When: Thursday, March 3, 2011 • Where: Dakota • Who: Glen David Andrews, trombone and vocals; Kyle Roussel, keyboards; Barry Stevens, bass; Jermal Watson, drums; Eric Gardner, trumpet; and area musicians including Dan Eikmeier on trumpet and Darren Sterud on trombone, both members of Davina and the Vagabonds
|GDA, Dan Eikmeier, Eric Gardner: Huh?|
I first saw Andrews last July, when he played for the Dakota Street Fest. Driven indoors by a sudden thunderstorm, he burned the house down. He was fantastic, a consummate entertainer. Here’s a review.
No wonder the Dakota brought him back; no wonder I showed up for the Thursday show. Wish I’d gone on Wednesday instead. According to people I’ve talked with who were there, and Strib writer Jon Bream’s blog posting, Wednesday’s show was a party. (Bream’s only cavil was that Glen David Andrews needs to find a better, more memorable stage name, like his cousin Troy Andrews, aka Trombone Shorty, did.)
Thursday never quite pulled together. Maybe it’s because Thursday had an opening act, Davina and the Vagabonds, and that messed with Andrews’ flow. (I’m not complaining about Davina and her group; they were terrific, if a bit ear-splitting.) Maybe Thursday’s crowd was different, not so willing to wave white napkins or scream on command or second-line around the club. Or maybe Andrews was simply off his game.
There were a few very satisfying moments. Like “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” the opener, sung Louis Armstrong-style. With Andrews, a song’s actual lyrics are mere suggestions, a frame on which he hangs pop culture references and whatever else comes into his head: “I’ll be as rich as Oprah, as rich as Lady Gaga….” So it’s fun to hear what he’ll invent next. And he gave a spine-tingling performance of “The Old Rugged Cross,” walking through the club (upstairs and down) without a mic, accompanied only by Kyle Roussel on Hammond B-3, alternately growling and singing falsetto. The man can sing gospel, no doubt.
|GDA on a table|
We stayed through the first set but left before the second. Even great stars have not-so-great nights, which I totally understand. But this went beyond not-so-great to borderline train wreck. Let’s hope the next time Andrews comes through town—which he probably will, given the Dakota’s affection for the music of New Orleans, and Andrews' charisma and reputation as a crowd-pleaser—that he brings the party back.
Photos by John Whiting.
Photos by John Whiting.