•The Michelob Stage
If you're from the New Orleans area and your surname is Neville, it's a very good chance you're either a musician, someone recognized as a goodwill ambassador of the lower Gulf Coast or, in many cases, both.
Ivan and Ian Neville easily fit both of those qualifications. Ivan has long been recognized as a solo artist and valuable session player who's backed Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, and Gov't Mule, to name a few. Nephew Ian is a second-generation performer, son of Meter/Neville Brother Art Neville, and an up-and-coming ace guitarist in his own right.
The two Nevilles have recently devoted much of their attention to a new project called Dumpstaphunk. Featuring keyboardist Ivan, guitarist Ian, bassist/guitarist Tony Hall, bassist Nick Daniels, and drummer Raymond Weber, the lively ensemble is built upon a soulful tradition of steamy Crescent City funk best personified by such predecessors as The Meters and The Wild Tchoupitoulas. Add to that Ivan's lively keyboard and organ fills, Ian's sharp guitar work, the thumping double bass/drum trio of Hall, Daniels, and Weber, plus a chorus of high/low harmony vocalists, and you have a contagious blend of rhythm, boogie, and blues.
Not long after Dumpstaphunk's formation, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans while the band was on a tour stop in, of all places, Hawaii. The storm left them displaced and in search of a semi-permanent residence. Some of the members, like bassist Daniels, decided to make a temporary relocation to Austin, Texas. Now that most of them have begun to return home, the band hopes to have their first album released by year's end.
"The long overdue studio album is nearing completion," Ivan recently announced. "The (Neville) Brothers won't be playing a lot of shows after August. Hence the Dumpsta will be in full effect ... ya heard me!"
Early listens to tracks show the band splitting their energy between tightly wound, wah-wah heavy funk and the occasional bout of improv. Though the physical reconstruction of New Orleans may still be a long way from completion, the members of Dumpstaphunk ensure that the city's benevolent spirit and booty-shaking rhythmic prowess are held firmly in the most capable of hands. –Michael Andrews