Dr. Klaw, the supergroup comprised of veterans of two of the most prominent funk bands in the scene—Dumpstaphunk and Lettuce—will return to the Big Apple for a rare performance at Brooklyn Comes Alive on Saturday, March 21st at Brooklyn’s Avant Gardner.
Typically comprised of guitarist Eric Krasno (Soulive, formerly Lettuce), drummer Adam Deitch (Lettuce, Break Science), keyboardist/vocalist Nigel Hall (Lettuce), guitarist Ian Neville (Dumpstaphunk), and bassist/vocalist Nick Daniels (Dumpstaphunk), a Dr. Klaw show is always a Lettuce/Dumpstaphunk family affair. At Brooklyn Comes Alive, however, both the Lett and Dumpsta camps will offer up extra representatives for Dr. Klaw: charismatic Dumpstaphunk keyboardist/vocalist Ivan Neville and Lettuce’s two-man horn section of Eric “Benny” Bloom (trumpet) and Ryan Zoidis (saxophone) are all set to join in on the performance.
Originated within the vibrant late-night scene during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Dr. Klaw—which is also Daniels’ nickname—has become a regular tradition for these artists during the annual summit. Dr. Klaw shows outside the Big Easy, however, are much harder to come by. Brooklyn Comes Alive—an event itself inspired by the bustling nighttime streets of New Orleans during Jazz Fest—serves as the perfect host for the band’s only scheduled New York performance of 2020.
This Dumpstaphunk/Lettuce cocktail reworks classic funk and soul songs in their own uniquely blended style while honoring musical heroes and kin like The Meters, The Headhunters, Stevie Wonder, and all points in between. Dr. Klaw always results in a unique flavor, as the combination of Dumpstaphunk’s gritty NOLA foundation comes into contact with Lettuce’s hip-hop-inflected, future-funk sound. All the while, Eric Krasno’s guitar licks season this groove gumbo to perfection. You can leave your Tony Chachere’s at home.
The members of Lettuce and Dumpstaphunk have a long history of mutual respect and collaboration in various formations, from Dr. Klaw to Lett Us In The Dumpsta, to Bear Creek super jams.
As Ian Neville told Live For Live Music in 2019,
My favorite comparative dynamic between us, the New Orleans guys, and those guys in Lettuce is how they absorbed things, those guys really did their homework about the predecessors and originators of the music that we all dug. Whether it be their recording styles, or their show tendencies, it was just a total comprehensive dig into that sh*t, to absorb all the good elements of the music we all enjoyed. That was just a cool similar track or dynamic, whatever you want to call it, that we shared. We all had the same influences, coming from two completely different worlds, sources, and our absorption styles were different.
I feel like the NY camp, the Lettuce guys, there was something always a little more crisp about how they go about their sh*t — I don’t mean that to slight any of our New Orleans cats, because it’s the exact opposite on our end. We had the dirt, we had the street, we had that organic absorption of the city and our culture, what we were living. See, they knew how to take their interest and love for similar music, but they absorbed it in a completely different way, and then they reinterpreted it. Those comparisons, those similarities and differences, are why we all have fun playing music together now.
Below, you can get ready for the guest-filled Dr. Klaw set at Brooklyn Comes Alive with a selection of live videos from through the years:
Dr. Klaw – “Just Kissed My Baby” (The Meters cover) – One Eyed Jacks – 5/1/10
Dr. Klaw w/ Cyril Neville – Fiya Fest – 4/27/16
Dr. Klaw w/ Ryan Zoidis, Eric Bloom – “God Made Me Funky” (The Headhunters cover) – Bayou Rendezvous – 5/4/18
Dr. Klaw w/ Ryan Zoidis, Eric Bloom – Bayou Rendezvous – 5/3/19 – Full-Show
Dr. Klaw will be but one act among a massive lineup at Brooklyn Comes Alive on March 21st. Other scheduled performances include Oteil Burbridge & Friends with members of Dead & Company, Soulive, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Lettuce, and more; Birds of a Feather featuring members of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and Goose; Turkuaz with special guests Cory Henry, Robert Sput Searight, and Nate Werth; The Motet with special guests Oz Noy, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, and Shira Elias; Robert Randolph & Friends with Karl Denson, Ivan Neville, Rashawn Ross, MonoNeon, and Robert Sput Searight; Anomalie / Deitch / MonoNeon; Aron Magner‘s SPAGA Plays The Dead; undead funk outfit Here Come the Mummies; and bassist/DJ Karina Rykman; as well as late-night performances by Jade Cicada, Potions, and 5AM Trio and a rare DJ set by Beats Antique.
Tickets to Brooklyn Comes Alive 2020 are on sale now. A festival pass to Brooklyn Comes Alive grants attendees access to the full schedule of programming across both stages, including the late-night sets. Fans can also purchase late-night-only passes, which grant attendees access to The Great Hall only from 12:00 a.m.–4:00 a.m. Brooklyn Comes Alive late-night passes can be purchased here.