From the rhythmic stylings of Afrobeat and Highlife, popularized by Fela Kuti, to the percussive musical tradition popular amongst Afro-Peruvians, Snarky Puppy’s, Family Dinner Vol.2, takes listeners on a global tour of sound, culture and music. Recorded in front of a live audience in New Orleans, Family Dinner Vol. 2 features guest appearances from Afro-Peruvian vocalist Susana Bacca, Swedish Band Väsen, Jazz and Soul vocalist Chris Turner, Malian artist Salif Keita, young Jazz innovator Jacob Collier, guitarist Charlie Hunter, British soul-singer Laura Mvula, David Crosby, and many others. Family Dinner Vol. 2 builds upon original compositions by the featured artists and adds new breath with fresh arrangements composed by Snarky Puppy.
“Liquid Love” was originally recorded on Chris Turner’s album LOVElife Is A Challenge. “Liquid Love” uses liquid as a metaphor for one’s love; singing “Come on and fill me up, I need more in my cup…”
Formed in Denton, Texas in 2004 and led by Bassist Michael League, Snarky Puppy initially made their name as an instrumental band, largely relying upon intricate instrumentation and improvisation on their albums and lives performances (which they still do). However, the band has taken a slightly different direction with some of their more recent albums, namely Family Dinner Vol. 1 – the first installment of the Family Dinner series, which features vocalists and musicians from various genres and regions of the world, as well as winning the band a Grammy award for best R&B performance with Lalah Hathaway – and Sylva – a collaboration with the Metropole Orkest, which won the band a Grammy award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album. While Snarky Puppy’s sound is rooted in Jazz, Funk, and Rock, the band hasn’t shied away from exploring other genres, as well as expanding their sound and reach. Snarky Puppy’s Family Dinner Vol. 2 puts the band’s talents as composers, arrangers, and musicians on full display. Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see which direction the band will take, but if their previous work is any indication, they’ll continue explore and experiment with new sounds, cultures, and music (read: I really want them to do a hip-hop album.) Family Dinner Vol. 2 closes with “Brother, I’m Hungry,” which features Nigel Hall and NOLA International. “Brother I’m Hungry” poses the question to the listener of how poverty and homelessness can exist in the “land of milk and honey?” The song also discusses the social and economic division between classes, as well as the lack of empathy for the poor.