Return of the Funk Guitar: Cory Wong Breaks Down Dua Lipa, Jessie Ware and Nile Rodgers

Mar 23, 09:00 AM

Cory Wong is a Minneapolis native and Vulfpeck collaborator known for pushing rhythm guitar from a background instrument to the star of the show. Wong’s a walking encyclopedia of funk guitar, and he takes us through the riffs and styles—from Nile Rodgers to Quincy Jones—that power modern bops such as Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” and Jessie Ware’s “Step Into My Life.”  For Cory, rhythm guitar isn’t just a source of propulsive joy, but a sound that’s intimately connected to different regional scenes: change one note in a riff and you’ve moved from Philadelphia to Cincinatti. Every bubble and chuck speaks to a history of musical innovation - a history Cory mines on his new album-slash-variety show, Cory and the Wongnotes. Mixing comedy sketches, massively funky performances, and interviews, Cory’s project imagines what happens when the bandleader takes over as late night host. Songs Discussed (it’s a long one) VULFPECK - Cory Wong Doja Cat - Say So Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk (Audio) ft. Brun...

Cory Wong is a Minneapolis native and Vulfpeck collaborator known for pushing rhythm guitar from a background instrument to the star of the show. Wong’s a walking encyclopedia of funk guitar, and he takes us through the riffs and styles—from Nile Rodgers to Quincy Jones—that power modern bops such as Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” and Jessie Ware’s “Step Into My Life.” 

For Cory, rhythm guitar isn’t just a source of propulsive joy, but a sound that’s intimately connected to different regional scenes: change one note in a riff and you’ve moved from Philadelphia to Cincinatti. Every bubble and chuck speaks to a history of musical innovation - a history Cory mines on his new album-slash-variety show, Cory and the Wongnotes. Mixing comedy sketches, massively funky performances, and interviews, Cory’s project imagines what happens when the bandleader takes over as late night host.

Songs Discussed (it’s a long one)

VULFPECK - Cory Wong

Doja Cat - Say So

Mark Ronson - Uptown Funk (Audio) ft. Bruno Mars

Dua Lipa - Levitating

Chic - Good Times

Earth, Wind & Fire - Shining Star

Ohio Players - Love Rollercoaster

Prince - I Wanna Be Your Lover

Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger feat. Christina Aguilera

Morris Day & The Time - The Bird

Bootsy Collins - Stretchin' Out (In a Rubber Band)

Gap Band - I Don't Believe You Want To Get Up And Dance (Oops Up Side Your Head)

James Payback - The Payback

Sly & The Family Stone - Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

Jessie Ware - Step Into My Life

Chic - Le Freak

David Bowie “Modern Love” 

Duran Duran “Notorious” 

Diana Ross - I’m Coming Out

The B52’s “Love Shack” 

Avicii “Lay Me Down” 

Diana Ross - Upside Down

Sister Sledge - We Are Family

Sister Sledge - Thinking Of You 

Sister Sledge - He’s The Greatest Dancer 

Steve Winwood “Higher Love” chorus

Stevie wonder - Higher Ground

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

Michael Jackson - Thriller

Daft Punk - Get Lucky (Feat. Pharrell Williams)

David Bowie - Let's Dance

Madonna - Like a Virgin

Eminem - Lose Yourself

Miley Cyrus - Party In The U.S.A

Stevie wonder - Higher Ground

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

Michael Jackson - Thriller

Daft Punk - Get Lucky (Feat. Pharrell Williams)

David Bowie - Let's Dance

Madonna - Like a Virgin

Eminem - Lose Yourself

Miley Cyrus - Party In The U.S.A

Cory Wong - Tiki Hut Strut


Cory and The Wongnotes - Episode 4, “Genre (ft Grace Kelly)”

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