we take off on jams here and there.”

Reed said his goal as the drummer is to lock up the music and make sure everything goes in the same direction.

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