Parliament and Funkadelic are two of the most influential bands of all time, and one man is responsible for both bands’ conception and continued relevance in music today: George Clinton. NPR gives the 76-year-old funk pioneer his flowers while he can still smell them — shout out to Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk — with a Tiny Desk Concert that celebrates his many, many hits with a significantly stripped-down version of the P-Funk All-Stars that now includes Clinton’s own grandchildren.
Even sans horn section, dancers, and stage spaceship, Clinton as charged-up in the NPR office cubicle as he’s ever been in a packed arena. Performing hits including “Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On,” “One Nation Under A Groove,” and “Give up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker),” the seemingly immortal funkster livens the office with a tight set sharpened by 40 years of continual touring.
Despite his age, Clinton bops along to the groove with all the energy of a 30-years-younger version of himself as his band’s longtime members Blackbyrd McKnight and Lige Curry tear into their instruments alongside newcomers Garrett Shider — son of the late Garry Shider, aka Starchild, the original guitarist for the band — and Benzel Cowan, whose father Bennie is the band’s original trumpeter. To borrow a phrase from another funk great, it’s a family affair and only a legend like George Clinton could make a public radio workspace feel like a family reunion.