Tight like funk, loose like jam
VAIL – The fact that Dumpstaphunk is even mentioned in the same breath as The Meters hints at just how funky these boys get.It’s no wonder with Ivan Neville (son of Aaron) on keys, Ian Neville (son of Art) on guitar, Nick Daniels on bass, Tony Hall on bass and guitar and Raymond Weber on drums, the funk specimen is downright nasty.Problem is, the boys are so busy, with Hall and Weber on the road with Trey Anastasio and the rest of the boys hanging with the Neville Brothers, Dumpstaphunk fans can be heard chanting “We want the funk” from the Cedar Street Courtyard in Austin where the New Orleans cats are anchored for the time being.”Of all the things that we do and the many people we play with, we love this band,” Ivan said. “I think I can speak for everybody when I say musically it’s our favorite thing to do.”Tonight Ivan will be playing favorites when Dumpstaphunk dishes out a tasty musical jambalaya at 8150 in Vail Village. So come hungry.
The funky five jam everything from obscure, old Sly and the Family Stone tunes to Parliament and the Meters to Ivan’s originals.”Our ultimate goal is to make this our bread and butter gig,” Ivan said. “Dumpstaphunk is a work in progress to that effect. Not enough people know about it, but this is some of the best music I’ve played in my musical life.”Rite stuffWhen organizers of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival asked Ivan to fill a slot at in 2003, it had been a long time since he had played the acclaimed stage as a Neville, and he was ready to get back to his roots. The keyboardist had been gigging with Keith Richards and the X-Pensive Winos, Bonnie Raitt, and The Rolling Stones until it all came to a crashing hault in 1998. Ivan came face to face with a drug and alcohol addiction that had been a way of life for him. He made a decision to change his life and consequently stepped off stage for a time.
Back on his feet, Ivan had returned to the Neville Brothers when the opportunity to play jazz fest arose. Ivan wanted to “put something killer together.” He called the four funkiest guys he knew.”I’ve known all these guys since I was born and Ivan’s known them for at least that long,” said Ivan’s cousin Ian. “It’s a New Orleans-type connection. They’ve always been in the loop and never in this configuration.”None of them knew what they were getting into until they got on stage.”It was definitely something different right from then on,” Ivan said. “‘This is bad,’ we said, ‘This is a serious band. We should not let this die. It’s probably one of the tightest loose bands that you would ever hear. We’re so akin to one another, we’re like a family. Me and Ian are blood relatives and everyone else is as close as you can get. We pretty much know where the other guys are going.”Each show is different, Ivan said, because every night the musical beast goes places within the tunes it’s never gone before.”We all listen to each other when we’re playing,” Ian said. “It’s not one person playing, it’s like a unit. From a music standpoint, that seems like the coolest thing to me. And when we’re all having fun jamming like that, it comes across to the crowd.”
Colorado will get its first taste of the fresh-out-of-the-oven funk as the band rolls through Vail tonight before playing Telluride, Aspen, Breckenridge, Denver and Crested Butte.”We’ve always wanted to play in Colorado,” Ivan said. “We’ve all played there with many different people and we’ve always dug the kind of love that you get out there. Playing the Colorado area, there’s a lot of people that love music. And damn we know it’s going to be cold as a mother******, so we’re gonna go warm that shit up.” Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14641, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado