Saturday, November 20, 2010
I've written about Ivan Neville before, mainly in conjunction with his band Dumpstaphunk. I was touted their "Listen Hear" EP at the Louisiana Music Factory in April and was utterly, immediately smitten [check out this link of them playing there - CRUCIAL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu_7d2fnPWk]. I've seen them twice since - both times at free festivals. There's no questioning the chops this band has or the passion they bring to their playing, but I must admit that the newer material they play live and recorded for their full length debut "Everybody Wants Sum" is not overly exciting to me -- a lot of it's expertly played jazz-funk, technically amazing but not especially engaging 'lessen yr drunk and dancing with a topless lady in the mud somewhere methinks.
Now I've picked up a couple live sets from past performances at Jazz Fest [which you can find here: https://www.munckmusic.com/wms/jazzfest/index.html] and noted that there were a number of songs they played in the past that have not turned up on either Dumpstaphunk release. Checking Amazon for Ivan Neville releases I noted that he recorded and released several solo albums before forming Dumpstaphunk. I've since picked up "Saturday Morning Music" a 2002 release and lo and behold the first two songs wound up as part of the early Dumpstaphunk repertoire - the very soulfully funky "What Do You Want From Me" and then "Ugly Truth" which is another soulfunk gem that presaged the best tracks on "Listen Hear." The latter has a great crunchy guitar hook that coulda come from a vintage Family Stone album or the Fishbone record that coulda followed "Reality of My Surroundings" if Kendall (the original guitar player and a key writer for the band) hadn't left the band for his dad's Jesus-cult. The track is almost worth the price of admission alone and if you can stand MP3 fidelity I'd advise ya buy a download immediately.