Naked

Billy Iuso

Funk/Rock from New Orleans

"Don't miss the opportunity to be inspired" is Billy Iuso's mission.  His musicianship and abilities have a certain polish and maturity that only a self-taught guitar player can posses. Three decades after honing his skills, he is widely known for his funk-driven jam sound  with Brides of Jesus and The Restless Natives.     Billy was influenced by great music which prompted him to form his first band at the age of 17. The experience provided a working stage for him to hone is skills of both covers and original works. Iuso formed the Brides of Jesus in the early nineties and the band gained much notoriety and success in the jam band scene. They played opening week at Club Wetlands NYC, the first club dedicated to the Jam Band scene, alongside artists such as Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors. Brides of Jesus opened for major acts such as the Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic and George Clinton. The band toured and performed together for a decade, with three major album releases, and throughout the lively touring schedule Billy became familiar with the band The Meters, who introduced him to his current home in New Orleans where he has lived since 1996.  Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives formed in New Orleans in 2002 . They perform an eclectic mix of original songs and covers and are continually one of the city's top jam/funk bands performing at many festivals and clubs in New Orleans and across the United States.  Recently, Iuso has kept a very busy schedule touring and playing guitar with The Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians and Anders Osborne's Band, along with The Restless Natives.  In the past five years Billy as been an artist at large on many festivals. He is a part of Grateful Feat which includes Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead), Paul Barrere & Fred Tackett(Little Feat). G.A.B.E (George Porter Jr., Anders Osborne, Billy Iuso, Eric Bolivar)   This past January he played Gov't Mules Island Exodus IV in Negril, Jamaica..  He has had the honor of sitting in with Steel Pulse, Warren Haynes, The Funky Meters, Dumpstaphunk and many more. Iuso is frequently part of New Orleans cultural events such as French Quarter Fest and JazzFest, many benefit concerts and other live events. In August of 2011, Offbeat Magazine said: "In an era of music when imitation is as important as innovation, Billy Iuso  shows his ability to do both while maintaining a sound that has developed a solid identity within New Orleans music." 

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Live from the Sandpiper

Billy Iuso & Restless Natives

Funky Guitar From New Orleans, Live Album

"Don't miss the opportunity to be inspired" is Billy Iuso's mission.  His musicianship and abilities have a certain polish and maturity that only a self-taught guitar player can posses. Three decades after honing his skills, he is widely known for his funk-driven jam sound  with Brides of Jesus and The Restless Natives.     Billy was influenced by great music which prompted him to form his first band at the age of 17. The experience provided a working stage for him to hone is skills of both covers and original works. Iuso formed the Brides of Jesus in the early nineties and the band gained much notoriety and success in the jam band scene. They played opening week at Club Wetlands NYC, the first club dedicated to the Jam Band scene, alongside artists such as Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors. Brides of Jesus opened for major acts such as the Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic and George Clinton. The band toured and performed together for a decade, with three major album releases, and throughout the lively touring schedule Billy became familiar with the band The Meters, who introduced him to his current home in New Orleans where he has lived since 1996.  Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives formed in New Orleans in 2002 . They perform an eclectic mix of original songs and covers and are continually one of the city's top jam/funk bands performing at many festivals and clubs in New Orleans and across the United States.  Recently, Iuso has kept a very busy schedule touring and playing guitar with The Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians and Anders Osborne's Band, along with The Restless Natives.  In the past five years Billy as been an artist at large on many festivals. He is a part of Grateful Feat which includes Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead), Paul Barrere & Fred Tackett(Little Feat). G.A.B.E (George Porter Jr., Anders Osborne, Billy Iuso, Eric Bolivar)   This past January he played Gov't Mules Island Exodus IV in Negril, Jamaica..  He has had the honor of sitting in with Steel Pulse, Warren Haynes, The Funky Meters, Dumpstaphunk and many more. Iuso is frequently part of New Orleans cultural events such as French Quarter Fest and JazzFest, many benefit concerts and other live events. In August of 2011, Offbeat Magazine said: "In an era of music when imitation is as important as innovation, Billy Iuso  shows his ability to do both while maintaining a sound that has developed a solid identity within New Orleans music." 

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Live in New Orleans "When Can I Come Home"

Billy Iuso & Restless Natives

Funky Jamband From New Orleans Live From Tipitinas

Billy Iuso & the Restless NativesWhen Can I Come Home? Independent By John Swenson

If you are looking for the absolute fulcrum where New Orleans funk and the jam-band aesthetic balance each other out equally, this is it. Guitarist/vocalist Billy Iuso has deep connections in the New Orleans fonk clique (as Dr. John calls it) through his work with various Meters offshoots and his deep immersion in the song catalog of New Orleans funk and R&B. He's also a jam-band champion who knows how to referee a session and keep the stoners grooving for hours on end while teasing them with licks from their favorite classic rock albums between the funk vamps. The process is all laid out here on these live recordings from Tipitina's. The Natives are Marc Pero on bass, Sam Hotchkiss and Iuso on guitars, Bryan Besse on drums and Michael Burkhart on Hammond B3 and Fender Rhodes. They all earn their money on this session, and Iuso shows why he's revered in Jamland by juxtaposing the Allen Toussaint/Lee Dorsey lament When Can I Come Home? with a medley of Captain Walker from the Who's Tommy album and Dave Mason's Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave, a connection you can be sure no one else has ever thought of. And you just know the dancing at Tips got a little more frenzied when the Natives kicked into the Grateful Dead trips engine, The Other One. Don't Let Go and Shake Em On Down are other highlights. Drew Vonderhaar at Piety Street did a magicians job of mixing and mastering what sounds like a very muddy original recording, concentrating on the impact and articulation of the stringed instruments, particularly Peros outstanding bass playing.

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Restless Natives

Billy Iuso

Funky Jam Rock from New Orleans

BILLY IUSO & RESTLESS NATIVES After leading the critically claimed Brides of Jesus for over a decade, frontman and songwriter Billy Iuso (guitar, vocals) shortly after releasing the third Brides album "Saints & Sinners" in the fall of 2002. With the Brides, Iuso had toured and played with some of the biggest names in the forefront of the Jam-Band movement in the 90's. His high energy mix of funk, roots rock with an occasional strange cover that left deep impressions on those who saw them. On one occasion Iuso was told bluntly by Dave Matthews that, "You guys are one of the few opening acts I've ever remembered."

Using different Musicians from both the funk and jazz scene, the Natives' sound continues to evolve into a new hybrid of Truly improvised music. A typical show brings a sonic environment that remains accessible while pushing the line towards the abstract. Original songs subtly change to one of many eclectic covers, the seamless flow pushed by dynamic funky drum beats.

Recent highlights of the Natives include a stellar show at Tipitina's that featured Papa Grows Funk's Marc Pero on bass with Russell Batiste or Mean Willie Green on a drum set, late night jams in the French Quarter with the likes of the Grateful Deads own Bobby Weir in the audience and bringing the patio bar at House of Blues to a second-line sing-a-long on Mardi Gras Day.

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