Ivan Neville once told a journalist how he named his band. "The guys were playing so nasty and dirty," he explained, "we figured there is nothing funkier than a dumpster."
Neville, a singer and multi-instrumentalist, is part of the great contemporary musical lineage of New Orleans (his father is vocalist Aaron Neville ... his uncles are all Neville Brothers ... you can do the math).
In the tradition of the Meters, the Big Easy's legendary and unbeatable masters of groove, Dumpstaphunk lays on the funk, and lays it on thick - the music is like a heavy ladle of gumbo, like Parliament/Funkadelic without the wigs and wackiness, or, dare it be said, like the Neville Brothers without the jazz experiments, or the emphasis on Aaron's silky crooning.
This music is all about the bumpy, joyous ride, bay-bay.
The direct line to the source of the deep funk is the band's use of two, count ‘em, two bass guitarists - Nick Daniels and Tony Hall - and the eight-armed drummer Raymond Webber.
Then there's guitarist Ian Neville - he's a cousin, the son of Aaron's brother Art, and he's a fire-breathing monster.
Ivan Neville plays piano, organ, guitar and lots of other things onstage - in the studio, he's laid down tracks with the likes of the Rolling Stones, and toured and recorded with Keith Richards' side project, the X-Pensive Winos.
Dumpstaphunk has played at Bonnaroo, High Sierra and (of course) the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Each member has toured, sat in with or done session work with some of the baddest bands and artists in jam-band land, including Trey Anastasio, Dave Matthews and Gov't Mule.
"We're very heavy on groove and funky rhythms and such," Neville said. "But yet we're a song-oriented band, we play songs with vocals because four of the guys in the band can sing their asses off, myself included." Listen & learn: www.dumpstaphunk.com.
At 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St. $15.
Justin Dick and Michael Redmond, longtime veterans of the Savannah rock ‘n' roll wars, put Niche together last fall to celebrate the ties between punk and Southern rock (and they exist, don't you know). Drummer Tim Clough is the third component of this loud, fast and occasionally twangy power trio (Dick is a guitarist, Redmond plays bass, and they trade off on the vocals, and their earlier joint projects included Two Days, The Bricks and Whiskey Dick). Opening this show is the "folk rock/psychedelic" duo Ancient Warfare, about which, sorry to say, I can tell you absolutely nothing. Listen & learn: www.myspace.com/nicheband, www.myspace.com/ancientwarfare.
At 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26 at the Jinx, 127 W. Congress St. $6.
Since the late 1970s, Conjunto Primavera has been one of the most successful norteno bands to come from the northern regions of Mexico. Still fronted by its founder, saxophonist Juan Dominguez, the band has topped Billboard's Latin Albums chart five times, most recently with Que Ganas de Volver, and has been awarded several platinum albums. As with most Mexican norteno bands, Conjunto Primavera is primarily a dance outfit - the button accordion is a main instrument - but this band is also known for soulful, romantic vocals, thanks to the supple throat of lead singer Tony Melendez. Also expect rancheras, cumbias and boleros from this versatile - and quite nattily dressed - sextet. Listen & learn: www.conprimavera.com.
At 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 at Shoreline Ballroom, 40 Folly Field Road, Hilton Head. $40.
Those with a soft spot for the quirky acoustic-pop of Savannah's own Dare Dukes would do well to check out the area debut of Andy Arch, from Boston, who performs as Tom Thumb. Arch writes lyrical lyrics and melodic melodies (can I say that?), and like Dukes, many of his songs are deceptively simple, hiding a complex core that hints at deeper meanings. This is deconstructed, pureed folk/pop and, in the case of the Tom Thumb album The Taxidermist, the product of a creative and fertile mind with too many ideas at once: Arch wrote all the songs and played all the instruments himself. "It's great that people all over the earth can hear your music on blogs and buy it online," he says, "but nothing beats getting in front of people and playing." Listen & learn: www.tomthumbmusic.com.
At 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26 at the Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave. Free.