Early in “Bring the Flood,” this legendary trio declares via gang vocals, “We keep it funky, we bring the noise/’Cause we’re the ones who separate the men from the boys.” Then, to top it off, one of them adds in a gravelly baritone, “Step it up and be a man, bitch.” The message of this 2005 release couldn’t be more clear: These elder statesmen of the New Orleans music scene have no intention of ceding their place among the Big Easy’s best.
Nor should they, as evidenced by the group’s continued flexibility both in the studio and on tour. Comprised of original Meters’ bassist George Porter Jr., and two seasoned Funky Meters alums (that being the band’s later incarnation), drummer Russell Batiste and guitarist Brian Stoltz, PBS offers more than just funk-filled jam sessions. Expanding the Funkin Universe explores the realm of blues, psychedelic rock and experimental improvisation without ever forgetting the band’s foundation.
But as listenable as this 14-track album may be, there’s little use spending time with it without the promise of seeing them in concert. No matter how great Porter’s basslines sound on “All We Wanna Do,” or how Batiste’s percussion dominates “Seraphina Lives,” it’s no comparison to the same songs live. (Skylar Browning)
Porter Batiste Stoltz plays The Other Side Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 9 PM. $12.