Photos by Jaime Butler
“Make my funk the Dumpstaphunk, I want to get phunked up.”
Spreading the good word through funk is at the core of Dumpstaphunk, a New Orleans funk group formed by Ivan Neville in 2003. And that good word moved a lot of feet Friday night in the small confines of Emo’s in Austin. In support of 2013’s Dirty Word, Dumpstaphunk descended upon the town with openers Henry + the Invisibles and The Peterson Brothers, the latter a pair of brothers not old enough to vote, but old enough to warm up the crowd in anticipation for the main course to come.
The eclectic crowd of both young and old had their dancing shoes primed for a night of funk, and when Dumpstaphunk took the stage, they didn’t disappoint. Opening with the title track to 2010’s Everybody Want Sum, they then led into the first of several covers, Otis Redding’s “You Don’t Miss Your Water.” While albums put songs in a digestible size, live shows are perfect for bands like Dumpstaphunk to sink their teeth into tracks, often heading off on tangents and long solos and instrumentals, giving the crowd plenty of time to dance.
Halfway through the show, the audience participation of the evening began, as fifteen women from the crowd were escorted on stage to dance with the band as they belted out “Standin in Your Stuff,” followed by the Ying Yang Twins’ “Shake It Like a Salt Shaker.” Once they left, the band focused again on the crowd and asked, “Any music lovers in the house? This song is for us.” They then broke into “Dancin to the Truth,” fully utilizing every member of the group, including the dual bassists playing off one another.
To close the set, Dumpstaphunk again broke into an instrumental before drummer Nikki Glaspie took over with a solo of her own, hammering out the opening drum beat to Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” and dropping rhymes from rappers like Jay-Z and Tribe Called Quest. But what shut the night down was my highlight of the show: a raucous cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.” Though it left the crowd screaming for more, alas, it wasn’t mean to be. Next time…