funky METERS

funky METERS

Formed during an informal jam during the 1989 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Art Neville, George Porter Jr., and Russell Batiste Jr., founded what would be the core of the funky METERS. The history of founding members Art Neville and George Porter Jr. dates back to 1967, when keyboardist, Art recruited bass player, George, drummer Joseph (Zigaboo) Modeliste and guitarist Leo Nocentelli to form The Meters. In their 31-year history, The Meters have grooved their way around the globe. They have toured with such talents as The Rolling Stones, and have been a studio band for such diverse artists as Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Robert Palmer, and Patti Labelle. The original Meters disbanded in the late 70’s. Today founding members Art Neville and George Porter Jr., are joined by New Orleans native Brian Stoltz on guitar and Russell Batiste Jr. on drums and are known officially as the funky METERS. funky METERS tap into the roots of The Meters musical heritage while taking the sound well into the future. Their trademark sound blends funk, blues, and dance grooves with a New Orleans vibe.

In 1994, Art and George were joined by guitarist Brian Stoltz and Russell Batiste and officially christened The Funky METERS. This lineup carried the funk torch until the spring of 2007 when Stoltz left to pursue his solo career and Ian Neville, the son of Meters founder Art Neville joined the line up taking over guitar duties. Growing up in the Neville house of music and touring with The Neville Brothers, as well Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Ian was poised to step in to help bring the band into the future. In 2011, Brian Stoltz was invited to play with funky METERS when Ian was committed to his band, Dumpstaphunk, gigs. Once the band was onstage it was if they hadn’t skipped a beat, the band and audience both knew Brian was meant to be there. After four years with Ian in the band, the time came for him to focus on his own band’s success and funky METERS invited Brian to rejoin full time.

2014 saw a changing of the guardian of the groove. After an amazing 20+ year run with David Russell Batiste, Jr. holding down the drum throne, funky METERS welcomed Terrence Houston to the band as the new groove guardian. "I'm honored that I've been given the opportunity to share the stage with a group of legends", says Terrence.

The collective resume between the four artists in the band speaks volumes for the level of musicianship and creativity that comes alive when they play together on any stage. After three years of solid touring including dates at Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Jamcruise, The Fillmore Auditorium and countless others the funky METERS are stronger than ever. In fact, the funk is still going as strong today as it was 40 plus years ago.

The collective resume between the four artists in the band speaks volumes for the level of musicianship and creativity that comes alive when they play together on any stage. After three years of solid touring including dates at Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Jamcruise, The Fillmore Auditorium and countless others the funky METERS are stronger than ever. In fact, the funk is still going as strong today as it was 40 plus years ago.

Kendra Morris

Kendra Morris recalls singers who straddled soul and rock during the early '70s, such as Ruth Copeland and Chaka Khan, while her contemporaries include the likes of Mayer Hawthorne, Alice Russell, and Leela James. Morris's musical taste was developed through her parents' record collection, a library heavy on late-60s and early-70s soul and funk. During her childhood Morris's main companion was her karaoke machine, which she also used for the sake of recording. While enrolled in college in Tampa, FL, she became so involved in performing with bands that she decided to leave behind her studies and take on music full time. She took up the guitar, as well as songwriting, and eventually involved herself with a band, Pinktricity, which moved to New York in 2003 and split shortly thereafter. Morris took to recording songs on her own, and self-released a pair of EPs: This Won't Hurt a Bit (2007) and Milk and Cookies Never Lie (2008). Her first proper recording, a self-titled EP (2010), was recorded with producer and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Page (of That Handsome Devil). After touring with legendary guitarist Dennis Coffey and releasing a series of singles which included "Concrete Waves," whose b-side was remixed by DJ Premier, Morris released the album Banshee (2012) on Wax Poetics. In 2013, Morris returned with the covers album Mockingbird.

Both Banshee and Mockingbird received critical acclaim and a cult following, with several film + tv placements. The title track "Banshee" was used prominently in the Showtime hit series Ray Donovan, while her cover of Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" found itself in the trailer for major motion picture Dead Man Down.

In between extensive international touring and promotion for Banshee throughout 2013 and 2014, Morris worked on a small side project band with friends Scarlett Johansson, Julia Haltigan and Holly Miranda, releasing one single called "Candy." After taking some time to write and record her follow up EP titled Babble, Kendra Morris will return with its release scheduled for late spring of 2016.

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