Dave Jordan and the
NIA bring No Losers Tonight to the Maple Leaf Bar, 6/10

Friday night the place to be is at the Maple Leaf Bar in uptown New Orleans for a performance by Dave Jordan and the Neighborhood Improvement Association. This show is coming on the heels of a very successful Jazz Fest performance which found new and old fans dancing ecstatically on the small, grassy area in front of the Lagniappe stage.

Jordan’s new album, No Losers Tonight, is his first billed with the band, reflecting the fact that the ensemble has settled into a consistent lineup featuring Mike Doussan on electric guitar, Andre Bohren on drums, Will Repholz on bass, Chris Plyant on drums, and Harry Hardin on violin. Jordan plays acoustic guitar.

The album was produced by Jeff Watkins, currently the saxophonist with the New Orleans Suspects and James Brown’s last bandleader, and coproduced by Jordan and Doussan. Guitarist Joe Armitage and Doussan contributed to the songwriting. The leader stresses that it is, “very much a group record.”

Jordan is a dynamic songwriter, crafting tunes that run the gamut from uptempo rave rockers to mid tempo soul groovers and wistful ballads. The songs reflect many of the aspects of life in New Orleans from the party-on attitude of the title cut, won’t-get-fooled-again-by-the-ubiquitous chicanery in “This Time Around,” and come-hither sexual energy in “Smoke.” The latter tune has some of Jordan’s most intricate wordplay and the hook, “…like trying to catch smoke with your bare hands” is classic rock in the best sense of the word.


The band on the recording is in fine form with Doussan, a monster of a lead player, insuring the integrity of the guitar parts and Watkins a meticulous and detail oriented veteran who played with Jordan’s funk band Juice when he first moved to New Orleans, perfecting much of the tone of the recording, engineering and mixing. Harry Hardin, a founding member of Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, is the band’s secret weapon bringing a moving, melancholic feel to the slower numbers.


The album sounds like a snapshot of a specific place and time in New Orleans as well as in Jordan’s life. The songs really breathe on this recording, but the best way to hear them is live on stage when the band stretches out and feeds off the energy of their ever-increasing fan base.

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