Johnny Vidacovich Trio
January 15, 2004
Theresa Andersson wore a sexy skirt, checkered multi-colored knee socks, and the band was awesome.
This is how I’ll probably remember the Tipitina’s 26th Anniversary version of Johnny V’s weekly jam session, in that order. But, bear with me, it makes sense. Vidacovich’s band is always over the top fantastic, so why not focus on the socks? Porter, who is known for wearing white knee socks, even pointed the socks out to the audience before she left the stage.
Drummer Vidacovich, bassist George Porter and pianist John Gros started the night off with a powerful, funky soul ballad, which morphed into one of Vidacovich’s beat poetic vocal explorations. They normally don’t get anywhere, but they’re always humorous.
Next, Andersson took the stage to a bevy of male whoops and whistles. The quartet burned through a—surprise!—funky song that focused on her fiddle playing. She then serenaded the audience with an enjoyable acoustic number that unfortunately destroyed the band's groove vibe. There were some mistakes, as there will be in a jam setting, but there also seemed to be a lack of chemistry, almost like the male members didn’t know what to do with Andersson. But, everything came together when the audience sang along to her confident vocals and presence---she thrashed her head around in celebration---on “Sing, Sing, Sing.”
For the second set, saxophonist Jason Mingeldorf and guitarist Anders Osborne joined Porter and Vidacovich. Osborne led the band with the roadhouse tone of his blues guitar for an aimlessly unmelodic but danceable song. The next 20 minutes consisted of a wonderful long and winding jam that included an awe-inspiring solo by Osborne. He even fooled around on the piano for a while. Mingeldorf did a good job, as well. The jam wound down with a tripped out, jazzy movement.
The night hit its peak when Andersson and Gros returned for covers of “Junko Partner” and “Big Chief,” which Porter dedicated to Earl King and Professor Longhair and then asked, “Is it Mardi Gras yet?!” A few audience members sported Mardi Gras headdress.
Andersson and Osborne were on lead vocals. It was the first time I saw them onstage together since their breakup years ago. The crowd was cutting loose, and the band looked like they were having as much fun as possible.