The crowd at this weekend’s second annual iHeartRadio Country Festival in Austin brought plenty of noise, but it was the Band Perry who brought the funk, thanks to a sizzling, well-choreographed version of the ubiquitous Bruno Mars-Mark Ronson jam, “Uptown Funk.” (Don’t believe us? Just watch a teaser of the performance above.)
The Tennessee-born siblings — Kimberly, Neil and Reid Perry — adopted their best funkified Minneapolis swagger to deliver the tune, whose original version has dominated the pop charts and inspired countless parody videos on YouTube, including one in which President Barack Obama “recites” the lyrics. Influenced heavily by (or, some would say, borrowing liberally from) such post-disco acts as the Time and the Gap Band, the wildly catchy song has already received country makeovers from Dot Records newcomer Drake White and Arista label newbie Cam. The Band Perry’s own version of “Uptown Funk” isn’t the first time Ronson and the three Perry sibs have worked together, either. Earlier this year, the British-born producer served as Ambassador for the Grammy Amplifier contest, in which Kimberly, Neil and Reid were curators who helped discover new musical talent and mentored a select group of finalists.
Meanwhile, the Band Perry have already revealed that their upcoming third album will reflect their eclectic musical tastes, and will also include harmonies from pop superstar Pharrell. While a hectic tour schedule during the making of their now-gold-certified Pioneer album complicated the recording process, the group resolved to take a different approach with the upcoming LP.
“We’re trying to have a little more romance about this new album,” Kimberly Perry told Rolling Stone Country last summer. “We are definitely ping-ponging between things again… but we’re allowing more time for creative flow, too.”
A release date and first single for the award-winning trio’s upcoming album have yet to be revealed.
Other acts who took the Erwin Center stage during the iHeartRadio Country Festival were Tim McGraw, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Tyler Farr, Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore and Sam Hunt.