New Orleans funk master and founding member of The Meters, George Porter Jr. will release his latest album with the Runnin’ Pardners — Crying for Hope — on Friday, March 26 via Controlled Substance Sounds Labs and Color Red. The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-recipient, named one of the 50 Greatest Bassists of All Time by Rolling Stone, emerges from quarantine with a powerful new album that speaks to struggle, perseverance, comfort and rejuvenation. Crying For Hope is a 12-track reminder that music is the ultimate requital — and funk is the groove that keeps on giving.
The world can bring us down
So, we lift each other up
If there’s trouble all around
Let the music fill our cup
The new album is Porter’s first release with the Runnin’ Pardners since 2015’s It’s Time To Funk EP, and the band’s first full-length album in a decade. Spearheaded by Porter on bass and vocals, the current quartet features Terrence Houston on drums, Michael Lemmler on keyboards and Chris Adkins on guitar.
Crying For Hope came together virtually during the 2020 pandemic, with band members recording their parts individually from home studios, or down the road at Ora’s Third Floor Sound Lab. In a recent interview with Offbeat, Porter describes how the spark to create new Runnin’ Pardners music lit when he revisited unfinished recordings from a few years back, and became inspired. Written from the bass line up, Porter collaborated in the cloud and via Facetime with Lemmler, and then Adkins, before Houston laid down the final heartbeat to bring their new songs to life.
Self-produced by Porter & Runnin’ Pardners and mixed and mastered by Joe Kalb, the result is a dynamic snapshot of the modern state of funk — and its place in the greater social conversation — from one of the most prolific and influential bassists of a generation.
After thanking his bandmates, team and influential women in his life, Porter closes the record’s liner notes by saying he’s, “Grateful that during this tough time something this good could happen.”