Tipitina’s started May 2016 on a funky note with a sold-out show featuring DJ Soul Sister, Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen and Dumpstaphunk. Both Cleary and Dumpstaphunk played in the second weekend of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
DJ Soul Sister began the show with her well-known repertoire of old-school funk sounds. She seamlessly maneuvered from a Dr. John record; to James Brown as the crowd danced underneath a rhythmic light show. A DJ Soul Sister dance party was the perfect warm-up for what was to come.
Jon Cleary then took the stage with the Absolute Monster Gentlemen with AJ Hall on drums, Cornell Williams on bass and Derwin “Big D” Perkins on guitar. The band rocked the crowd, playing several numbers from Cleary’s Grammy award winning album Go Go Juice including “Pump It Up,” “Bringing Back the Home” and “Getcha Go Go Juice.” During their cover of King Floyd’s “Groove Me,” Big D played a lengthy guitar solo with a graceful touch. The band closed their set with a lengthy version of “More Hipper,” from their Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen album. It began softly with Jon stepping back from the keyboard and picking up the cowbell. Big D played a soft guitar introduction before Jon took his place back on the keys and hammered out the track’s heavy funky intro. The crowd, front to back, danced until the band cleared the stage.
The funky night only got funkier when Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk took the stage. The band crowded the stage with a three-piece horn section on top of the band’s normal configuration. The band built off of Cleary’s energy, rocking Tips from front to back and top to bottom. Halfway through their set, they brought out New Orleans legend Cyril Neville to sing The Meters’ classic “People Say.”