Like everything from New Orleans, Crescent City funk is full of quirky twists that give it unique character. The Meters were the seminal second-line funk band, and this trio picks up their formidable legacy and carries it forward. Original Meters bassist George Porter Jr. laces wicked grooves with licks so juicy they should be listed on a menu. Drummer Russell Batiste Jr., part of a dynastic NOLA musical family, and guitarist Brian Stoltz were members of a later incarnation of the group called the Funky Meters, Stoltz after a longtime stint with the Neville Brothers. As Porter Batiste Stoltz, the funk is as slippery, raw, and irresistible as the finest bivalves at a Quarter oyster bar, the tunes built on purposeful jamming and shards of pop, rock, and R&B. Batiste flails away with the instinctive rhythmic sense of a New Orleans native, while Stoltz wails on an encyclopedic array of electric influences, ranging from the eloquent funk of Leo Nocentelli to jazz fusion and Hendrix. PBS's latest is a sizzling live slab called Moodoo (Highsteppin'), featuring an assortment of originals, Meters stuff, and covers of Sly and Curtis Mayfield. Also on this bill will be Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, a funk jam band inspired by the likes of James Brown. Saxophonist Denson played with Lenny Kravitz and was a founder of the acid jazz outfit Greyboy Allstars. 18+.
Fri., March 27, 8 p.m., 2009