Flow Tribe Gets "Hammered" Before "Christmas Crunktacular"

New Orleans funk/rock band Flow Tribe will play its 10th annual “Christmas Crunktacular” at Tipitina’s Friday night. You can tell the event is 10 years old because people used to say “crunk” once. This year’s show comes with a difference—the band’s first Christmas song, “Hammered on Christmas,” which it released earlier this week.

“The one through-line in my Christmas experience has been getting together with my family,” says singer K.C. O’Rorke. “Being Italian Catholics, they like to knock back a couple, and that brings out the best and worst in everybody. I was trying to capture that vibe in the song.” 

It’s the band’s first Christmas song, not because Flow Tribe tried to avoid them or didn’t have any ideas. “Christmas just sneaks up on you,” O’Rorke says. 

As an independent touring band, Flow Tribe has other things to think about until Thanksgiving or so. Then, their attention turns to the holiday and O’Rorke remembers that ideas for Christmas songs came in the process. The challenging logistics of getting into a studio and getting the song out gave the band with plenty to do a reason to let those first thoughts go, but now that Flow Tribe has its own studio, it’s easier for the band to record spontaneously. “I could see us doing another Christmas tune,” O’ Rorke says. “Every year we come out with a Christmas ditty, because there’s different expectations for a Christmas song. There’s not that much pressure. Alright, let’s do something that has that vibe and roll with it. You’re not writing Dark Side of the Moon.”

The show, like Christmas music, was the child of art and commerce as it solved a basic problem: How do you give people in your hometown that have seen you a lot a reason to come out to another show? “We try to do three or four times a year,” he says. “New Orleans is our biggest fan base so we don’t want to overdo it. The [holiday] show is a Flow Tribe show, but it has its own thing and its own flavor. It’s definitely an event unto itself.”

Doing a show at Christmas time made some things complicated, but it also opened doors. “We’re back in town and a lot of New Orleans musicians are back in town too,” he says. “It’s a great opportunity for us to reconnect with a lot of our old friends and have some special guests.”