George Porter Jr. and Runnin’ Pardners, 6/30/12

Written by Vernon Webb & Honest Tune / Photos by Vernon Webb / www.vawebb.com

July 13, 2012

George Porter Jr. and Runnin’ Pardners
Mexicali Live
Teaneck, NJ
June 30, 2012

 

 

It is not a common thing to see the word “legend” alongside the phrase of “one of the hardest working,” but then again, there isn’t really anything “common” about George Porter Jr.

As a founding member of legendary funk ensemble, The Meters, on a given night, you might see George with any number of outfits and whether he is found on stage with 7 Walkers or The Trio (with Johnny Vidacovich), he is always an integral member. 

By being able to hold down the low end just as well as he can take off on a pulsating lead, George is a bassist that many look to with awe. This is for good reason. A multifaceted player, even Porter Jr. himself cannot deny his status as a MVP, acknowledging that he has never “seen a bassist that can connect himself to a drummer as well as [he] can.”

His current pet project, Runnin’ Pardners, now have an album under their belt (2011′s Can’t Beat the Funk!) and it it seems that the vast majority of George’s attention is being devoted to this band, and people — in the forms of festivals, booking agents and the like  — are definitely taking notice. (Listen to George briefly talk to Honest Tune about the album)

This is much to the benefit of fans because with an all-star Runnin’ Pardners cast –  consisting of Brint Anderson on guitar, Michael Lemmler on keys, Dark Matter‘s Khris Royal on sax and one of the greatest drummers to come out of NOLA in recent memory, Terrence Houston — George finds himself in the role of undisputed leader, a position that is relatively unique for him. Because of this, the funk that is brought forth by this outfit is downright dirty.  

This was the case when the quintet rolled into New Jersey on a late June evening, playing to a nicely filled Mexicali Live room. The night was one that consisted of things that are all par for the course for these NOLA vets and natives: blissfully funky improvisation, stretched strings and tight musical kinship.

The best part though was seeing the 64 years wise Porter still absolutely loving what he does, his famously infectious smile serving as the only evidence needed to attest. 

 

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