The Phunk Sessions Phish Late-Night feat. George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Robert Walter (Mike Gordon), Craig Brodhead, Michelangelo Carubba, & Shira Elias (Turkuaz), Lyle Divinsky, Drew Sayers, & Parris Fleming (The Motet)

George Porter, Jr.

George Porter, Jr. is best known as the bassist of The Meters, along with Art Neville, Leo Nocentelli and Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste. The group was formed in the mid 60's and came to be recognized as one of the progenitors of funk then called R&B. The Meters disbanded in 1977, but reformed in 1989. Today the original group still plays the occasional reunions but the Funky Meters, of which Porter and Neville are still members, most prominently keeps the spirit alive.

Few bass players in the history of modern New Orleans music are as storied as George Porter Jr. During the course of a career spanning more then four decades, Porter has not only made a deep impression with his work in the Meters, but he’s notched session work with artists as diverse as Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffett, David Byrne, Patti LaBelle, Robbie Robertson, Tori Amos, Taj Mahal, Ryan Montbleau and live performances with Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Warren Haynes, John Scofield, Steve Kimock, Eric Krasno (and including recent studio releases with Warren Haynes and Bill Kreutzmann) just to name a few. Early in his career, Porter worked with seminal New Orleans artists like Allen Toussaint, Earl King, Lee Dorsey, and Johnny Adams, Irma Thomas, The Lastie Brothers again to only name a few.

Porter is also the band leader of his own unique long term project the Runnin’ Pardners, well respected not only as a quintessential New Orleans band, the touring band continues to receive accolades on the jam band and festival scene. He has assembled some seasoned and talented musicians to join him on this project. Familiar Pardners - Brint Anderson (guitar) and, Michael Lemmler (keyboards) and rising stars on the New Orleans music scene Khris Royal (saxophone) and Terrence Houston (drums). George Porter Jr. plans to keep a smile on his face. “I feel like I am working towards something that will be remembered.”

Porter has proven to be capable of the ultimate fusion of rock, funk and R&B, and has gained recognition as one of the industry’s elite bass players. He continues to be not only an in demand performing artist but an accomplished studio musician and producer.

Robert Walter

Robert Walter performs all his own stunts. For 20 years, the San Diego native has been pulling drawbars and pushing the limits of the Hammond B3 organ. Walter helped form the the Greyboy Allstars in 1993 with Karl Denson, Elgin Park, Chris Stillwell, Zak Najor, and DJ Greyboy. Influenced by soul-jazz and funk records from the 1960s and 70s, the band juxtaposed jazz improvisation and dance music. They continue to record and perform to a committed fan base. The Greyboy Allstars also served as the band for Robert's first solo record, Spirit of '70 which also featured saxophonist and Miles Davis sideman Gary Bartz.

In the late 1990's Walter started his own group Robert Walter's 20th Congress to showcase his composing. The band became known for its live performances and toured throughout the 90's and 2000's. They recorded three albums Health and Fitness, Money Shot and Giving Up the Ghost. Band members included Cochemea Gastelum (Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings), Stanton Moore (Galactic), Joe Russo (Furthur and Benevento-Russo Duo), George Sluppick (Mofro and Chris Robinson Brotherhood), Mike Fratantuno (Black-eyed Peas), Chuck Prada and Will Bernard. During this period Robert also recorded There Goes the Neighborhood with jazz-funk pioneers Harvey Mason, Chuck Rainey, Phil Upchurch and Red Holloway.

Walter relocated to New Orleans in 2004 and became immersed the vibrant local music scene. He began collaborating with Johnny Vidacovich, Stanton Moore, James Singleton, George Porter Jr and many more. While in New Orleans he recorded Super Heavy Organ and Cure All as well as albums with Stanton Moore (III, Emphasis on Parenthesis, and Groove Alchemy) and Anders Osborne (American Patchwork). After Katrina Walter relocated back west to Los Angeles where he currently works on film music with composer Michael Andrews.

In Spring of 2013, the Greyboy Allstars return to the road with Inland Emperor, their first album since 2007's What Happened to Television?, but the recent move from New Orleans to Los Angeles has also jump-started Robert Walter's 20th Congress, an outlet for the keyboardist's funkiest material since its inception in 1999. Robert Walter's most recent release Get Thy Bearings pushes Walter's organ, piano, Rhodes and synthesizer to the front of a group rounded out by guitarist/bassist Elgin Park, drummer Aaron Redfield, sax players Karl Denson and Cochemea Gastelum, and percussionist Chuck Prada—an all-star lineup in its own right. Recorded in just a few takes at Elgonix Labs—the same studio where Walter has lent his skills to Get Thy Bearings producer Michael Andrews film scores and productions—the album is full of raw boogaloo energy and cinematic color.

Craig Brodhead

Guitarist for Turkuaz

Michelangelo Carubba

Drummer for Turkuaz

Shira Elias

Vocals/Percussion for Turkuaz

Lyle Divinsky, a.k.a. The Sasquatch of Soul, "doesn’t front: he sings soul and R&B, and that’s that. There are no tags or modifiers needed: his music is pure and honest. His focus is so spectacular that his originals sound like instant classics...” (Todd Richard, The Portland Phoenix). Hailing from Portland, ME, Divinsky moved to the delicious apple just over 3 years ago, and has been crooning his way into the hearts and hips of the 5 boroughs since. With a new album on the way featuring some of the baddest musicians in soul behind him, there's no limit to how far this Sasquatch will go. To quote NYC blogger/music aficionado, Sami Promisloff, "Lyle Divinsky is the minister of soul and master of babymaking music for ALL TIME... and scene."

Drew Sayers

Saxophonist from THE MOTET, JOHN BROWN'S BODY and THE SUPERPOWERS

Parris Fleming

Trumpet for The Motet

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