George Porter, Jr & Runnin’ Pardners Release New Full-Length Album “Crying For Hope”
Crying for Hope, the new studio album by legendary bassist George Porter Jr. and his band Runnin’ Pardners, delivers a powerful message of defiance and healing in the face of injustice on a bed of slow grooves, funk and soul. Released via Controlled Substance Sounds Labs and Color Red, the 12-track record is a heady mix of unreleased Runnin’ Pardners tunes and new cuts inspired by the social justice movement.
Recorded remotely during quarantine, it’s the first full-length work released by the band in nearly a decade and is a reminder of why George Porter Jr — a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winner and founding member of quintessential New Orleans funk band The Meters — remains a potent force on the music scene for more than 50 years. His Runnin’ Pardners (drummer Terrence “Groove Guardian” Houston, keyboardist Michael Lemmler and guitarist Chris Adkins) along with guest vocalist Mia Borders rise to the occasion with a rock solid record that dishes out deep groves, jazz-influenced instrumentals, and bluesy vocals.
Harnessing soulful funk and Porter’s iconic bass grooves as its primary weapons, the title track “Crying For Hope” is a slow burn across a broken landscape littered with social injustice, rage, and mass awakening. It’s a song for our times ripped from the heart that makes no apologies for its emotional candor.
Other choice cuts include: “A Ladder,” a smoldering melody featuring some exceptional guitar work by Chris Adkins; “Just Start Groovin’,’’ a tune that reaches back into dance-inducing ’70s beats utilizing Terrence Higgins’ drumming talents to the fullest; and “Wanna Get Funky,” a back-to-basics, grinding piece of funk featuring stellar New Orleans vocalist Mia Borders and Porter doing what he does best — laying us low with his thunderous bass.
An eye-opening, psychedelic surprise is “Spanish Moss,” a dynamic instrumental with Michael Lemmler’s keyboards leading the way into intergalactic jazz territory. The album ends on an uplifting note with “Just Got Tired,” a gospel-tinged tune showcasing Porter’s raw vocals which, like fine wine, are only getting better with age.
All in all, Crying For Hope is a robust, multi-dimensional, satisfying work that demonstrates how George Porter Jr. (at age 73) ain’t even close to being done yet. Thank goodness for us.
Porter also becomes New Orleans’ first musical artist to drop an album art NFT, which can be bid on by fans. Also known as “non-fungible tokens”, NFTs are unique digital collectibles that offer a new way for musicians and artists to creatively engage fans outside of traditional avenues like merchandise and record sales. Created in collaboration with Crying For Hope cover artist JT Lucchesi and Home Team Designs, the lucky bidder of Crying For Hope’s NFT will also receive signed memorabilia and an opportunity to have “Coffee With George” during a private meet-and-greet. Go to www.georgeporterjr.com/news to bid.
George Porter & Runnin’ Pardners are scheduled to perform in support of Crying For Hope’s release the weekend of April 16-17 at Suwannee Surprise, a socially distanced music festival at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida.
Crying For Hope is available across most digital platforms as well as on vinyl via George Porter Jr.’s website. For more information click on the links below.