Support comes Crowd Company, an eight piece funk band using a Hammond organ to create a danceable sound infused with soulful vocals. Their retro sound is a good way to kick off the night, it’s not too busy in the venue when they start and about half full by the end of their set.
George Porter Jr. is the the bassist and co-founder of The Meters. Getting together in the mid 60’s, the band came to be seen as one of the fore-fathers of a new kind of Funk sound. His career spans over 40 years and in that time he’s played with a diverse range of musicians, from Paul McCartney and David Byrne to Patti LaBelle and Taj Mahal.
Tonight he’s here with this band The Runnin’ Pardners, consisting of drums, guitar and keyboards. They’re a tight band, taking it turns to solo and laying down a sound that is the very essense of New Orleans Funk. With a nod to keeping us entertained, the drummer plays his solo with a towel over his head, never once missing a beat. All through the set, Porter lays down those heavy bass lines that he’s known for, slapping an plucking his strings and effortlessly keeping extended grooves going.
It’s an uptempo set, including a couple of instrumentals that he says The Meters recorded but never released, and the whole thing keeps the crowd moving and enthusiastic. They encore with a version of “Just Kissed My Baby that segues into “Cissy Strut”, two bona fide Meters’ classics that are a perfect way to end.
Funk this good is always worth checking out.