Dumpstaphunk features Ivan, Ian Neville, comes to River Street Jazz Cafe
PLAINS TWP. — Descended from the Neville Brothers’ lineage of musicians, Dumstaphunk has become one of the most powerful funk outfits on the live music circuit since forming in 2003.
The deep funk five-piece, accompanied by the Steeltown Horns trio from Pittsburgh, performs at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains Aug. 3. Local blues master Clarence Spady opens the evening, and music starts at 8:30 p.m.
Dumptaphunk was started by Ivan Neville (son of Aaron Neville) as a one-off festival band, and developed into a funky steamroller when he, cousin Ian (son of Art Neville) and bassist Nick Daniels left the Neville Brothers band to pursue the project full time.
Daniels and Tony Hall make up a two bass rhythm section with drummer Alvin Ford Jr., although the Aug. 3 show at the Jazz Cafe features Pimps of Joytime drummer John Staten.
Although funk music has proliferated in recent years, with many styles spacey to jazzy sprouting up, guitarist Ian Neville says Dumpstaphunk is rooted in the funk of their hometown.
“We’re definitely carrying on the New Orleans funk element,” Neville said.
Neville listed The Meters, in which Art Neville was a founding member, as sources of inspiration along with Sly & the Family Stone, George Clinton and Parliament, Tower of Power and Prince.
“There are a few other elements in there just to round out the funkiness,” Neville said.
One of Dumpstaphunk’s most unique aspects is the unheard of double bass work of Daniels and Hall, who is also an accomplished guitar player and trades guitar licks with Neville on some songs.
“The two bass thing is easier said than done,” Neville said. “Nick Daniels and Tony Hall blend their styles together in a way that’s damn near impossible for any two other bass players to do.”
Neville describes their creative process as a double helix.
“They naturally weave the opposite way of each other, and it becomes one thing,” Neville said.
Neville, who learned to play guitar from Meters funk legends Leo Nocentelli and Brian Stoltz, said his style of play is less about showing off virtuosity than catering to the funk formula.
“You listen,” Neville said. “You find the area where you feel like you can add to the groove, and that’s where you build your part.”
“Some funk guitar stuff is more the glue than the flash. It’s not what the casual listener might latch on to, but if that part goes away, they’d go, ‘What the hell happened to the song?’ without realizing what was making it.”
Neville said the band has gotten good responses playing in Pennsylvania and is excited to have the accompaniment of the Steeltown Horns.
“It opens up what songs we can do and makes it more fun,” Neville said.
Neville recalled that Dumpstaphunk, who recently spent time in the studio working on their fourth studio record, played a gig in a small Pittsburgh bar back when they were getting their start.
“I’m glad that we get to visit the area and grow a little and play for more people,” Neville said.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts
If you go:
What: Dumpstafunk featuring Steeltown Horns w/ special guest Clarence Spady
When: 8:30 p.m. Aug. 3
Where: River Street Jazz Cafe, 667 North River St., Plains
Additional information: Tickets for Dumpstaphunk cost $17 and are available at riverstreetjazzcafe.com.