Venue: Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide
Season: 9pm Sat 19th June 2011
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: adult $35/conc $31/Green Room $19.95
Bookings: BASS 131 241 or http://www.bass.net.au
Adelaide’s Swing Dancers were out in force to dance to the music of New Orleans based group, Tuba Skinny, who presented a string of 1920s and 30s jazz and blues numbers. The six person group consists of Todd Burdick (Winfield Newton Burdick III) on tuba, Kiowa Wells on guitar and vocals, Erika Lewis on vocals, Barnabus Jones on trombone, Robin Rapuzzi on washboard and Shaye Cohn on cornet. They began as a street band in New Orleans, busking on street corners with huge success. Now they tour and have just released their second CD.
The Banquet Room was packed solidly with many people sitting on the floor when the seating around the tables ran out, and the dance floor filled with dancers from start to finish. Enormous applause followed every number and the band played two encores before they were allowed to leave the stage.
Kiowa Wells often sounds remarkably like the great Django Reinhardt, as well as adding some exciting vocals, and Shaye Cohn plays some great plunger mute work on the cornet. Erika Lewis provides most of the vocals and has a fine way of getting deep inside the blues numbers as well as swinging the jazz songs. Robin Rapuzzi generates a driving rhythm on washboards that the dancers, especially, appreciated and Todd Burdick and Barnabus Jones provide a solid bass line and harmony lines.
Together, these six make a tight unit that plays very authentic sounding traditional New Orleans music filled with enthusiasm and fun. It is a long time since jazz was born in the brothels of Storyville but that style of playing is still going strong and will continue to do so as long as there are people like this that love playing it and it was obvious that hey loved it a lot.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.