Review: Bonerama @ Funk Fest III

It was clear as the Bones wasted no time explaining themselves as they cut right into a fiery cover of Manic Depression bookended cleverly by an Allman Brothers inspired “Dreams”-like opening and closing. After weaving in and out of Bonerama originals Bap Bap and Christiania, the multi-bone front wall of metal smashed out an even heavier performance of When The Levee Breaks nailed with a dynamic and inspired vocal by trombonist Mark Mullins as well as his signature electric trombone wailing. When the dust settled Craig Klein was left holding the wheel and drove the band through the twists and turns of Lost My House (But I Got My Rugalator) a post-Katrina Bonerama original co-written with The Radiators’ Dave Malone.

Only friends could help out at this point and the Bones turned to fellow New Orleans resident Robert Walter to help with his huge yet complimentary sounds and textures of his B3 organ on Folly. Walter’s solos seem so effortless in delivery but contribute masterfully to a groups sound without ever taking over. Also in the wings on this night was Galactic’s Stanton Moore who had headlined FunkFest III the previous night with his trio. Moore joined Bonerama and Walter on one of Moore’s originals Sprung Monkey (recorded with Moore on Bonerama’s Bringing It Home CD). Moore continued pushing this brass machine on Led Zeppelin’s The Ocean and George Porter Jr.’s By Athenish. It all proved to be too much as the music bled beyond curfew in a city that probably shouldn’t have one.

After clearing the stage, Bonerama acknowledged the crowd and returned for one more song, I’m Walkin’, – a tip of the hat to their hometown New Orleans, joined again by Robert Walter (who apparently wanted to sit in on anything Fats Domino) and Austin’s own Ephraim Owens on trumpet bringing the night into a semblance of full circle. Austin and New Orleans together, not a bad thing at all, – if Austin could only let them go all night long…

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