Not a person sitting down! Ok let me back up….
Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove is a band out of New Orleans. Kirk is an original founding member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and an amazing Sousaphone (aka Tuba) player. A big hulk of a man with a light bulb of a smile and the sweetest demeanor ever… that wonderful southern gentlemanly gentle giant charm that just warms your heart. I met him last year when I helped organize a Katrina Hurricane Relief Benefit concert over two days in October at the Bamboo Room in Lake Worth . All the NOLA musicians that attended that benefit had looks of concern and worry in their eyes.. yet the music was phenomenal.
Well this time when Kirk visited the Bamboo Room (which by the way is by FAR hands down the BEST venue in all of South Florida) that look of worry was gone… replaced by a glint of happiness to be playing HIS music and on a lil vacation from the devastation of the Crescent City. When Kirk is not playing music he is helping out the Arabi Wrecking Krewe in NOLA who are single handedly restoring musicians and neighbors houses… trying to rebuild their city. Wonderful and admirable! Anyway I digress… Kirk with his band of merry men took the stage about 10pm… and opened with a resounding roar of funk that moved the room! I mean usually it takes a few tunes before people jump up and start dancing in the isles. But in this classy low lit seated listening room full of bamboo and vintage instruments hanging on the walls… a beer menu of so many varieties it takes ten minutes to decide what to try first… everyone was suddenly on their feet at the very start of the first set! And they never sat down! One tune after another… they just banged it out!
They played stuff from their latest album "Sousafunk Ave"which has all the correct combined elements to make a yummy gumbo of sound... amazing brass band funk with some serious guitar wailing and fun vocals and special guests. Just pure entertainment for your ears and your soul! And then they threw in a Miles Davis tribute (it being what would have been Mile's 80th Birthday the day prior) doing All Blues, then The Beatles' Tax Man… back into some serious funk The place was absolutely hoppin' all night long! Guitarist Hiro Mano SHREDDED all night taking amazing solos and stunning the crowd with his prowess, backed by trombone player Mark McGrain, guitarist Jake Eckert (of New Soul Underground) with amazing chops and a distinctive classic sound, and drummer Josh Day (also of New Soul Underground) who insanely enough- this was his very first time playing with this band and he hit it out of the park! Fronted by Kirk who in traditional brass bands is usually in the back, and trumpet player Jamelle Williams who had an amazing stage presence singing traditional New Orleans tunes and getting the crowd amped… the whole show was a ball of energy!
There is a wonderful intimate music scene here in South Florida, and those of us who appreciate the jambands, the jazz and especially the music of New Orleans are always the first in line to see these types of artists when they come here. The crowd knows how to second line, they know how to party, they smile and dance all night and the energy is boundless and extremely contagious. You'd never think there would be such a devoted scene here… but don't be fooled by the outsider's view of Florida being a tourist transient state only. The locals are devoted and ready to dance… and we certainly know what we like. If there are any tickets left over then sure, tourists are welcome to join the fun! But lookout, cause we will be taking up all the room on the dance floor… it's every man for themselves!
And man… we liked Kirk Joesph's Backyard Groove! Yeah you right, Cher!