Funk Personified

 

Funk Personified

 

Date: May 27, 2009
by: Michael Eng | Executive Editor

 
 

Some artists labor their entire lives to find their identity in their medium of choice — that stamp uniquely theirs.

For New Orleans drummer Stanton Moore, that identity voice is innate. For any fans of drummers, Moore’s thick-as-thieves groove and raw power is instantly recognizable. And for those who can’t identify him by sound alone, the infectious glee beaming from behind Moore’s signature black-rimmed glasses is unmistakable.

Currently on tour in support of his newest release, “Emphasis! (on parenthesis),” Moore and his fellow trio mates, keyboardist Robert Walter and guitarist Shane Theriot will bring the funk to Tampa Bay at 8 p.m., May 28, at Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N.

And even though the performance is about an hour drive from the Manatee/Sarasota area, for any jazz, funk and instrumental music fans, it promises to be well worth the extra gas.

Moore is best known as one of the founding members of the jam/funk outfit Galactic. Born out of the players’ love and intimate knowledge of New Orleans’ signature sound, Galactic introduced a younger generation to the Crescent City’s signature sound, performing more than 200 shows per year in the band’s first decade of existence.

And while many bands thrive on the lead singer’s charisma or the guitarist’s six-stringed acrobatics, make no mistake: Moore is the man behind Galactic’s rise to jam band super-status. His ability to successfully blend New Orleans’ traditional in-between-straight-and-swung groove with the innovation that comes with electronic music, loops and effects has become Moore’s signature sound. In effect, he’s the poster boy for New Orleans funk.

“I’ve always wanted to have one foot in tradition with the other moving forward,” he says. “As far as being from New Orleans and sharing that sound, I don’t feel pressure. This is exactly where I want to be, and it feels great.”

Moore’s love of drums and percussion dates back to before he could walk.

“It really comes from my mom taking me to Mardi Gras — I was just 8 months old,” he says. “And when I was 3 or 4, I remember hearing the drums coming down street, and that kind of led me to go home and beat on the pots and pans.”

From there, Moore continued his studies with New Orleans drum legend Johnny Vidacovich. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in music and business from Loyola University.

Following college, Moore devoted his life to Galactic. The band debuted with the critically acclaimed “Coolin’ Off” and has since thrived on its live performances and adventurous studio work.

In 1998, Moore launched his solo career with “All Kooked Out!” and followed is up three years later with “Flyin’ the Koop.” In addition to Galactic and his solo projects, Moore is the man behind the kit in the avant-funk outfit Garage a Trois and has offered his percussive power as a session player to everyone from heavy metal icons Corrosion of Conformity to soul singer Irma Thomas.

Furthermore, Moore has launched a successful teaching career, releasing two educational DVDs and offering private lessons both in New Orleans when he’s not on tour and in cities across the world when time permits.

Following his Florida appearances, Moore will continue performing throughout the South for the early part of the summer before embarking on a nine-city stint in Europe. And although Galactic has crisscrossed the world dozens of times, this will be Moore’s trio’s first trip overseas.

“Lots of the music out of the UK has its roots in blues,” Moore says of the European audiences’ familiarity with the New Orleans sound. “Led Zeppelin was basically a high-powered blues band.”

And next month, Moore — in partnership with famed drum maker Ronn Dunnett — will release his first signature snare drum. Made of titanium but boasting vintage-style hardware, the drum personifies Moore’s unique blend of tradition and innovation.

Most drummers never achieve the level of notoriety and success Moore has enjoyed in merely a decade. Still, he says he remains focused with plenty of goals yet to accomplish.

“I really want to continue developing as an artist and make records — you can never get enough of that,” Moore says. “There’s still lots to do.”

For more information about Stanton Moore, visit StantonMoore.com.

Contact Michael Eng at meng@yourobserver.com.

IF YOU GO
WHAT: Stanton Moore Trio
WHEN: 8 p.m., May 28
WHERE: Crowbar, 1812 17th St. N., Tampa
TICKETS: $10
INFORMATION: www.crowbarlive.com



 

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