PBS | 10.12.07 | Baton Rouge, LA

Words by: Aaron Lafont

PBS :: 10.12.07 :: Chelsea's Café :: Baton Rouge, LA

PBS by Pamela Marinez
When it comes to side projects, most are undertaken with great ambitions – crossing over to new audiences, escaping previously established images, accomplishing personal goals – but relatively few are created solely for the sake of music. One exception to the aforementioned purposes is Porter-Batiste-Stoltz (PBS), an outgrowth of the Funky Meters, comprised of George Porter Jr. (bass), Russell Batiste (drums), and Brian Stoltz (guitar). These longtime mates have not only fortified the backbone of the New Orleans music scene, filling out such acts as The Meters, the Neville Brothers, Harry Connick Jr., Dr. John and Allen Toussaint, but also accompanied a virtual who's who of rock icons including Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Robbie Robertson, David Byrne and Paul Simon, just to name a few. Yet, when PBS converge, individual accolades become insignificant as the trio joins together with one objective in mind - music. And whether it's in front of a festival crowd or a room full of fans (as was the case at Chelsea's Cafe), PBS remains dedicated to spontaneous creation.

Given the nature of the group and its members, many would expect a funk-heavy set drawing primarily from their Meters background, but even though New Orleans funk may be at the core of PBS, they're no mere retread of their past. At Chelsea's, the opening number, "Cissy Got the Blues," perfectly illustrated their musical approach – staying true to their roots while taking the music to another level – using the classic hook from the Meters' "Cissy Strut" as a launching pad for a psychedelic, blues freakout. That led into the crunchy syncopation of "All We Wanna Do (Is Get Funky with You Tonight)" from their 2005's Expanding the Funkin' Universe. After cutting loose for a few tunes and getting the crowd into the beat of their gritty, bayou grooves, PBS dropped a seriously unexpected but very welcome surprise, an absorbing cover of Pink Floyd's "Us and Them" > "Any Colour You Like." Porter's meaty basslines, replete with long, thick notes, created deep pockets for Batiste's rhythm and Stoltz's sailing solos, which gradually rose to the point of transcendence on the instrumental "Any Colour You Like." Other first set highlights included the thundering "I Get High (Every Time I Think About You)" and the organic "Moving to the Country," two Porter originals from his recently released album, It's Life.

George Porter Jr. - PBS by Pamela Marinez
The second set picked up right where the first left off, building upon Deep South funk, infusing it with unfathomable improvisation and taking it on a long, twisted ride. It began with a back-woodsy, honky-tonk jam that locked onto the doo-wop of native New Orleanian Lee Dorsey's "Working in a Coal Mine," a track the Meters originally backed in 1966. As the night progressed, it became apparent that Stoltz had entered into another dimension, delivering the best guitar work I've seen since catching Richard Thompson earlier this summer. Saying that he combined the finesse of David Gilmour with the precision of Dickey Betts and the virtuosity of Jimmy Herring would be an unfair, unimaginative compliment that would only serve to detract from the scope of Stoltz's originality.

Stoltz's guitar overwhelmed the crowd as Porter and Batiste were right in step, instinctively pushing the boundaries of each song to the sonic brink. After a maddening jam session complete with round robin solo swapping, the trio launched into a feedback drenched, wah-wah driven cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Spanish Castle Magic." Next came the evening's most mind bending moment. As Batiste and Stoltz struck into what appeared to be another Floydian fugue, Porter began blasting the guitar solo from Neil Young's "Down by the River" on his bass while his compadres complemented his pulse with the rhythmic underpinnings of "Breathe in the Air." That track coalesced into the blues staple "Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)," a song recorded by both Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan but originally the signature tune of legendary New Orleans blues master, Earl King. Keeping with the Hendrix theme, the trio lit into the surging melody of Band of Gypsys' "Them Changes." Later, PBS sealed the evening with a smooth exclamation point, sending the Baton Rouge crowd home with the haunting chill of Curtis Mayfield's "Here But I'm Gone."

With an overabundance of over hyped bands touring out there, seeing a band that shares its initials with the Public Broadcasting Service probably wouldn't even cross the mind of most fair weather music fans, but serious concertgoers should take note. PBS is a group like no other. Comprised of members who forged their reputations piloting arguably the foremost funk outfit of all time, not to mention recording and touring behind a list of musical luminaries a mile long, they have nothing left to prove. Their skills are unquestionable and their chemistry, unshakable. They are simply good friends who enjoy grooving together for music's sake regardless of place and time. And, perhaps, therein lies the explanation as to why their jams are unlike anyone else around.

JamBase | Louisiana
Go See Live Music!

http://www.porterbatistestoltz.com/

[Published on: 10/30/07]

Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!


You'll receive

show alerts

when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

free tickets

, gain the ability to

share your personalized live music calendar

and much more. Join JamBase!



 
 

Comments

Chaloupka starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/30/2007 04:32PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Chaloupka

Fvck yes, PBS!

pornofunk starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/30/2007 05:14PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

pornofunk

POrter....HELLS YES

BRING THE FUUUUUUUNK

breadloaf starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/31/2007 06:51AM
+3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I'm sure this article will go basically unnoticed by most folks on this site, but it is probably the most well-written review I have read here. Well done, Aaron, sure makes me wish I was there. Sounds like it was one hell of a show.

MoFishwater starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/31/2007 07:17AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Funking eh! Great Great review!

Makes me want to hop on a plane and head to NOLA!

funkyriddims starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/31/2007 09:27AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

funkyriddims

Great review. sounds sick. Will definately be looking for recordings PBS wherever possible...

windorascrub starstarstarstar Wed 10/31/2007 11:05AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

windorascrub

i also thought the review was good. i was wondering if you were referring to "Breathe" by Pink Floyd. the chords for that song and "Down by the River" are very similar and was wondering if that is what you heard or if they actually played it.

sluggo2 starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/31/2007 11:21AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Well done Aaron. I liken them to Los Lobos in terms of (the highest)quality of musicians, diverse flavors and grooves, and the ultimate live experience. They should no longer be ignored by jam fans and fans of music in general. Awesome and well-deserved praise for Brian Stoltz.

moejoerisin Wed 10/31/2007 11:49AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

moejoerisin

really nice review. got a chance to catch PBS with kimock in denver a while back and it was toight like a toiger.

friedpix Wed 10/31/2007 12:02PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

friedpix

windorascrub : PBS plays Down by the River pretty frequently. Breathe, not so much...

aaronjl1 Wed 10/31/2007 12:26PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

aaronjl1

windorascrub, actually no. i looked into it (chord progressions etc) before submitting the article. the song started out as breathe; porter began soloing to river; the rhythm (guitar & drums) remained the same; porter sang river. after river's lyrics were done, stoltz began the solo to breathe; the trio shared the vocals; rhythmically, the song did not change. i spoke to stoltz about it after the show, and he said, "i really can't explain it. these sort of things just happen. tell 'em it was a mindfuck." anyway, that's pretty much what it was and why it was worth mentioning.

also with regards to "breathe" vs "breathe in the air"... the song was originally published as "breathe," but due to all of the legal hoopla in the floydian world, the song has also been published as "breathe in the air" and "breathe (in the air)". i also found it confusing. i am guessing that the discrepancy occurs based on what label owns which version at what time. this happens primarily whenever songs are overdubbed to be included on a compilation album, or whenever a band breaks up and other members want to continue to perform the song and are signed to different labels. technically, whoever owns the rights to the original recording owns the rights to the song. also, because waters, gilmour, and wright wrote the song, each is entitled to perform, publish, and sell it. thus, the true version of breathe is the one on dark side, which includes w,g,&w. so, if either of them want to rerelease the song, they must overdub their part, thus effectively changing the original composition and giving whatever label they're signed to at the time the rights to publish it (à là pink floyd in the 80s). the same goes for live versions, which are ultimately different unless all of pink floyd is present (live 8). with all of this in mind, i decided to refer to the song as "Breathe in the Air" because that is the most recently published title.

hope that clears things up on both ends...

peace

aaronjl1 Wed 10/31/2007 12:33PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

aaronjl1

windorascrub, actually no. i looked into it (chord progressions etc) before submitting the article. the song started out as breathe; porter began soloing to river; the rhythm (guitar & drums) remained the same; porter sang river. after river's lyrics were done, stoltz began the solo to breathe; the trio shared the vocals; rhythmically, the song did not change. i spoke to stoltz about it after the show, and he said, "i really can't explain it. these sort of things just happen. tell 'em it was a mindfuck." anyway, that's pretty much what it was and why it was worth mentioning.

also with regards to "breathe" vs "breathe in the air"... the song was originally published as "breathe," but due to all of the legal hoopla in the floydian world, the song has also been published as "breathe in the air" and "breathe (in the air)". i also found it confusing. i am guessing that the discrepancy occurs based on what label owns which version at what time. this happens primarily whenever songs are overdubbed to be included on a compilation album, or whenever a band breaks up and other members want to continue to perform the song and are signed to different labels. technically, whoever owns the rights to the original recording owns the rights to the song. also, because waters, gilmour, and wright wrote the song, each is entitled to perform, publish, and sell it. thus, the true version of breathe is the one on dark side, which includes w,g,&w. so, if either of them want to rerelease the song, they must overdub their part, thus effectively changing the original composition and giving whatever label they're signed to at the time the rights to publish it (à là pink floyd in the 80s). the same goes for live versions, which are ultimately different unless all of pink floyd is present (live 8). with all of this in mind, i decided to refer to the song as "Breathe in the Air" because that is the most recently published title.

hope that clears things up on both ends...

peace

aaronjl1 Wed 10/31/2007 12:34PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

aaronjl1

what is this double posting crap! jk - sorry

Gribblecake Wed 10/31/2007 12:43PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Gribblecake

funk is the shit

barnylee starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/31/2007 12:57PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

barnylee

Love PBS! Looking forward to the 8x10 show this Sun...as for the photos in this article, it looks like these pix are from a PBS show at the 8x10, not Chelsea's....

mkane starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/31/2007 01:14PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Very well written review. Couple of comments:

1. The song "Moving to the Country" is actually "Out in the Country" and was written by Leo Nocentelli for the The Meters' album "Fire on the Bayou". George brought this song back from the vault after Hurricane Katrina and has been playing it with PBS and his other bands.

2. Brian first segued into Pink Floyd's "Breathe" from "Down by the River" on July 15, 2005 at Cervantes in Denver. The chords are the same for both songs so it is a natural segue. It was such a good segue that PBS now combines the two in its setlist.

3. The positive response to the Pink Floyd cover was noticed by Russell, which prompted him to break out "Us & Them" a few months later. The PBS version is similar to the Dub Side of the Moon version.

More info on PBS can be found here: www.porterbatistestoltz.com

November tour:

November 02FRIDAY Club Metronome : Burlington, VT

188 Main Street | From Lake Pontchartrain to Lake Champlain! Showtime: 10:00pm.

http://www.clubmetronome.com/

November 03SATURDAY Private Function : N/A

No details available.

November 04SUNDAY The 8x10 : Baltimore, MD

8-10 E. Cross St. | Watch your head when you hit the 8 x 10's spring board dance floor! Showtime: 8:00pm.

http://www.the8x10.com

November 05MONDAY The Jewish Mother : Virginia Beach, VA

31st and Pacific Avenue | Ride this wake of funk! Showtime: 9:00pm.

http://inticketing.com/evinfo.php?eventid=20050

November 06TUESDAY Outer Banks Brewing Station : Kill Devil Hills, NC

600 S. Croatan Highway | The Station's beer list features a "Poker-face Porter." Showtime: 9:00pm.

http://www.obbrewing.com/

November 07WEDNESDAY Capital Ale House : Richmond, VA

623 East Main Street | Porter Batiste Stoltz making musical history in Richmond. Showtime: 9:00pm.

http://www.capitalalehouse.com/our_shows.php

November 08THURSDAY 202 Market : Roanoke, VA

202 Market Square | Porter Batiste Stoltz blazing a trail thru the Mid-Atlantic States. Showtime: 9:00pm.

http://www.202market.net/events/index.php

November 09FRIDAY Garage at the Biltmore : Asheville, NC

101 Fairview Road | Breaking in Asheville's newest stage. Showtime: TBA. (828)505-2663

http://www.thegaragebiltmore.com

November 10SATURDAY Double Door Inn : Charlotte, NC

218 E Independence Blvd | Shout "we're not worthy" as the three funky kings back-to-back show streak reaches nine! Showtime: 9:00pm.

http://doubledoorinn.com/

November 16FRIDAY Bear Creek Music Festival : Live Oak, FL

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park | Formally known as the Down on the Farm Festival, Bear Creek has anointed Porter Batiste Stoltz as the core band to lead the multi-act Everyone Orchestra, in kicking off the first night of the three day musical blitz. Showtime: TBA.

http://www.bearcreekmusicfestival.com/

November 17SATURDAY Bear Creek Music Festival : Live Oak, FL

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park | Catch day two of the festival, featuring Umphrey's McGee, Burning Spear, Porter Batiste Stoltz, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk and more. Bring out the animal in you! Showtime: TBA.

http://www.bearcreekmusicfestival.com/

November 23FRIDAY Cervantes Masterpiece Theatre : Denver, CO

2637 Welton Street | Be thankful for two nights of Porter Batiste Stoltz AND Bonerama! Showtime: TBA.

http://www.cervantesmasterpiece.com/

November 24SATURDAY Cervantes Masterpiece Theatre : Denver, CO

2637 Welton Street | Feast on a second helping of Porter Batiste Stoltz AND Bonerama! Showtime: TBA.

http://www.cervantesmasterpiece.com/

December 26 - GEORGE PORTER JR'S 60TH BIRTHDAY PARTY AT THE HOWLIN WOLF IN NEW ORLEANS.

mkane starstarstarstarstar Wed 10/31/2007 01:29PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Very well written review. Couple of comments:

1. The song "Moving to the Country" is actually "Out in the Country" and was written by Leo Nocentelli for the The Meters' album "Fire on the Bayou". George brought this song back from the vault after Hurricane Katrina and has been playing it with PBS and his other bands.

2. Brian first segued into Pink Floyd's "Breathe" from "Down by the River" on July 15, 2005 at Cervantes in Denver. The chords are the same for both songs so it is a natural segue. It was such a good segue that PBS now combines the two in its setlist.

3. The positive response to the Pink Floyd cover was noticed by Russell, which prompted him to break out "Us & Them" a few months later. The PBS version is similar to the Dub Side of the Moon version.

More info on PBS can be found here: www.porterbatistestoltz.com

November tour:

November 02FRIDAY Club Metronome : Burlington, VT

188 Main Street | From Lake Pontchartrain to Lake Champlain! Showtime: 10:00pm.

http://www.clubmetronome.com/

November 03SATURDAY Private Function : N/A

No details available.

November 04SUNDAY The 8x10 : Baltimore, MD

8-10 E. Cross St. | Watch your head when you hit the 8 x 10's spring board dance floor! Showtime: 8:00pm.

http://www.the8x10.com

November 05MONDAY The Jewish Mother : Virginia Beach, VA

31st and Pacific Avenue | Ride this wake of funk! Showtime: 9:00pm.

http://inticketing.com/evinfo.php?eventid=20050

November 06TUESDAY Outer Banks Brewing Station : Kill Devil Hills, NC

600 S. Croatan Highway | The Station's beer list features a "Poker-face Porter." Showtime: 9:00pm.

http://www.obbrewing.com/

November 07WEDNESDAY Capital Ale House : Richmond, VA

623 East Main Street | Porter Batiste Stoltz making musical history in Richmond. Showtime: 9:00pm.

http://www.capitalalehouse.com/our_shows.php

November 08THURSDAY 202 Market : Roanoke, VA

202 Market Square | Porter Batiste Stoltz blazing a trail thru the Mid-Atlantic States. Showtime: 9:00pm.

http://www.202market.net/events/index.php

November 09FRIDAY Garage at the Biltmore : Asheville, NC

101 Fairview Road | Breaking in Asheville's newest stage. Showtime: TBA. (828)505-2663

http://www.thegaragebiltmore.com

November 10SATURDAY Double Door Inn : Charlotte, NC

218 E Independence Blvd | Shout "we're not worthy" as the three funky kings back-to-back show streak reaches nine! Showtime: 9:00pm.

http://doubledoorinn.com/

November 16FRIDAY Bear Creek Music Festival : Live Oak, FL

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park | Formally known as the Down on the Farm Festival, Bear Creek has anointed Porter Batiste Stoltz as the core band to lead the multi-act Everyone Orchestra, in kicking off the first night of the three day musical blitz. Showtime: TBA.

http://www.bearcreekmusicfestival.com/

November 17SATURDAY Bear Creek Music Festival : Live Oak, FL

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park | Catch day two of the festival, featuring Umphrey's McGee, Burning Spear, Porter Batiste Stoltz, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk and more. Bring out the animal in you! Showtime: TBA.

http://www.bearcreekmusicfestival.com/

November 23FRIDAY Cervantes Masterpiece Theatre : Denver, CO

2637 Welton Street | Be thankful for two nights of Porter Batiste Stoltz AND Bonerama! Showtime: TBA.

http://www.cervantesmasterpiece.com/

November 24SATURDAY Cervantes Masterpiece Theatre : Denver, CO

2637 Welton Street | Feast on a second helping of Porter Batiste Stoltz AND Bonerama! Showtime: TBA.

http://www.cervantesmasterpiece.com/

December 26 - GEORGE PORTER JR'S 60TH BIRTHDAY PARTY AT THE HOWLIN WOLF IN NEW ORLEANS.

Chaloupka Wed 10/31/2007 01:42PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Chaloupka

Out In The Country is such a great tune!! Hope they play it in Denver!

windorascrub Fri 11/2/2007 11:18AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

windorascrub

thanks for the clear up aaron. i appreciate the response and the research.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/5/2007 09:35AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

The new GP album Its Life, is OK. nothing to write home about.

The new album from Brian Stoltz, "Up all Night" is wayyyy better, lot more rock infused anddddd longer songs with more improv.

andddd its a double live!!!

I would suggest Brian Stoltz new release over GP new release.

Sorry George, I love you too, but Brian made a better album :)