As we all know by now, Jazz Fest is rearing its gorgeous head out of the Louisiana swamp, and with that comes some of the world's finest and most talented musicians for two weeks of music and fun.
One of these bands happens to be NOLA’s own Brotherhood of Groove, a band well worth checking out. The BOG takes jazz and NOLA funk to a whole new level, while still retaining its roots in the lush sounds and rich history of NOLA music.
The BOG consist of some of NOLA’s finest up-and-coming musicians, along with veteran Space frontiersman and funskta himself, Michael Ray, whom we've all seen play with Phish but who also plays with Sun Ra and Kool and the Gang. His phenomenal, upper-register trumpet playing and occasional vocals are quite the compliment to guitarist and chief arranger/composer Brandon Tarricone. Tarricone is one of the most talented new guitarists on the NOLA scene. Tarricone guitar work is phenomenal and his compositions are just as good, and will be considered one of the best in NOLA within time. Dan “FM” Caro has got to be one of, if not the best, new young NOLA drummers. Dan is simply beautiful on the skins and a talent beyond his years. When I see Dan play he seems to be singing and playing melodies on the kit. I don’t know who else is playing with the BOG over Jazz Fest, but it could possibly be Mikiel Williams or John Ellis, or Eric Traub (Dr. John) on sax, for I have seen them all. John Stonbely will be laying down the deepest of grooves on the bass.
It is said that on April 27th, the first Sunday of Jazz Fest, BOG will be playing the Sunrise show at the Maple Leaf (Monday morning) and Reed Mathis of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey will be playing bass as well. Also, Brian Hass of JFJO will be joining the BOG on keys that night for the full show. By the way, Brian and Reed are some of the nuttiest and talented musicians on the jam band scene. If you have never been to the Maple Leaf before, this is a club you don’t want to miss. Back in the day James Booker played the Leaf every week. Now the BOG plays every week along with Papa Grows Funk and the Rebirth Brass Band.
The next night, Monday April 28th, the Brotherhood will be warming the stage up for Charlie Hunter's Garage a Trois at the Old Point Bar. This show is normal time and should start right around 10:00pm. The next night the BOG will play at the Blue Nile. This is a new Frenchman St. club that I have not yet been to, but hear is very hip. If you have not yet gotten to check out a full BOG show this is the night; chances are the boys will play three full sets this night, like they often do when the stage is theirs alone.
Wednesday May 1st the BOG is playing at Tower Records, to celebrate and promote sales of their new album. They will be trading sets with Juice. This event starts at 3pm sharp so don’t miss it. On May 2nd you will find Brandon Tarricone, guitarist for the BOG, playing at the fair grounds with James Andrews Band plus many other phenomenal New Orleans cats.
Friday May 3rd the BOG will be back at the Old Point Bar playing with the West coast band The Motet. I am not sure what the night will hold, but I have heard rumors of a large New Orleans jam at the end of the night. The close out of fest will have the boys back at the Old Point again for their normal Tuesday nightspot.
The BOG can certainly take you on a journey to wherever it is you want to go. But if you have no clue as to where that might be, just sit back and ride the wave with them. The BOG’s sound truly reeks of sweet textures, tones, melodies and loads of emotions, which always take you to another place, more comfortable than the one your are probably at on that moment. When you can close your eyes and lose all sense of time and space, it is a good sign of great band, no doubt.
Do yourself a favor while in NOLA for Jazz Fest, and go check these guys out. And remember, as Dan says, “It’s all Gravy, Ya Heaaaardddddd.”
Peace and Love,
Mr. Chad Edwards
JamBase | New Orleans
Go see live music!