After a two-week hiatus, Downtown Alive! is back. Undoubtedly one of the most influential bassists in the history of American music, George Porter Jr. will grace the Parc International stage with his band, The Runnin’ Parders this Friday night.
Born in 1947 the day after Christmas, Porter grew up in New Orleans surrounded by the city’s music. He picked up the bass guitar when he was in his teens and soon hooked up with members of the Neville family. Along with Art Neville Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste and Leo Nocentelli, George formed The Meters. As one of the pioneers of what would later be called funk music, the group had a dramatic effect on popular music as a whole, collaborating and influencing major pop artists like Paul McCartney and The Red Hot Chili Peppers while also being one of the most sampled groups in hip hop.
The Runnin’ Pardners feature Michael Lemmler on keyboards, Chris Adkins on guitar, and drummer Terrence Houston. Much like The Meters, the eclectic group explores the different R&B styles of the Cresent City while also incorporating elements of fusion and jam band sounds similar to The Grateful Dead. George and his group stay busy locally in their hometown and on the festival circuit when he isn’t tied up as a first call studio musician, or doing dates in one of the many configurations of The Meters.
I made a full-on funk and R&B mixtape by local Louisiana artists for this week’s playlist. You’ll hear mostly songs that Porter plays on, tracks that just so happen to be some of the most popular to come out of the Big Easy. Selections by Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, and The Meters are in the mix next to new releases from Porter and a couple from his 1990 debut album Runnin’ Partner. To tie it all together, I threw in some classics from not-so-little Lafayette artists like Lil Buck Senegal and Lil Bob and the Lollipops along with some recent funky soul by Dustin Gaspard and Dwight James.
Live music in Lafayette this week
Thursday, May 9 at 8:00 p.m.
The Haggard Bucks
Blue Moon Saloon
Friday, May 10 at 6:00p.m.
Downtown Alive presents George Porter Jr. and the Runnin’ Pardners
Friday, May 10 at 9:30p.m.
Dustin Gaspard, Nikia Yung, & Derrick Savoie
The Grouse Room
Saturday, May 11 at 6:30p.m.
Saturday, May 11 at 9:00 p.m.