Billy Iuso & Restless Natives
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Billy Iuso & Restless Natives

Band R&B Funk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"jambase IUSO"

Watching Iuso conduct his small army of ever-changing partners in crime would have been worth the trip alone, but this current lineup is as fascinating to watch as it is underrated among funk and jazz ensembles. The chemistry is volatile and constantly morphing, yet stable enough to hold even the most lackadaisical fan's attention to the fullest, which can be attributed to Iuso's skill of bringing talented musicians together and breaking down any and all musical barriers between them.

- Ben Bounds JamBase | Mississippi Go See Live Music! [Published on 4/20/2003]

"saints and sinners review"

Local pundits love to slam the jamband kids, but the bands themselves know how much they want those young, dervish-dancing music lovers in their corner. They're a main impetus behind the burgeoning revival of funk as a viable mainstream improvisational form. Funk ain't just Old School no mo'-Galactic, Papa Grows Funk, the funky Meters and plenty of other bands are fully aware of the advantages of appealing to this new audience. Stanton Moore, Skerik, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band all played key roles last month at the Jammy awards, which gave George Porter the equivaleant of a Lifetime Achievement award in its inaugural bash last year. The Brides of Jesus reunion album, Saints and Sinners, was certainly recorded with this audience in mind. Bill Iuso is in monster form on vocals and guitar fronting the core group
John Swenson Offbeat - John Swenson Offbeat


Billy Iuso Restless Natives (Independent) OFFBEAT MARCH 2005
Any record that opens with a spirited cover of Wet Willie's bar-band classic "Keep on Smiling" has already hooked me. Thankfully, former Brides Of Jesus frontman Billy Iuso's solo debut Restless Natives is just vibrant enough to keep reeling me in.
Iuso has a huge backup band for the record featuring a virtual Who's Who of up-and-coming faces on the New Orleans roots music scene (including one Russell Batiste, Jr., on drums and one Ivan Neville on electric piano). With that kind of talent on his side, not to mention that Iuso is a quite talented guitarist and singer in his own right, Restless Natives certainly showcases high-caliber New Orleans musical chops in a loose, jamband environment.
At times, it can be too loose, as the record loses some steam and lulls in the middle. But Iuso's claim on his web site that he and his former band were pioneers of modern New Orleans funk-rock is pretty well-founded here, as the tunes here are much fresher than a lot of other current stoned-groove funk.
The highlights here include the jazz-inflected "Candle" and "Two Deep in the Shallows," a groovy little number that sounds a bit like Phish being possessed by the spirit of George MacRae. And with enough push, the track "Come C New Orleans" (which nearly quotes Professor Longhair's piano hook in "Big Chief, Pt. 1") could very well become a new Carnival time fave.
Offbeat Magazine 03.2005 -Jeremy J. Deibel - OFFBEAT MARCH 2005

"Restless Natives New CD"

On his latest CD Restless Natives New Orleans transplant Billy Iuso seems to have matured greatly. Focusing on songwriting and structure rather than lengthy jams that go nowhere, Iuso has crafted a nice collection of songs ­ a wonderful accomplishment from a member of the New Orleans jam-oriented community. He recently told me, "I'm not trying to be a 'rock star' anymore." This new, laid back, attitude shines through the music, combining an impressive breadth of original compositions with interesting covers.
For this latest project, Iuso's Restless Natives consist of some of New Orleans' top (if not nationally known) musicians. The core band consists of Iuso on guitar and vocals, "Mean" Willie Green (Neville Brothers) on drums, Mark Pero (Papa Grows Funk) on bass, Sam Hotchkiss (juice) on guitar, and Chris Marsceill on keys, and a large array of New Orleans musicians make appearances throughout.
Iuso is cut from the "Peace through Music" cloth, an ideal which shines through in the opener, a cover of Wet Willie's "Keep on Smiling." The opening tune adds vocalist Shannon McNally and has a definite Southern tone like to original, reminding me of smoky juke joints as well as sunny day outdoor festivals. In a word, it is "happy." What can I say? I like happy.
The next tune, an original named "Two Deep in the Shallows" is a swamp-a-delic rendezvous that glides down smooth and mellow. Iuso's maturing songwriting skills allow the song to feel funky but not forced. Chris Marsceill takes center stage on "Come C New Orleans," a Professor Longhair inspired instrumental which would be a hit at any Carnival party. The Natives take on Little Feat's "Spanish Moon" is simply wonderful. The horn section consisting of Kirk Joseph (Dirty Dozen) on sousaphone, Mark Mullins (Bonerama) on trombone and Satoru Ohashi (New Orleans Nightcrawlers) on trumpet take the song to the streets and give it a Crescent City feel. Tamika Jett's added vocals lend some soul that fills in the sound. "Your Just a Memory" follows. The simple song structure and autowah guitar fit perfectly together, giving the lyrics a chance to shine forth and the song a chance to breathe. Iuso's time spent in New Orleans comes through in "The Heavy," a dark funk tune drive by clavinet and Ryan Plattsmier's (the public) bass work. An interesting cover of the Grateful Dead's "The Other One" follows. I call it interesting because it is strays from the original into dark and funky territory, and does it well. Taking a quick left turn into instrumental jazz territory, "Da Minor Jam" features Pero's bass and drummer Bryan Besse trading licks back and forth in a tasteful show of talent. Nori Naraoka (Big Sam's Funky Nation) joins on bass as Iuso remains in mellow jazz mode for the final cut entitled "Candle," a ballad that rounds out and winds down the project.
Not to leave on a mellow note, Iuso recruits Ivan Neville (Dumpsta Funk) and Russell Batiste (funky Meters) for the "bonus" cut "Runnin High" a straight-ahead funk romp that reminds me why I like Iuso's music in the first place ­ he rocks. But don't tell him I said so.
Jeffrey Dupuis / Jambase / January 2005

- Jambase


Bill Iuso is best known for leading his long-running band the Brides of Jesus with high-profile sidemen like heavy hitting New Orleans drummers Willie Green and Russell Batiste. This weekend the guitarist brings his latest project the Restless natives to the area for two performances.
Iuso formed the Brides of Jesus in 1992 in Providence, R.I. Influenced in equal parts by the 70s funk of James Brown, Parliament and the Meters and rock bands like the Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead, the band was among the first to bill themselves "jam-funk" and were soon playing around the New York area with Phish, Blues Traveler, and the Spin Doctors.
The Brides of Jesus relocated to Athens and then to New Orleans before releasing their 1995 debut What's Gonna Set You Free? Featuring production by Johnny Sandlin (who has worked with the Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic) and guest appearances by Col. Bruce Hampton, bass player David Hood, and the Muscle Shoals Horns, the album successfully captured Iuso's vision of a modern funk band.
"I want to blend hippie rock with funk," said Iuso. "But do it successfully, without being cheesy. It's not a fad, this is a grass-roots kind of thing."
For Iuso's Oxford and Memphis appearances, his new band the Restless Natives will include Brides Stalwarts Chris Marsciell on keyboards and bass player Nori Naraoka and Brian Besse, who is known for his work in various combos on the New Orleans jazz scene, on drums. While Iuso promises the band will deliver versions of New Orleans standards like "Tipitina" and "Hey Pocky Way," the guitarist will also lead the Restless Natives in a few new directions.
The Restless Natives' set will feature jammy takes on songs by jazz greats like Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk, as well as a deeper exploration of rock songs by groups like Traffic and, of course, the Grateful Dead.

- PRESS Oxford Town, Oxford MS,


"Whats gonna set you free?"
"For Real"
"Saints & Sinners"
"Restless Natives"
"When Can I come Home LIVE from New Orleans" release date Aug 2006
Paradise Lost And Found 2008
live at the Sandpiper Lounge 2009



Billy Can be Booked as Solo artist or with his Band 4 piece up to seven peice Band, of
New Orleans Musicians
Raising the level of the unusually high quality of material on this daring slice of N'awlins funk rock.

Billy Iuso was Born on January 26, 1969 in Port Chester, New York. While being born an Aquarian, during "the age of Aquarius " didn't Pre-determine his destiny in music, Billy, like so many other children of his time was weaned on the changing culture and the music that symbolized it.

His Mom and Dad were at Woodstock and early on, Billy was constantly hearing the likes of Joe Cocker, Van Morrison, The Band and of course The Grateful Dead. But, in particular, even though he was living in the Northeast, was exposed to the Southern Rock bands of the early 70's...i.e. The Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Wet Willie. Also the New York Radio stations playing the funky soulful sounds of Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, Jackson Five, and Marvin Gaye etc. All of the music, influenced but did not define where Billy was heading.

From age 8-15, Bill moved around alot with his mother, he lived in Ohio, Miami FL and Houston TX. He received his first guitar as a present from his dad at the age of 13. But it wasn't until he moved back to Northeast at 15 , that he taught himself how to play the guitar and discovered that his recently changed voice had a "guttural² singing quality to it.

Billy formed his first band in 1986 at 17, not surprisingly it was a Grateful Dead "cover" band called Euphoria. They were quite successful in and around the New England area, even playing the opening week for the now defunct³Wetlands² NYC, the first club dedicated to this genre of jam music. Gradually moving from imitation to emulation Billy inserted a couple of his originals into the set. However, again not surprisingly, like so many other successful cover bands, Billy had the urge to create and play his own music.

So in 1989, Billy told his dad " don't waste your money on sending me to college" and moved to Providence, RI to seek a city /college town to spawn his music. Then he formed the now critically acclaimed "Brides of Jesus" playing music at the forefront of his musical genre that came to be known as the Jam-Band movement .

In the early 90's Billy had his "ups", opening for the likes of Dave Matthews, Widespread Panic, George Clinton, Funky Meters. And his "downs", living in his rehearsal space because he couldn't afford a separate place to live and a place to practice and opted for the latter. Through the ups and downs, coming and goings of band members, and relocating to Athens, Georgia, Billy remained true to a high energy mix of funk and roots rock in his writing, vocals and playing.

In 1994, Billy released the first Brides CD " What's Going to Set You Free" with acclaimed Allman Brothers producer Johnny Sandlin. While in Athens Billy and the Brides toured constantly all over the country with headlining and opening slots building his career. One of the most influential bands which they opened for on many occasions were the Meters, which built a friendship and a bond that linked him to his new home the Crescent City.

Billy moved to New Orleans in early 1997, here Billy recorded the second Brides CD ³For Real². After touring constantly for nearly four years Billy had an opportunity to stage manage for The Meters, Neville Brothers, and Vida Blue (Phish¹s Page McConnell side project) which in turn put his own musical career on the back burner.

Still playing a few Brides shows here and there, Billy released the third Brides CD ³Saints and Sinners² in 2002 and returned to the touring circuit. Wanting a change and due to the unavailability of other members of BOJ due to their other musical commitments, Billy decided to go solo. His new self titled CD Restless Natives is a collection of new and unrecorded originals and a few choice covers that don¹t confine him to the Jam funk style that the Brides are known for.

Billy continues to perform as Billy Iuso and the Restless Natives with a familiar ever-changing cast of characters, ³Mean² Willie Green, Bryan Besse, Marc Pero, Ryan Plattsmier, and Chris Marsciel, Sam Hothckiss and others.

Recent highlights of the Natives include a stellar show at Tipitina's that featured Russell Batiste on a second drum set, late night jams in the French Quarter with the likes of the Grateful Dead's 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.

Jam-funk aficionados take notice.