Eddie Bo and Band Sit In On Big Sam's Set
Man, after two weeks of gloom an doom, I was ready for a release and got it at the 307 Jazz Club in downtown Lafayette this past Firday night. Not only was Big Sam's Funky Nation there, but as an added surprise, before the second set started, Eddie Bo and his band took the stage and did four numbers that had the full house (including a number of displaced New Orleanians) shouting out for joy.
Big Sam's drummer, the fantastic Eddie Christmas, and his trumpeter were a little late getting to town, so he started the first set with Eddie Bo's drummer and sax player, who came to play and sounded like they'd been with the band all along. After a couple of songs, the rest of Sam's band took over, joined by guest keyboardist Lenny McDaniel (who has relocated to Lafayette from New Orleans, I hear), and let loose with about 45 minutes of in yo' face funk that had the crowd dancing, bouncing, and revelating. Mr. Big himself, who for a large guy can shimmy dance with the best of 'em, was especially on fire, coming out into the crowd to dance and blow his trombone towards the rattling rafters.
After a brief break, Mr. Bo and his band came up and, to the delight of the crowd, broke into "Big Chief", followed by a funkified version of "You Are My Sunshine", his own classic and timely "Check Your Bucket", and closed with a soulful "Georgia". It was just so welcomed, amazing, and reassuring to hear him and Big Sam again live in a club. I felt uplifted and told Eddie's sister, who I had met earlier, as I was leaving the club, "Somehow, I think everything is going to be alright". Music truly heals. It needs to return to New Orleans ASAP.