Three masters: Mooney, Stone, and Dillon for the Little Gem Saloon, 6/23

The Little Gem Saloon, one of the oldest live music venues in New Orleans, has occasionally been presenting interesting combinations of musicians since they re-reopened a few years back. This Friday night, three master players, Delta slide devotee John Mooney, six-string slinger Marc Stone, and percussion virtuoso Mike Dillon, will come together for an evening of acoustic blues and New Orleans music.

John Mooney was once called “more possessed of the spirit of the blues than any man alive,” by none other than Bonnie Raitt. He learned directly from the great bluesman Son House and therefore has a link to the beginnings of one of the most quintessential of American sounds.

Marc Stone has been digging into the blues for decades as a bandleader, solo performer and sympathetic sideman. His most recent project teamed him with a who’s who of New Orleans music to play the great 1960s funk music of the legendary Eddie Bo. The band, dubbed the New Soul Finders after Bo’s old band, features players who either played with Bo or were directly influenced by him. I saw a recent set at the Little Gem and was struck by how the musicians’ uncanny ability to play Bo’s music blended seamlessly with their own musical personalities and other influences.

Mike Dillon has quietly, at least off the bandstand since he makes a mighty racket with all manner of percussion instruments while playing, become a leading player on the local and national scene adding his vision to a wide range of projects. He also leads his own band, which tours nationally.

The Little Gem Saloon is one of the true birthplaces of jazz in a formerly neglected part of town. The setting is conducive to the music of these three great musicians with excellent sound and superior sight lines. It should be a great night.

Show time is 8 PM. Advance tickets and table reservations are here.


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