This past week at the Funky Uncle Lounge it was our distinct honor and privilege to host funk music royalty: Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients Leo Nocentelli and George Porter Jr, two of the original members of The Meters!
This show was a real treat! For those of you who aren’t in the know, George and Leo don’t get the chance to play all that often these days. Especially in the current Covid-invested climate. For our Krewe to be able to not only have them in the den, but to provide them a space to jam and bring the music to the people, especially during this pandemic, felt like a breath of fresh air.
George and Leo always bring the heaviest of hitters with them wherever they play, which made for an interesting lineup of musicians. Joining the duo were two-time Funky Uncle vet John “Papa” Gros on keys, and young gun Jamal Batiste behind the drums.
The band gave it their all playing Meters classics “Cissy Strut” and “Hey Pocky A-Way,” while also giving us deeper cuts like a 12 minute “It Ain’t No Use” and “Cabbage Alley” with John Gros on vocals! The group seemed at home during their hour set with us, with smiles appearing on each member’s face throughout the show.
After their set, our lovely host Ms. Leslie Cooper had the opportunity to sit down with the duo to pick their brains about New Orleans’ history, culture, and how they themselves have left an imprint on our wonderful city. When asked what it’s like to hear their music during Mardi Gras time, Leo mentioned “We were trying to do music, like ‘Hey Pocky A-Way’ that was related to New Orleans and Mardi Gras time, but to actually hear what the intent was, and to actually see it happen, it’s really a gratifying feeling.” George was later asked what New Orleans meant to him and he responded: “It holds a very special place in my heart because everything I learned about life, I learned in New Orleans.” The duo also shares their favorite Mardi Gras gigs, what shaped them as musicians, and even their favorite tunes to play live!
There’s always a sense of magic in the air when our Krewe comes together to help a group of artists in the Funky Tucks Den every Friday night to help musicians do what they do best, and this week was no exception. In fact, this week solidified for us why we do what we do, and we hope you enjoyed it just as much as we did! Fridays from the Funky Uncle has been able to host shows for 43 weeks, raise over $255,000 and have been able to provide help to over 390 people with 100% of money raised going to musicians and gig-workers.