Soggy Po Boys w/The Smackdabs

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Soggy Po Boys bring the patty back to the Lizard with the Smackdabs

Although New Hampshire isn’t the most obvious home for a group so devoted to the culture of The Big Easy, the Soggy Po’ Boys seem genuine in their ambition to spread the word about jazz New Orleans style, and they’re creating an accessible and fun way into this world.”

-London Jazz News

The Soggy Po Boys, native to New England, have quickly become an institution. They are spreading the good news of New Orleans music across the northeast and beyond, playing at concert halls and street corners; music festivals and burlesque festivals; bars and libraries; wherever the party requires. Part of the beauty of New Orleans music is that it’s celebrated and appreciated wherever it goes, from the street to the theater.

The Po Boys formed in 2012 to shake the walls of a local club on a Fat Tuesday but have honed their sound and become more than a Mardi Gras centerpiece. Exploring the vast musical traditions of New Orleans and expanding their repertoire to look beyond NOLA jazz, the band includes traditional Caribbean tunes (it’s been said that New Orleans is the northernmost city in the Caribbean), as well as Meters funk, soul, and brass band / street beat music. “…These guys have done their homework, worked it out on the bandstand and put in the hours in the studio. It all adds up to a party you can bring with you when you want to treat your friends to a real good time.” -Ben Schenck of New Orleans’ Panorama Jazz Band”.There are a myriad of traditions that flow into New Orleans culture just as there are tributaries that feed the Mississippi, and the Po Boys are eager to explore what makes the music of New Orleans so damn special. You’ll hear the heavy influence of the New Orleans sound across the band and in the stories told by their original tunes. Despite the scope of its sound, the outfit is only seven people, and thrives on the interplay and group dynamics that bring this music to life.

Some of those Blues and Swing cross-pollinations occurred at the Bluebird label, a subsidiary of RCA Victor, with the recordings of Tampa Red, Washboard Sam, and Big Bill Broonzy. According to music critic Jas Obrecht, “following the pop trends of the day, releases by Tampa Red and the Chicago Five, a studio band with guitar, piano, string bass, and clarinet and kazoo (later replaced by sax and trumpet), were aimed at tavern jukeboxes.” These sides featured the raw, improvisatory energy of the best Swing, but also featured elements from Blues, Hokum, and Jug band traditions, with the associated sexual innuendo of its double entendre lyrical content.

The Smack Dabs’ sound is influenced by a mélange of musical styles. The band gets its instrumental configuration from Tampa Red and his Chicago Five, improvisational vitality from the small Black Swing combo, and swagger from risqué Blues. The Smack Dabs celebrate the bawdy, joyous, inclusive character of this music and is dedicated to honoring those who made it great.


The Smack Dabs

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