Watch the Building the Vamp online guitar lesson by Fareed Haque from Jazz Rock Workshop
Funk is certainly not new. It's as old as music itself. African music is funky. So is Indian folk music, Javanese gamelan music, Duke Ellington, Monk, Grant Funkin' Green and more!
Funk (for me) is primarily about a groove and secondarily a hypnotic trance dance state. You find it in gospel, in Quwali (Sufi spiritual music), in flamenco from Spain, and Arabic dance music, Native American and South American music (some call it "charismatic" music). It is not part of one culture, rather all human cultures. We all historically share the experience of music that lifts us out of ourselves and into a tranced out, blissed out state. Another thing that almost all folky funk music has in common is counterpoint. Simple things layered and coordinated one on top of the other give rise to a complexity common to artists like James Brown, Batacumbele, and Bach.
Understanding counterpoint, is to know what guitar part, keyboard part or bass part will make the music jump and jive and which rhythms will add to the music and which will detract. So take this "building-a-groove" thing seriously. Solos in and of themselves are not what make millions of dollars in music, but the groove and the counterpoint that underlies those grooves IS and DOES.
On a technical note, the guitar is a Stromberg Montreaux
and it is strung with 0013 D'Addario chrome flat wound strings.