Dragon Smoke – Monday, June 24, Brooklyn Bowl

She’d say, “Baby Grandma understands,
That you really loved that man,
Put yourself in Jesus’ hands.”
–Grandma’s Hands

photo by: Dino Perrucci

photo by: Dino Perrucci

It was a random muggy Monday evening in Brooklyn this night when four of New Orleans hottest musicians graced the stage at The Bowl to a grateful crowd.

I knew the night was going to be a good one, when I walked in and heard Billy Iuso’s band play (one of my personal favorites) Red Hot Mama, into the Dead’s The Other One. Hook Herrara joined the band for some serious harmonica ripping against Iuso’s shredding guitar.  The audience slowly started to stream in from the heat outside.  A nice crowd was settling in.

Dragon Smoke was about an hour late getting on the stage, due to a late airplane arrival from Anders Osborne.  There would later be a great story from Anders about his travels, and a movie of an appreciative crowd thanking his flight attendants.

I had no idea what to expect, except I love each of these musicians in their own right, separately from the others.  To say Anders Osborne is an amazing guitarist is a bit of an understatement – he is a solid slide guitarist, shredder and lyricist who is hitting his stride lately.  He is sharp on his instrument, close to a level of a Haynes with the grit of Neil Young.

Ivan Neville, keyboardist extraordinaire.  He sounded relaxed, happy, strong.  All of them were strong.  Strong beats, yet with an aire of fun, lightness came out of Stanton Moore’s drumkit – and Robert Mercurio was dancing, smiling and laying down the bass beat for the whole gamut of the show.

There was a pretty sick Franklin’s Tower with Billy Iuso guest singing and playing his own style of shredding guitar.  We were treated to an absolute CRUSHING Ohio by Neil Young, a gorgeous sensitive Hercules sung by Neville, a story from Neville about his own loss of his Grandma before the touching Grandma’s Hands.

We slid right into Papa Was a Rolling Stone, into an off-beat take on Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm.  The last song of the evening was Billy Preston’s, Will It Go Round In Circles and the encore was a surprising take on Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide, with Neville singing Stevie Nick’s part.  There was a moment that I had tears in my eyes.  Yep, it was one of those evenings.

Unreal indeed.  It’s the time of year that NOLA comes to NYC, cuz it’s so damned hot down there.  Don’t be mistaken, these guys bring the New Orleans heat with them.  We are a bunch of lucky son of a b*tches to have them here.

Don’t miss this.  Dragon Smoke.  Find them.

Set List: (Courtesy of R. Agdern & JR Hevron)

Darkness at The Bottom
Woman Be a Woman–>
Woke up this morning (Soprano’s Theme)
Louisiana Rain
Franklin’s Tower
Echoes of My Sins
Grandmas Hands–>
No Diggety–>
Grandmas Hands—>
Papa Was A Rolling Stone
Maggie’s Farm
Will it go Round in Circles


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