Dr. John & The Lower 911
Dr. John-Piano, Organ, tambourine
Demitriou's Jazz Alley
March 8, 2007
Late Show (9:30 p.m.)
One Too Many
Only The Shadow Knows
Lightning Strikes (Hold & Pat It)
I Ain't No Doctor
Do You Call That A Buddy?
Chicky Le Pas
One Dirty Woman
When The Saints Go Marching In>
Glory, Glory Hallelujah (When I Lay My Burdens Down)
Wade In The Water*
Great show at another sweet venue in Seattle. Last night was my two year anniversary of moving here, and it was the perfect place to celebrate it. Super classy joint. There is a second floor balcony, so the room has a high ceiling. I grabbed a small table with bar stools dead center on the Dr.'s keyboards and right in front of the bar. The house seemed maybe half to three quarters full. The band is in the midst of a six night run. The first two nights were only one 7:30 show, but last night began early (7:30) and late (9:30) shows for the duration of the run through Sunday. Perfect for me, since I close my store at 7:30, leaving me time to grab some grub, down a few beers and get over to the venue in time to be fifth in line to get in.
Dr. John's piano was festooned with the obligatory voodoo regalia, namely a skull and a scratch gourd with phantom drawings on it. The show kicked off at about 9:40 and went to about 11:10. Never caught the guitarist's name, but he was playing some nice fills on a Gibson throughout and I did get a chance to thank him for a great show right after the gig.
Roscoe Evans plays the emcee role in the band, and before Dr. John's entrance, pointed out that Lee Oskar and Harold Brown of War were in the audience (right in front of the stage). Toby McGuire of Spiderman fame was also in attendance. Must be filming a movie here, because later in the show, Roscoe informed us that while the run ends Sunday, the band is staying in town for three days of recording for a movie soundtrack.
Dr. John's entrance was classic. He does this jive little shuffle and has this prankster grin on his face. He was pimped out in a fuchsia suit with his bejeweled beret and a big hoop earring dangling from his right ear. He alternated between sitting at his piano and standing to play his organ. I've seen him solo and with an expanded band with a horn section, but never as a four piece. I missed hearing the horns, but it didn't keep the show from having many stellar moments.
Before "Goodnight Irene" he told a story of how Leadbelly wrote it while serving a double life sentence in Angola Prison in Louisiana on the day his running partner was getting cooked in the electric chair, on his birthday no less. Then he said in his gruff voice, "I don't know if that story is true, but I really don't give a fuck because I like to tell it!" (For the record, I always thought Leadbelly did his time in Texas, but who's counting?). The segue into "Witchy Red" was great. I just went through a harsh breakup with a redhead, so I was FEELING it! He did a real nice version of Professor Longhair's "Tipitina". Given my recent soap opera, "Do You Call That A Buddy?" and "One Dirty Woman" also hit the mark dead center. The set closing medley of 'Saints">"Glory, Glory" had the whole room up doing the second line. For the encore, Harold Brown borrowed some of Roscoe's gear to add some percussion fills on "Wade In The Water", a tune aimed directly at the Bush administration's bungling of Hurricane Katrina.
The show costs $28.50. I hear reservations are a good idea for the rest of the run. I believe that the 7:30 show for tonight (Friday) is already sold out.
Go see the Doctor!
"Feel good music, I've been told, good for the body, good for the soul!"
I went back last night for the 2nd show. Not one repeat in the set. This band is cookin'!
Dr. John & the Lower 911
Dimitriou's Jazz Alley
March 9, 2007
2nd Show (9:30)
You Must've Been A Beautiful Baby
How Come My Dog Don't Bark When You Come Around
Life Ain't Worth Livin' Without You
Place In The Sun
I Take What I Can Get
I'm A Runner In The Jungle>
Sweet Home New Orleans
Encore: Food For Thought
While this band is not overtly political, Dr. John launched into a long tirade against the beaureaucratic agencies that "don't do shit" (FEMA, Red Cross) and encouraged people to send their support to agencies that are actually directly putting the resources into the hands of people struggling to get back on their feet, not their own pockets. Before the encore, Roscoe Evans, the drummer, did one of the coolest things I've ever witnessed. He called the dishwashers out of the kitchen, a couple of very embarrassed looking Latin American dudes. Roscoe talked about how these guys do the dirty work and generally receive the least amount of bread for their efforts, and that in New Orleans, the way they do it is to pass the hat and get a dollar from everyone in the audience to help recognize their unsung efforts. Lacking a hat, they passed a tambourine around, and I bet those guys split $200 between them!
Dr. John had a Carolina Blue suit on this night, and seemed much more animated than Friday night. At one point he was simultaneously playing his piano and reaching behind him to play the organ. The guitar player didn't have as many chances to step out front tonight, but that was probably due to the setlist. I did manage to get his name I think. It sounded like John Ford, but with that soft New Orleanian accent it could have been John Fow, John Bowles, etc., but I think it was Ford. After the show I asked the maitre'd if there were two shows on Sunday as well. Turns out we had crossed paths 20 years ago in Charlottesville and have mutual friends. He gave me a 2-for-1 voucher and said to call and make a reservation and mention that he'd invited me because he wanted to "hook me up." There was a lot of love in that room last night, and I had just expressed how last night was my 2 year anniversary in Seattle and I was glad I'd finally made it to Jazz Alley, that it was a great joint. Next thing I know we're crossing the dots and realizing our shared past and I'm getting hooked up. It was nice to share my appreciation unrequitedly and get the instant karmic kickback. Tonight's first show is sold out and the 9:30 is almost gone, so I might just wait until tomorrow for the last night of the run.
The rest of the band will be playing a free show Monday night around 9 p.m. at the Whiskey Bar, minus Dr. John, backing one of the waitresses who apparently has a mean set of pipes.
Oh yeah, for the free show Monday at the Whiskey Bar, Lee Oskar and Harold Brown of War will be participants.
The big highlights for me in last night's set were the "Iko" opener (just like old times!), "How Come My Dog Don't Bark..." which is a hilarious tune about discovering your old lady is cheating on you that had Roscoe doing some dead on dog barks and growls, and the "Runner In The Jungle">"Soulful Warrior" medley which featured some wickedly funky jamming. The "Stagger Lee" was different than any version I've ever heard. Not the old Lloyd Price tune and not the Hunter/Garcia tune, just another variation on the theme of the legendary bad man.
>>>just another variation on the theme of the legendary bad man<<
He must have been one BAD man, as there are numerous songs named Stagger Lee about one bad muthafucka!
Nick Cave has a NASTY version - SL is TRULY a bad man in THAT song!
Great effort on these reviews Dave, I feel like I'm there!
The guitarist's name is John Fohl. He is a very cool dude and quite the tasteful guitarist. Great reviews, by the way....
i'll see you there monday night dave.....
Cool Jeff. Looking forward to the show and to seeing you again. I'm heading down for the closing night of the run at Jazz Alley tonight too. Review will post tomorrow.
right on man sounds like a rollin' time, enjoy!
Last night was the final night of a rather epic six night run. Since I close the shop at 6 on Sundays, I had a chance to catch both shows. After grabbing some grub, I got to Jazz Alley right as the band was rolling out the first number. The front desk told me "the first show is sold out, but there is plenty of room for the second show." Good thing I'd bumped into my old friend on Friday. I dropped his name, and magically a seat at the bar appeared for me, so other than the first tune, I did catch both shows. Somewhere I've got a more complete setlist for the 1st show. After the set ended I was thanking the drummer, Roscoe, for all the great music and asked him if he remembered what they'd opened with. He couldn't remember but had the tour manager hook me up with a printed setlist straight out of the dressing room. There are definitely some additions that I have on my handwritten one, but I'll just post the one the band gave me for now. The second show list is from my own notes.
Dr. John & The Lower 911
March 11, 2007
Demetriou's Jazz Alley
Now That You Got Me
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
I Know What I Got
My Indian Red
Wade In The Water
Encore: Huey Smith Medley
Sometimes You Love Me (The Thought Of You)
Rain Or Shine
You Give Me Pneumonia (Fever)
Sweet Home New Orleans>
Home Sweet Home
Talkin' 'Bout The Blues
I Don't Want To Know 'Bout Evil (I Only Wanna Know 'Bout Love)
Right Place, Wrong Time
When The Saints Go Marching In>Jam>
Glory, Glory Hallelujah (When I Lay My Burdens Down)
Two amazing sets. Packed the house for the first show, and then they invited everyone to stay for free for the 2nd show and they just about packed it again. The Dr. was in a beige suit tonight with a flashy new collared shirt with kind of an Aztec design. Two shows meant many more beers, coupled with a walk around the block for a safety break between sets, which left me basically comfortably numb, but between dancing, sneaking up close when some people left early and many trips back to my station at the bar, I made it through the night relatively unscathed. The first set seemed a little subdued, but the 2nd set was off the hook. The crowd was doling out the love for this band and the great shows they had been giving us all week. Early in the 2nd show a woman yelled out "sing something about New Orleans". Dr. John said, "Now wait a minute, calm down, we'll get to that. Careful, the whole set could be about New Orleans, so let us get a couple of other things out of the way first." After "You Give Me Pneumonia" which is the same song as Little Willie John's "Fever" with "You give me pneumonia" subbing for "You give me fever", Dr. John launched into a major tirade about how the government and beauracracies keep "fucking us over, and then they turn right around and expect us to vote for them. Well, I'm just a pissed off coon ass, and they can all go fuck themselves, I'm tired of this bullshit!" The "Superfly" encore morphed into "Super Mac" and had Dr. John extolling the stellar funkiness of his band. Well worth the trip!
The rest of the band, minus the Dr., will be down at the Whiskey Bar Monday night between 9 and 10 p.m. to back up "Pork Chop Lisa" (a waitress at JA) with special guests Lee Oskar and Harold Brown of War. Admission is free. The Whiskey is at 2nd and Virginia for anyone interested.
Damn fine reviews Dave! Really nice. Thanks for sharing!
Are you going to the show tonight? Nice little run you've got going there over the last few days.
I will definitely be at the Whiskey Bar tonight for the jamdown. Jellyroll will be there too, as well as many of my good for nuthin' friends! Y'all come, hear!
Java dave, Jellyroll - how was the jamdown on Monday???
Sorry for the late feedback, but it's pretty easy to get FUCKED up at a place called the Whiskey Bar. Turned out to be a pretty fun night. My friend Ross had lost his wallet and ID so he couldn't go, so I was stoked to see Jellyroll and my friend David (the manager at Jazz Alley that I'd gotten reaquainted with at the Dr. John shows after not seeing each other since 20 years back in Charlottesville).
"Pork Chop" Lisa and the Pork Chop Band started things off with a set of soul/funk/blues rock while I caught up with the boys and downed some shots and beers. Stepped outside for a cig and a safety break with JR and some of his friends which put me in a good headspace for what followed. Thanks again Senor Jellyroll. I'm back inside at my table rapping with David when he yells out "Hey John" to John Fowles, Dr. John's guitarist. He's followed in by David Perrault (bass) and Herman "Roscoe" Evans (drums). Roscoe comes over to express thanks for something David had got done for him and talks a little about their recording session that afternoon, indicating that it's going allright. It was cool to see top shelf musicians just being real folks enjoying themselves at some hole-in-the-wall dive bar. A few minutes later, Lee Oskar and Harold Brown of War walk in, and a few minutes later, the five all-star guests and Lisa are congregating on stage and bust out an extended "Born Under A Bad Sign". Much funky jamming ensues. David Perrault was dropping bombs left and right. I was well on the way to getting pretty lit, so the details escape me, by I do remember Lee Oskar breaking out "Slipping Into Darkness"! After their set, I got a chance to thank David Perrault for all the great shows I'd seen this week. Told him that the music had helped me get through some tough shit I'd been dealing with and said it got me right here, tapping my chest with my fist a couple of times. David mimicked my gesture, tapping his chest, acknowledging his thanks for the music too. Cool moment.
Then Lisa's band finished another set, Jellroll and my buddy David split, and next thing I'm realizing I'm pretty ripped and making moves on some lady hanging with Jellroll's friends. It was to no avail, but she set me down easy, and I somehow managed to make it back home without harming anyone else or myself. Not the smartest move, but well, y'know?
Glad I went. Good way to cap the week of getting my ya-ya's out. It was nice last night to not go out drinking, get some good Thai food, pop in a DVD and chill on the sofa at the new place I moved into.
lol. . . Right on Java dave! Sounds like a great capper to an already superb musical weekend. Glad you made it home alright and got a chance to chill out a bit last night.
Are you thinking of coming down to Eugene for the April 14th Avalon All-Stars show? Saturday night, with Molo, Seals, Sless, Bobby Vega and Ray White! Not to be missed, if you can make it.
Email me in my profile if you are thinking of coming in for the show.
That sounds pretty cool Dave. If I can take care of a few p's and q's, I'd love to make that trip. Just hired a girl to start working with me on Saturdays. She starts the weekend after this, so hopefully she's a quick learner and can mind the store for me that night! I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the heads up!
You got it man. . . Do you have the 2 shows that the All-Stars did in December? If not, email me your new ground addy, so that I can send you a housewarming gift. . .
Thanks Dave! Email sent.