Saturday, July 10, 2010


Just got back from the first day and night of the two-day music festival they have in the town I live in (the festival's known as "Maplewoodstock"). The last act was Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk from New Orleans (which their tour bus with Louisiana plates parked next to our town park made clear).

I wish my oldest son had been there. I'll put a link up to their website where you can hear some of their music, and there's some youtube videos of obviously earlier gigs because the drum set is much smaller than what I saw tonight and the line up slightly different in most of the videos and the sound not nearly as tight.

They came on late, had technical problems, and then did a two-hour gig you couldn't stop moving to. These guys were so solid I felt I was listening to George Clinton only fresher and even more funky. Unbelievable. One of those experiences you had to be there to appreciate. I even got up and went down to the front of the stage where a couple of hundred people had preceded me, so I could hear and see everything more clearly. And dance.

Man, they rocked my soul. Tight tight tight. Like James Brown's Famous Flames, I mean, damn. Wish you all had been there. If you see they're coming anywhere near you, please, go and hear them live and make your soul vibrate with all the good stuff.

(Here's the link. And the other earlier acts included a few gems too, Rich Pagano and a group that included sidemen that had toured with Dylan and Patti Smith and such, and local favorites of mine 13 Scotland Road, with the two permanent members Aran and Bill and a new third one sounding better than ever. Sweet day after driving back from South Jersey in rain that cleared up as soon as my youngest and I got to the park and the festival around three so he could start his four hours of volunteer clean up. Summer days.)

[PS: Here's a link to another local blogger's take on this.]


Elisabeth said...

Hi Michael

I'm back too from my trip away. I thought of you after I had presented a paper at a conference alongside a woman who also suffered a brain tumour many years ago. Her name is Viv Martin and she lives and works in Bristol in the UK.

I told her about your blog she may visit, though I doubt she blogs much. Still her story is one of great hope.

Viv discovered her tumour when her children, now adults, were all very small.

I thought I'd pass her story on. Now Viv works in exploring narratives with others who suffer major illness.

It's not the only defining identity you have. To me you're a father, writer and poet first and foremost but I thought you might be cheered to hear of another success story.

Lally said...

Thank you Elisabeth, and yes, I am cheered. Any time I hear of anyone's survival, even if only temporary, over circumstances that evoke our mortality and vulnerability as strongly as serious health scares, whether from illness or accident or war etc. I feel overwhelmingly grateful for that person and for myself. More so as I get older naturally, and face more of them personally.

Miles said...


I'm sure you're correct in thinking I would have loved the Dumpstaphunk show. As you know, the New Orleans vein of funk is a uniquely potent elixir for me. Evidence of healing power for sure!

Glad you dug the show.