The Fens

Circle Bar

February 13, 2008

BY JASON SONGE


I started the night at Jeff Albert's Open Ear Series at Alley Katz, above The Blue Nile. I encourage everyone to support this important piece of the local jazz community.

The Jimbo Walsh Quartet played well-composed modern jazz with a definite slant towards the avant(Dave Capello). I wasn't in the mood, so I moved down the street to a Reggae bar where I was happily surprised to see John Lisi and Delta Funk working a crowd. I used to see Lisi play almost weekly at the old Tabby's Blues Joint in Baton Rouge. Back then I was less concerned with how he shamelessly worked the crowd and more so with his exceptional slide playing. Which is the right priority. You gotta get that money. The only problem was that the crowd was too busy having fun to notice a Lisi solo that made me wonder why he wasn't more famous locally. It's best when he gets nasty with the melding of blues and funk, but when he gets schmaltzy bland feelgood like G. Love, it's no good.

Next up was Sir Funk a Lot at The Blue Nile. Smoker on drums, two guitarists, a keyboardist, and Keng and Chaddy on vocals. They were on the funk/Al Green soul tip, and man, they were horny. Kinda disturbingly so, with the innuendos and the crotch-grabbing and what not. The music was decent. It got hot at points, but it never got as good as Iris May Tango.

I ended up with The Fens at The Circle Bar. Peter Orr is awesome. Here's why: he wrote a whole song about how he's taken over the Wednesday spot from Alex McMurray. It has to be one of the most self-deprecating songs I've heard. It consists of a bunch of "Maybe Alex'll show up" type phrases. Funny, funny man, that Peter Orr.



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