Review & Photos | Dumpstaphunk | New York City

Images by: Dino Perrucci
Words by: Chadbyrne R. Dickens

Dumpstaphunk :: 2.28.14 :: B.B. King's :: New York, NY

"Everybody wants some!" - Dumpstaphunk

On February 28, the weekend before official Mardi Gras ceremonies were set to commence in New Orleans, the musical kings of that fair city led a talent-laden lineup for a joyous barrage of slick and soulful funk music for the NOLA Mardi Gras event at BB King's venue in New York City.

Ironic that on the week that spring training started, BB King's rolled out their own version of a professional all-star team. Nick Daniels III (bass) and Tony Hall (bass) are like heavy-hitting cornermen with sure hands who bookend the infield. Ian Neville (guitar) is the shortstop who supports the infielders around him by filling in with his expertise as needed, Ivan Neville (keys) is the veteran leader and closer who sets a high standard through his talent and experience and Nikki Glaspie (drums) is the powerful outfielder that can be counted on for a clutch home run under pressure.

Formed in 2003, the quintet has since played at enormously popular festivals all over the country in a successful attempt to share their patented sound with a thrust of blues and soul. Highlights in NYC included the mesmerizing bass thumping, evidencing a band fully on the same page, for "Dancin' to the Truth." "Everybody Wants Some," the first song from the 2010 album of the same name, made an indelible impression with the help of Nick and Tony's contagious "woo-hoos" included towards the end, which subtly lure one into the fray like an imperial tractor beam. With Daniels and Hall both dropping bass bombs, it is easy to witness how this exercise feeds off each other. The grounded Daniels stands more stoic when juxtaposed to the bouncy and amiable Hall, but both are equally effective in sharing the groove. On playing in a dual-bass system, the affable Daniels stated, "There is nothing negative. Everything musically just falls into position."

Ivan handled lead vocals on the intensely incendiary "Meanwhile" - a deliberate, sneaky and uplifting tune about enjoying life that is unveiled through a slow, thick fudge of Funkadelic fun as Ivan picked up a guitar and led the troops to a cascading crescendo and jam session. The bouncy party anthem, the mostly instrumental "Raise the House," is a jumpy and raucous track from their third and most recent album, Dirty Word, which dropped last summer.

This band must be in the conversation with Lettuce and Galactic as the premier funk band in the country and even the New York Times stated, "Dumpstaphunk is the best funk band from New Orleans right now." They saved the most satisfying effort in the show for the last section. The lengthy jam session included their take on The Rolling Stones's "Miss You," which was worth admission alone. Impressing all in ear shot was the ten-year- old boy from Long Island that they had asked to sit in. Brandon "Taz" Niederauer delivered with such poise and power that one would think he was a grizzled veteran rather than a pre-teenager. He performs in a band called BX2 and has sat in with many impressive acts including George Porter Jr., Lettuce and Robert Randolph, but tonight he appeared like an all-star added right before the trade deadline.

Nikki Glaspie, former drummer for Beyonce, has relished her adventure playing with Dumpstaphunk, "It gives me heavy freedom musically to express myself and do whatever I want to do." The adventurous spirit is apparent throughout from her heavy-hitting behind the kit to the rapping she confidently shared towards the end of the show. She must be mentioned in any discussion concerning the most talented drummers currently working in our scene today. Glaspie has succinctly explained the Dumpstaphunk experience, "We just hope to spread the good word through funk. If we can create an escape, give people a reason to get down and forget their problems, then we're doing what we set out to do."

Every city in the country probably has a radio station that plays a block of "party hits" that one can jam to on a weekend night. However it would prove easier just to put on Dumpstaphunk.

Setlist: Dancing to the Truth, Blueswave, Quasar cover, Dirty Word, I Know You Know, Raise the House, Everybody Get Some, Meanwhile, Miss You, Reality of the Situation, Lt. Dan, Water

Here's more of Dino Perrucci's fantastic photos:

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[Published on: 3/6/14]

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