December being the birth month of three of the four original Meters (Zig, George, and Art), I thought I’d focus on a cut of theirs that never ceases to wrap me up in its entrancing groove. Since the day I first heard it, “Love Slip Up On Ya” has always been on my desert island short list.
"Love Ship Up On Ya" (The Meters)
The Meters, from Fire On the Bayou, WB/Reprise, 1975
From their legendary 1975 album, which has a diverse and ambitious mix of musical styles, the full-blown funk of this song hits square between the eyes and below the belt with a direct, hypnotic power that carries me off in the undulating flow until the fade. It’s amazing how locked in these guys are from the get-go, playing at their peak, functioning as an organic whole, not a seam showing.
I heard George Porter on American Routes (check out the show’s archives) a while back talking about the Meters being a band that could more or less intuitively find the pocket of any song and keep it there. Back in the day, they didn’t call what they did funk. They just proceeded to put the grooves into their own uniquely rhythmic zone. Call it a zen-like, spiritual state, where space and time are elastic, and all the parts are in their most effective place, allowing positive energy to easily and naturally flow. I may not know much about the practice of Feng Shui, but the related, life-enhancing realm of funk-sway is definitely where this tune takes me. If you play it loud, it'll slip up and re-calibrate your molecular structure before you know it.