The Circle Bar

February 16, 2004

Keyboardist Davis Rogan’s sense of humor and soul kept the Circle Bar audience entertained Monday night. Here's a snippet from the demo his band recorded Sunday: “Strippers are moving into my neighborhood/You can call it gentrification/I’m gonna call it good.”

Rogan, formerly known as D.J. Davis, was a line cook, formed All That before the band mutinied, reincarnated it, disbanded it, lost his DJ job, and got a teaching job at A.P. Tureaud.

So, it was no surprise that Rogan’s latest band did R&B/Soul songs about longing, sin, and searching. Rogan was accompanied by drummer Andre Bohren, bassist Marie Hughes, guitarist Cranston Hughes and saxophonist Rebecca Barry.

Rogan kept the show bopping and fun with crowd sing-alongs like “Who Shot Delilah?” Rogan started the set off with a cover of “Searching,” which, like all his other songs, had a great piano solo. Rogan used chords often, but his Jerry Lee Lewis-like flourishes were nice, too.

Davis was a true entertainer. He tried his darndest to think of something clever to say throughout the night. He was full of anecdotes.

The second song and the next couple were sexy R&B numbers in tune with Fats Domino’s style. When R&B is done right, as it was there, it is pretty impenetrable and hard not to like.

The band was tight, even though they could have used a little more rehearsal to figure out when to end songs. The band held together nicely even though Rogan threw out an unrehearsed “Mardi Gras Mambo” because of its 50th anniversary. The last few songs were Funky numbers reminiscent of All That. They were broken up by a wonderful cover of The Beatles’ “Oh, Darling!”

All in all, Rogan was playing good time music for good time people. The crowd grew as the night went along, and they were just like any other group in a neighborhood bar: irreverent and extremely appreciative.

Here’s to that demo seeing the light of day.

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