Saturday, April 07, 2007

Tin Pan South 2007 (Tuesday, 3/27)

On my agenda for Tuesday’s early show, the official kickoff for the Tin Pan show schedule, was a benefit for the New Orleans Songwriting Community. Dr. John, best known for his 70’s hit “Right Place, Wrong Time” was the featured act.

I arrived at the Mercy Lounge venue early to find a relatively short line of pass holders (I was uncharacteristically early), and quite a few planning to pay admission. To add to the potential confusion there was also a contingent of fans in line to see Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Jewel and Big & Rich play a benefit at the adjoining venue. As we were sorted out and admitted, I had the thrill of saying hello and choking out “I appreciate your music” to Ray Stevens (“Gitarzan,” “The Streak”) on the way in.

Before the show I met Curtis Anderson, proud father of Brent. This was the first TPS show I remember that was not performed as a round, which put young Anderson and Grayson Capps in the position of opening acts. Not a positive change in my opinion.

Anderson’s voice and songs demonstrated why he was on stage at his first TPS show, though his first song, a ballad, was a less-than-electrifying way to begin the set. Capps, exuding the persona of the hillbilly hippie fresh from his cabin in the Loo-siana swamp, was well-received as much for his politics as for his backwoods-folky songs.

Finally the big blue Baldwin grand was pushed into position for Mr. New Orleans himself. Dr. John’s familiar voice, a jambalaya of funk, growl and gravel, along with his jazzy piano stylings, kept the crowd entertained through a humor-injected and understated performance.

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