Snarky Puppy returns to ‘Burg
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 01:09
Texas musical group Snarky Puppy functions well as the prodigal son of the perfect marriage between raw, infectious funk music and New Orleans jazz.
The band has been playing in Hattiesburg for roughly six years now. Over this time, they have accrued a local, cult-like fan base that would be damned if they missed a show when the band rolls through town.
“We started playing around here in ’06 or ’07,” founder and bassist Michael Leagues said. “We booked two gigs at the BoCo that didn’t work very well. Then we got a pick-up show at the Hippo, and it worked out; people came out, and it was a good time. Hattiesburg felt like home.”
Therefore, it is not surprising that they drew a capacity calling, fire hazard sized crowd to the downtown area on Tuesday night.
“It is so exciting to see a turnout like this, especially tonight, but I am in no way surprised,” longtime fan Shanning Newell said.
Besmirched with anticipation as the congregation grew, fans displayed toothy smiles and Mona Lisa grins as they waited for the band to start its funky, life-giving sermon.
As Leagues slapped and plucked, when the eight-member group led into chorus, the venue was a roar.
There are no mixed feelings about the magic Snarky Puppy creates with their instruments. It is either a love or a hate situation.
The band came together in its adolescence at the University of North Texas and has grown into a musical beast that is unique to the industry.
The core of the group remains consistent, but Snarky Puppy is a collective, with over 25 members in regular rotation with musicians from all walks of life and from all parts of the world who bring their own flare to this ever-evolving entity.
This melting pot of musical minds has naturally “established a series of combinations and a system of balance that instantly draws listeners to the music - raw funk and sensitive dynamics, relentless pocket and lyrical melodicism, lush harmony and soulful simplicity and, most importantly, a delicate mixture of composition and improvisation,” said bandframe.com in the band’s bio.
“It’s lucky we have such a wealth of talented musicians,” Leagues said. “It works out well on tour.”
This is good because the act is in the middle of an extensive tour for their newest album, “groundUP.” The tour lasts until Dec. 4 and has them traversing the globe all the way from Hattiesburg to Paris and everywhere in between.
Over the last four years of touring, Snarky Puppy has become an internationally respected name in the instrumental music scene.
Brandished the “Best Jazz Act,” the band won the Dallas Observer Music Award for three consecutive years in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The band has worked with numerous Grammy award-winning artists such as Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, P Diddy, The Polyphonic Spree, Yo-Yo Ma and Morcheeba.
“The fact that a few of us have won Grammys makes no difference; individual resumes and accolades are not significant,” Leagues said. “We are all equal, pull weight, love and respect each other regardless. We are here because of the music.”
Although Snarky Puppy may be on the verge of international stardom, their career is still young. They have the musicianship, resolve and tenacity to not only become a household name one day but also shake up the music world.