Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1099

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Review

George Porter Jnr & Runnin Pardners : Crying For Hope

GPJ1

9

6.0

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UK release date 26.03.2021

Let's face it The Meters are to funk what The Beatles were to pop history.In fact it's no wonder Paul McCartney actually booked them for a party in 1975 - he knew! Fast forward 46 years later and fellow bassist George Porter Jnr is still firing on all cylinders with this,his latest offering.

Snatches of brilliance and former glory are still there as opener and current single 'Crying For Hope' cements his funked up mission statement.It's a riff laden barnstormer with lyrical pungency and a Hendrix inspired wah wah guitar leading the way. And swiftly following on, is the excellent 'Porter 13A', a tight melodic groove with that syncopated New Orleans rhythm under a highly charged guitar and some sweet and jazzy acoustic piano.

It's not until the next softer sounding track,'A Ladder' you get to realise how masterful and relaxed his style really is.It's adorned with Clapton like guitar - self assured and ever so tasteful and as moody as hell. The strident 'Get Back Up' follows sweetly with it's clarion call of Memphis meets Nola funky soul.A fearsome instrumental with a razor clean Telecaster twang that's fighting a battle with a throttling hammond held together by a bass and drum groove that sways and swaggers right to the wire- R&B at its damn finest.

This is a timely release brought to you by Eddie Roberts (The NewMastersounds) with his relatively new and productive label Colour Red in conjunction with (Controlled Substance Soundlabs).The album is Porter’s first release with the Runnin’ Pardners since 2015’s It’s Time To Funk EP, and the band’s first full-length album in a decade. Spearheaded by Porter on bass and vocals, the current quartet features Terrence Houston on drums, Michael Lemmler on keyboards and Chris Adkins on guitar.

I'm pretty sure this was the line up I saw at The Borderline club round about the same time.Houston was on drums and he did as his t shirt said funked us to death....suffice to say the band are on top form here well honed with electrifying ensemble playing firmly present.

There are many,glorious highlights here and my absolutely firm fave is
'Cloud Funk' - Porter comes into his own with his funky phazed bass gloriously prominent in the mix.It's harmonically rich too with fantastic changes all over the place but always coming home to roost with it's funky blues motif.This my friends is what you call the good stuff,the angels share! Diehard Funksters have sought the real thing and shunned the fake ever since.There's a metaphor in there,if you care to look for it.Welcome back George!
Words Emrys Baird

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