What: Dumpstaphunk w/ Springdale Quartet
When: 9 p.m. Thursday
Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, 303-443-3399
New Orleans funk rockers Dumpstaphunk come through Colorado a lot, and for that you should be very thankful, but if you need a new excuse to see them live, their new drummer is as good as any.
Nikki Glaspie was behind the drum kit for Beyonce for five years, including a world tour and the latest album 4, before she decided she was ready for something new. She knew Ivan and Ian Neville, Tony Hall, and Nick Daniels III of Dumpstaphunk from years of playing New Orleans’ Jazz Fest, and they were looking to replace original drummer Raymond Weber. By June 2011, Glaspie was the band’s newest member.
“The Beyonce thing was like, honestly, it’s almost like a corporate gig. I would say as a musician, to have a desk job, that would probably be it. It’s steady money but it’s a well-oiled machine. There’s a gazillion people in the operation. It’s kind of sterile, you know what I mean? You’re doing the same thing every day because it’s a show, it’s a production.”
Glaspie said the experience was amazing, but she needed to do her own thing and have more creative freedom. Dumpstaphunk was the perfect fit, with top-level talent in a loose environment.
“First of all, I have a voice. I actually have a say,” she said. “No one’s telling me, ‘Oh you have to do this, you have to do that.’ I think just having a choice was more important to me than having a big gig. We’re working together, but for ourselves because we all love what we do.”
For fans, the change means a slight shift in the music. It’s still rocking, grooving, and swinging, but Glaspie brings her own style and experience into the mix. She was raised in Maryland and studied music at Berklee College in Boston, picking up regional traditions and techniques everywhere she played.
“The band has sort of evolved. I mean, they’ve been constantly evolving as a band, and of course when you take out of one of those elements and replace it, it’s going to change,” Glaspie said. “With me playing in the band, it’s kind of different. It’s the same music, but I interpret it in a different way.”
But there’s no need to worry that she’ll try to cram the East Coast into Dumpstaphunk’s New Orleans style. Glaspie knows her stuff and has learned more than enough to adapt.
“Funk is a genre, but there’s different types of it. You think about James Brown, that’s Georgia funk. You think about Parliament and George Clinton, that’s a different kind of funk,” Glaspie said. “When I joined the band they were, like, force-feeding me New Orleans funk and I’ve learned a lot about the music. It’s pretty cool because I was educated in the East Coast style of funk and when I met them and they were like, ‘Yo, listen to this.’”
She’s definitely learning from the masters. Dumpstaphunk is well known and successful in its own right, and the band has deep roots in the New Orleans music scene. Ian and Ivan are the sons of Art and Aaron Neville, members of the legendary Neville Brothers soul group, and there’s no question the talent stayed in the family.
Dumpstaphunk is working on a new album and has three Colorado shows coming up, including Thursday night’s show at the Fox Theatre. Go for the music, which gets especially funky with two bass players, and you’ll wind up staying because their shows have been known to turn wild. It’s the kind of band that invites everyone on stage, and they’re playing the kind of music that makes it impossible to say no.