Porter Batiste Stoltz

Holy funk: The New Orleans saints
danny clinch

Within the holy walls of New Orleans backline music, George Porter Jr., Russell Batiste Jr., and Brian Stoltz are easily looked at as the city's three funky wise men. They've been anchoring the New Orleans sound for decades and have made just as much of a musical contribution to the world as the Marsalis clan and the Neville Brothers — arguably with an even funkier format. Porter is the original bass player for the Meters, a group that practically defined the Crescent City's funktacular appeal. Batiste and Stoltz later joined with Porter in that group's latter incarnation, the Funky Meters, and played for years together alongside Art Neville. When Neville decided to start touring full-time with the Neville Brothers and abandon the Funky Meters, the legendary backing trio, instead of searching for another unit to back up, decided it was finally time to step out on their own, and Porter Batiste Stoltz was born. They've been exploring a funkier sound in recent years — think the JBs, deep in the pocket, circa 1968 — and leading with their instincts when it comes to the groove. It's not determinable how long original New Orleans funk like this will be around, so if you want to see a living, breathing, and jamming piece of history, put your dancing shoes on and check out PBS this weekend. Musically, they're just as informative as the television channel that they share an acronym with, and they're living proof that when it comes to hurricanes, soul is waterproof.

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