Being original at this stage in music is a tough, tough challenge. So many moves are well rehearsed and widely known, and it’s good enough for most to merely replicate well what others have done before. However, there are still artists that innovate even as they move amongst the familiar elements of a genre. Their ears and skilled hands navigate a new way forward even as the old comfortable scenery flies past. Perhaps the greatest single tribute Dumpstaphunk pays to their New Orleans funk heritage is how they’ve made this music their own, echoing the vibe AND creativity of forefathers like Louis Armstrong and Dr. John in a quest for good footin’ music.
“We know what this music is. No one can ever do what they did again, but we can take what we’ve gotten from that and go on with it and take it somewhere else,” says Ivan Neville, Dumpsta’s keyboardist, singer, occasional guitarist and general lightning rod – the man just generates energy and raw charisma each time he steps up. “We’re after it ALL THE TIME. And there’s a tension in that because we want to push ourselves. We know that a lot of groups have tried to do similar stuff to The Meters. We know that’s been done, and nobody’s gonna do that the way they did it. We are capable of doing that stuff but we try to take it to the next level. We honor tradition but, at the same time, we’re trying to push it forward. And we’ve got five voices that are all very opinionated, and that creates some tension but good tension at times. We’re a real band, a democracy, and that’s hard, but that makes the music that much more powerful because we take that little edge into the music.”