Friday, December 30, 2011

New Orleans Suspects @ Brooklyn Bowl 12/17/11

A very much needed addition to the NOLA scene.  I admit it:  I was never into the Radiators and if this is the type of new bands we're going to get then YIPPEE!  I loved everyone up there, but my MVP slot goes to Kevin Harris of the Dirty Dozen on sax.  He blew me away with every note.

I heard the opening band was great.  I just couldn't get out early enough to see it, but maybe there will be another opportunity.  It was their first gig in 9 years.

The listing:
The New Orleans Suspects
It’s been said that the musicians of New Orleans are all members of one gigantic band that breaks up into smaller groups on a nightly basis. If this were really the case, The New Orleans Suspects would be in a class all their own. The group is comprised of musicians with experience and versatility that rival any other band that the city has ever produced.

“Mean” Willie Green has been the drummer for the Neville Brothers band since the 1980s. His unique attack has defined funk drumming for a quarter of a century. Yet, he is not a one-dimensional player. His taste in music spans the gamut of modern rock styles and he is as comfortable driving the beat as he is holding down the groove.

Reggie Scanlan’s career has been defined by his thirty-three years playing bass in the Radiators, the longest running rock act in the history of New Orleans. But his resume is far deeper. As a young musician he played with blues musicians on the west coast chitlin circuit before returning to his hometown to back up legends like James Booker and Professor Longhair.

Jake Eckert is the sterling-toned lead guitarist in the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Before joining the quintessential New Orleans funk/brass band, he honed his chops as part of the thriving southern rock scene in Atlanta, cutting his teeth with the likes of Derek Trucks and Col. Bruce Hampton. While living in Los Angeles, he played in the band New Soul Underground along with jazz great Larry Carlton. He has had a chance to perform with Warren Haynes, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, & Dave Matthews to name a few.

CR Gruver is a classically trained pianist who was bitten by the bug known as New Orleans music after stints touring with nationally known bands such as Outformation and the Atlanta-based singer/songwriter Angie Aparo. Since moving to New Orleans he has immersed himself into the scene and has become a well-regarded sideman adept at James Booker-style piano machinations and the swelling B-3 stylings of Art Neville. Besides playing with many of the city’s local luminaries he also leads his own local band, Funkifry’d.

Kevin Harris is a founding member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. His tenor saxophone work has graced recordings across the gamut from pop stars Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews and the Black Crowes to zydeco legend Buckwheat Zydeco, jazz songstress Norah Jones, and Modest Mouse, Widespread Panic and many more.

Together these five musicians create music that is firmly rooted in the modern New Orleans sound with compelling originals and tasteful covers. The rhythm section of Scanlan and Green are as comfortable together as red beans and rice. Gruver tickles the ivories or soars into the stratosphere on the organ. Harris provides stellar saxophone fills and solos with great aplomb. Eckert’s rhythm guitar work neatly complements his razor sharp solos. Though the band can clearly jam, with Eckert and Gruver trading off on lead vocals they are no simple jam band.
Joe Gallant & Illuminati
The much-loved 18-piece orchestra that raised the bar on the jamband scene with Joe's large-scale "Blues for Allah Project" and "Terrapin" arrangements, makes its first appearance in 9 years!
"It was a nice long break while I did other stuff, but the vibe and time is right to reboot Illuminati and create great new music" said Gallant recently.
With a new live Illuminati CD forthcoming on Unseen Rain Records, expect this night to be a smorgasbord of lush, bones-shakin' Dead favorites and Joe's groove-heavy originals.

1 comment:

J. Lyon Layden said...

Those are my boys!! Thought you might like to know what Col. Bruce's long-time collaborator and co-founder of AARU Dr. Dan Matrazzo is doing these's a live MP3 with his backing band THE LOOTERS.

You can also find his guests appearances with The Allman Brothers here:
And his podcast with Widespread here: