Saturday, April 20, 2019
The Soggy Po Boys will pay tribute to a trio of New Orleans musical trailblazers at The Dance Hall in Kittery, ME as part of an ongoing series of presentation performances known as Honoring a Tradition. While this series has been known to traverse varied terrain, from the Caribbean’s influence on New Orleans to the funkier stylings of Allen Toussaint or Professor Longhair, the Po Boys will use this installment to juxtapose the swinging, searing and pioneering musics of Fats Waller, Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong.
A return to these artists is a return to early jazz, early Po Boys and the beginning of the Honoring a Tradition series itself (before it was known as such). It was a Saturday in February of 2015 when the Soggy Po Boys first honored Louis Armstrong, humbly, by presenting a night of his music alongside a discussion of his cultural impact. The response was so positive that the band wanted to do more, thus spurring similar dedications to Fats Waller and Sidney Bechet. Though lesser known than Armstrong, Bechet’s contributions and legacy are on par with that of his contemporary. Unlike Sidney and Louis who were born and raised in the Big Easy, Fats came from the Big Apple. Nonetheless, his songwriting and larger-than-life personality endeared him to a number of NOLA musicians, many with whom he collaborated.
The Po Boys have been playing much of this music since their formation in 2012. Needless to say, the band has changed over the years, and with that their approach to the music evolves as they continue to sift through the static of certain recordings in an attempt to more accurately capture their nuance. With that said, it’s almost misleading to describe this show as a return; to play this music is to strike up a new conversation. It asks the performers to articulate a thought or idea, a feeling in real time, and to do it in some compelling accordance with that of those around them. The end result? Fats would claim, “One never knows, do one?”
About the band: Born on a snowy Fat Tuesday night in 2012, the Soggy Po Boys have been honing their craft of New Orleans music in their Tuesday residency in their home town of Dover, New Hampshire. The septet doesn’t just play their weekly gig and call it at that; they fit in more than a hundred shows every year, from festivals and concerts to politically-relevant burlesque collaborations and street parades. The Soggy Po Boys are Stuart Dias (lead vocals, guitar), Eric Klaxton (saxophone, clarinet), Zach Lange (trumpet), Nick Mainella (saxophone), Mike Effenberger (piano), Brett Gallo (drums) and Scott Kiefner (bass).
This is a seated event.