“Technical bass players might be able to spell it out in print, but if the pocket isn’t there, it’s just dots on paper”: The Meters’ George Porter Jr on surviving Hurricane Katrina, the subtleties of New Orleans funk and his unusual slap style

George Porter Jr. of the Funky Meters performs as part of the 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on May 6, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana
(Image credit: Getty Images)

George Porter Jr. epitomises New Orleans funk bass. Just as Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn embodies Memphis R&B, or James Jamerson defines Detroit's Motown sound, Porter's playing is so intrinsic to a particular musical vernacular, it's impossible to imagine it originating anywhere else.

Porter's style is also inseparably linked to his work with the Meters, perhaps New Orleans' most influential musical act since Louis Armstrong.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.