Many bands play the songs of James Brown, but very few play the music. The fine folks from the Perrier Lounge will be celebrating the 80th birthday of the inimitable Godfather of Soul with a tribute show at the Maple Leaf Bar. The set starts at 2 AM after Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes.
The musical entertainment will be the New Orleans Soul Stars. This super group features some of the funkiest musicians in the Crescent City including Tony Hall on vocals and guitar, Renard Poche on guitar and trombone, Raymond Webber on drums, and Calvin Turner on bass.
The horn section features Tracy Griffin on trumpet, Roderick Paulin, “the Maceo Parker of New Orleans,” and Jeff Watkins on saxophones. Watkins was the featured soloist in the James Brown Band for the last twelve years. James Brown called Watkins, “the 9th wonder of the world.”
Here’s the story of how the gig came about. On Christmas Eve 2006, Henri Perrier was celebrating with family and friends. “As the night came to a close, we turned off all the lights except for the Christmas tree, and sat there and listened to the James Brown Christmas Album,” Perrier said.
At the same time, James Brown was spending the last moments of his glorious life in a Georgia hospital. “When I awoke on Christmas morning and found out that James Brown had departed this earthly existence, I told myself right then and there that we had to do a New Orleans tribute to James Brown,” Perrier said.
“Not only was James Brown one of the greatest musical entertainers of all time, he was also a great American, strongly advocating education, civil rights, and self-reliance.”
See you there!