Dumpstaphunk releases new album today; party at the Maple Leaf Bar tomorrow night, 7/31

Ivan Neville has never been a conventional musician. His torrid ensemble that features two bass players started as one-off band for Jazz Fest ten years ago and grew into a funk institution despite minimal recorded output. He was famously warned by none other than Keith Richards about his excessive consumption of drugs.

Off drugs for years, the keyboardist and vocalist has seen every side of the music industry. He toured with Richards as a member of the X-Pensive Winos. He has recorded with the Rolling Stones and with his father’s longtime ensemble the Neville Brothers.

The new album, Dirty Word, was praised today in the New York Times. It’s a compelling document of what I am calling the post nouveau funk phase of New Orleans music. It is not indebted to the Meters anymore than to the Neville Brothers themselves. The album stands on its own as the harbinger of a new style of 21st century funk.

Of course there are famous cameos befitting a musician of Neville’s stature including a three bass workout featuring Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a vocal turn by Ani DiFranco and some hot trombone work from Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews. The Rebirth Brass Band and Art Neville make appearances.

But this is a band effort. All of the original tunes on Dirty Word are credited to the group. Nick Daniels and Tony Hall, the two bassists (Hall also plays some guitar) in Dumpstaphunk. are criminally underrated musicians and vocalists. Both have been mainstays of the uptown funk scene in New Orleans for decades, and here they get to shine in a strong production that really grooves.


The youngsters in the band, guitarist Ian Neville (Ivan’s cousin) and drummer Nickki Glaspie (late of Beyoncé’s all female band) fire up the 50-somethings with verve and energy.

Much was made of founding drummer Raymond Weber’s departure from the group, but Glaspie, who has really invigorated the live show, brings the funk on the album like she was born in the 13th Ward in the shadow of Benny’s Bar. Ian Neville, who grew up just up the block from that sorely missed funky dive, which musically nurtured Ivan Neville in his youth, has grown giant strides from his younger self.

Dirty Word is a statement. Dumpstaphunk is the real deal. Funk haters—deal with it.

The album release party begins with a meet and greet with the band and should go all night. Squeal BBQ and Mellow Mushroom will provide food for the party, so come early and enjoy it with the band, family, and friends. 

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