Words by Gabriela Kerson :: Images by Robert Chapman

Brotherhood of Groove, Big Sam's Funky Nation & New Orleans Juice :: 02.23.06 :: R&R :: New York, NY

Big Sam's Funky Nation w/ BOG

The exclusivity factor of the meatpacking district has always been daunting. That is until I found out R&R, a little venue on 14th St. and 9th Ave. had booked my kind of show. Walking down the dark stairs into the basement, there was a slightly illegal, speakeasy feel. Mirrored walls and the tail end of a JANE magazine issue release party added a sense of the abnormality. However, an abundance of Mardi Gras beads and a loose stage setting soon relaxed me.

Big Sam

Louisiana musicians have been paramount in keeping the plight of New Orleans alive in the aftermath of Katrina. Their continuous touring is a constant reminder that many people still have no home to return to. In the week before Mardi Gras, the support had stepped up again, led by Brotherhood of Groove's five-state tour with New Orleans Juice and Big Sam's Funky Nation.

With Tipitina's regulars Juice opening the show, there was a party atmosphere and the sense that floats might come through at any moment. Big Sam sat in for a moment, getting so involved in the tunes that his slide flew off his trombone and into the audience. The air was warm and humid, at least inside.

Big Sam's Funky Nation is a rotating group of musicians based around Sam's extraordinary trombone playing and over-the-top personality. A New York City favorite, word of his gig spread fast, bringing in well-informed music lovers to enjoy his exuberant show. With a solid jazz background, his band has an amazing ability to improvise.

Brotherhood of Groove's Brandon Tarricone kept up a steady stream of chatter. He encouraged the audience to let loose and to have a good time. They featured a strong mix of percussive bass, horns, and guitar, keeping it funky and fun till the late hours of the night - just like they do back "home" in NOLA.

Big Sam's Funky Nation

Big Sam's Funky Nation w/ BOG

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[Published on: 3/23/06]

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Chickie starstar Wed 3/29/2006 12:09PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Besides Big Sam, this was a lackluster show in a muddled hole.