Broussard Rocks the Old Rock House
It's a Thursday night in the Lou and I'm sitting on a black leather couch, strewn with pillows next to two very intense ladies eating sliders and playing Candy Crush on their phones. Sitting across from us are two couples, trendy in their choice of outfit, and carrying on a conversation while the waitress brings them their orders of hummus and veggies.
The top knots, beards and craft beer are alive and well in this room.
As I look around the venue, I take note of a few things. One, the parking situation is decent. I have parked in a side lot and there is a guard on site, so I feel fairly secure in the fact that the handful of change I keep in my center console as well as my Ambrosia's Greatest Hits CD which happens to
be laying on my dashboard will certainly be there when I walk back out to my
car in a few hours. Two, there is a decent menu. I was happily surprised to
see that vegetarians and meat eaters alike can walk away with a full belly. Third, top shelf tequila.
The venue itself is a two story building, old school brick with a nice sized patio attached for the last of the diligent smokers to get their fix. The dance floor takes up what space could be used for more tables and once you get past a certain point in the rectangular shaped house, you can't see the talent unless you are standing up and rubbernecking. They try to make up for that by displaying the show on monitors throughout the joint which is a nice touch.
The walk to the bathroom is a bit odd down a hallway of black drapes and twists and turns. It was reminiscent of an old haunted house you'd go to, just waiting for someone in a bad mask to jump out at you. There was one lone man selling merchandise at the front table who neither spoke, nor looked like he wanted to be spoken to. The ambience was good all-around though, so the few oddities (and there were only a few) were overlooked quickly.
Then the opener comes on.
Jamie Kent who Rolling Stone calls an artist you need to know.
Well. I'm here now, Mr. Kent. Show me what you've got.
He opens with "Prince of Pain". I immediately dig him. A lot.
He's got a laid back Dylan-ish modern folky feel mixed with a little bit of funk. He's country meets hipster, but he pulls it off. The band backs him well and you can tell that they really enjoy what they are doing up there, and what they are doing up there is making everyone down in the audience happy. Rhees Williams masters the stand-up bass spin and Dan and Ryan have the rest of the instruments and backing vocals covered. They progressed with a boys versus girls sing-a-long that ended up creating the illusion of being in a pub in Ireland dueling vocals. It was a little rowdy and a lot of fun. Everyone got in on the action and Jamie wrapped it all up in perfect timing.
He ended his set with a cover of Britney Spears "Baby One More Time"
which to me was a little awkward, but he pulled off a decent version and the
audience enjoyed singing along to something that they all knew. All in all, Jamie Kent pulled off a good opener and I was right there in line to purchase his album "All American Mutt".
It's definitely worth the ten spot I shelled out for it.
This is what I came for.
I've been following him for years and I have loved what he's been putting out. Not only has he released a half dozen plus albums of original content, he's put out two cover LPs in which he pulls out all the stops with Etta James, Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Otis Redding remakes. They are in fact INCREDIBLE and you'd be remiss if you didn't visit his website and purchase them immediately. (Save Our Soul and Save Our Soul vol. 2)
Now, on with the show.
He opens with a ballad.
Strange choice for an opener, but he obviously knows what he's doing
because the place is packed at this point. Marc walked out onto the stage, no
fanfare, just picked up his guitar and began to play. "Leave the Light On" was
a slow first choice and it settled the peeps down.
After he calmed the spirits, he went to work.
He broke into "Lucky", immediately followed with "Try Me" and then brought the house down with the funk trifecta and rolled out "Fire on the Bayou." He was seriously channeling his Al Green influences and then proved it with an awesome cover of "Love and Happiness". He owned the place and even though he knew it, he did it without pomp. He just did his thing. And his thing was AWESOME.
After he had the joint jumping, he brought it back down with "Lonely Nigh in Georgia".
He plays to the fans like a perfectly thought out mix tape.
He starts you off nice and smooth, takes you on a musical ride, and then brings you slowly back down to chill mode. And he does it all with his smooth,
bluesy, New Orleans feel.
It was a great show and even though his guitar player looked like he should have been hanging out with a young Joe Strummer in his Clash days, the whole band did a great job.
If you get the chance to see him, buy the ticket and take the ride. You won't be sorry.
Old Rock House, thanks for bringing the talent once again.