By Andy J. Gordon
It isn’t every night on the Sunset Strip that the fire department, several police cruisers, and a multitude of Hollywood hipsters are out in the street while the sign atop the famous Roxy Theatre is ablaze. It happened on March 25, 2011 and made the super funky set by New Orleans’ Dumpstaphunk even hotter than normal.
While no one was in danger (the minor blaze was contained quickly), it was still a little hair-raising for those inside the Roxy (www.theroxyonsunset.com/.) The delay caused Dumpstaphunk’s http://www.dumpstaphunk.com/) set to start late, but that is the norm for any New Orleans band. Too bad Los Angeles has a strict 2AM curfew, or Ivan Neville and his band mates would have jammed all night. Ivan is the son of Aaron Neville, and nephew to the other family members that make up the Neville Brothers. He is a multi-instrumentalist and singer who is a wizard with the Hammond B3 organ, while occasionally playing some guitar. His band’s unusually heavy sound comes from a double bass attack driven by Tony Hall and Nick Daniels. Hall also rips through some lead guitar solos, while both Hall and Daniels do some fine vocals. Ian Neville, Ivan’s cousin, and Art Neville’s son, plays rhythm guitar. Ian played with The Neville Brothers, and recently gave up his gig with The Funky Meters to concentrate on Dumpstaphunk. Raymond Weber, one of New Orleans’ finest drummers, keeps the beat.
Once order was restored in the club, Dumpstaphunk hit the stage. The floor was packed with dancing fans, and the VIP area was crammed with Tulane University alumni who were partying like they were still in college back in NOLA. The band ran through a variety of songs, from their standards to classic covers. “Gassman Chronicles” got things started, and “Everybody Want Sum,” which is the title of their 2010 album, got the crowd bouncing. “Meanwhile,” a track from their 2007 Listen Hear EP kept the party going. The band frequently pays tribute to their funk heroes of the past, so it was no surprise when they launched into Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin).”
Things got a little crazy when Neville called girls from the audience up to the stage to shake their “thing.” A bevy of beauties, and some not so much, lined the front of the stage while the band played “Standin’ In Your Stuff” and segued into a version of Ying Yang Twins, “Shake It Like A Salt Shaker.” The show wrapped up with the band’s signature tune, “Put It In the Dumpsta,” followed by “You Can Make it Funky,” another Sly and the Family Stone classic. Dumpstaphunk brought their high energy, deeply funky music to a fired up crowd at the Roxy. LA’s finest may have put out the fire on the roof, but nothing could extinguish this band’s hot sounds.
Photos courtesy of Jim Ezell – EZ Event Photography