We double dipped this past Wednesday night, refusing to miss either show even though it meant a bit of traveling. To start, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue were in town at the Mercury Ballroom, playing for a “Mardi Gras in May” themed crowd. The $20 VIP Mardi Gras gig sounds like it would have been a blast and well worth the small fee – Cajun food, beads and masks were included to make the evening a hit.
It is hard not to move with these guys the way that they are carrying on. My previous encounters with Troy Andrews and his crew were at outdoor festival venues, which were a lot of fun. Getting to experience them in the tight quarters of Mercury, where the diverse crowd was all feeling it, also made for a good time.
Next, we headed down the road to Zanzabar for the monthly Communion Residency. We previewed the evening on Do502 (including a short interview with headliner Peter Matthew Bauer) and were looking forward to seeing Bridge 19 and Firekid, as well. The schedule got switched around a little bit, and Bauer played second so we missed his set. As is typical at Zanzabar, the artist stuck around for a drink and to catch up with some of his Louisville friends. We stopped by to give a quick hello and in the brief time we talked with him it became clear that he’s a pretty chill guy. Next time we’ll be a little more timely to see his one man gig.
We did get to hear Firekid and even with his voice ailing, we were still very impressed. The quick tempo-ed, appealing songs have a definite bluegrass influence and accentuate Dillon Hodges‘ talents. The man can play the guitar and he has a striking, yet subtly Southern voice that really carries their music. Speaking with Hodges, he is a really nice guy who is working hard to get Firekid out there. He said he was using Communion to gear up for a return to Alabama and The Hangout Festival. I’m sure this homecoming was a great set on the beach.