It’s hard to believe that Art Neville, George Porter, Jr., Zigaboo Modeliste, and Leo Nocentelli have been making their unique, New Orleans brand of funk for over 50 years! Their self-titled debut album, with classics like “Cissy Strut” and “Look-Ka Py Py,” was released in 1968! Not that you could tell watching “Foundations of Funk” celebrating the music of the Meters at the Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY on August 23rd! Foundations of Funk featured two of the original Meters: bassist George Porter, Jr., and drummer Zigaboo Modeliste. Cyril Neville, also one of the early featured members of the Meters, came out to sing a few songs, and Ivan and Ian Neville (also of the super-musical Neville family) rounded out the band on keyboard and guitar, as well as Tony Hall on guitar.
George Porter always puts on a show with the bass, and tonight was no exception: driving the funk train as Zigaboo hit the sticks. At one point, Zigaboo felt right at home, proclaiming “It’s just like Tipitina’s up in here! Yeah you ‘rite!” He was referring of course to the legendary blues club and concert hall in New Orleans, where the Meters and other legends of jazz (like Professor Longhair, who sang a song of the same name), blues, and funk have played countless shows.
Porter, Jr., Modeliste, and company played for well over two hours, and the crowd of 1500+ was definitely feeling the funk. If you ever have the chance to the see the Meters (or a version of them), don’t pass it up, you won’t regret it! And be sure to tell ya mom ’n em.