Article Contributed by Margaret Willard | Published on Friday, March 26, 2021

Today, New Orleans funk icon George Porter Jr. and his band the Runnin' Pardners release Crying For Hope via Controlled Substance Sounds Labs and Color Red. Recorded remotely during quarantine, the 12-track album marks the funk-rock group's first full-length studio release in a decade and boasts a mix of unreleased Pardners tunes and new cuts inspired by the social justice movement. It is a snapshot of the modern state of funk — and a testament to its place in the greater social conversation — from one of the most prolific and influential bassists of a generation.

With the release of Crying For Hope, Porter also becomes New Orleans' first musical artist to drop an album art NFT. 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 merch. 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.

Led by Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winning bassist Porter — a founding member of New Orleans' seminal funk band, The Meters — the Runnin' Pardners are drummer Terrence "Groove Guardian" Houston, keyboardist Michael Lemmler and guitarist Chris Adkins, with guest vocalist Mia Borders.

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, Fla.