Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fishead Stew at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall

Left to right: Camile Baudoin & Dave Malone
When the iconic New Orleans funk band the Radiators split in 2011 after 33 years together, vocalist/guitarist Dave Malone and guitarist Camile Baudoin were not ready to retire. In short time, they formed fluid collectives including Raw Oyster Cult and Fishead Stew to continue the tradition of the Radiators. Meanwhile, the original Radiators band is reuniting for three hometown shows in January 2015, and this could develop into another national tour.

A pre-Christmas jam at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall was billed as "A Dirty Ho Ho Ho Down." Although the name of the Radiators was featured prominently in the advertising, the band was most likely Fishead Stew. For this event, the band consisted of Malone, Baudoin, keyboardist Mark Rechler (Neville Brothers, the Meters, Soulive, Rebirth Brass Band, Icons of Funk), bassist Dave Pomerleau (Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes), and drummer Eric Bolivar (Anders Osborne, Pimps of Joytime). The sum of the parts resulted in a set of lengthy New Orleans-styled funk jams that moved and grooved. At least seven of the songs were from the vast Radiators catalog. The show opened with an eight-minute version of Raw Oyster Cult's "Work It," followed by the Radiators' "Confidential" and "Barnburner," and a 10-minute Grateful Dead-styled version of Bonnie Dobson's "Morning Dew." Opening act Jen Durkin joined the band for a Janis Joplin-styled "Piece of My Heart," the Band's "The Weight" and the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'." The second set opened with a nearly 11-minute version of the Radiators' "Papaya." Fronted by Malone's rhythm & blues singing, punctuated by the sparkling twin guitar work of Malone and Baudoin and backed by the bouncy, rocking funk improvisations from the whole team, this was solid music that even smelled and tasted like the swamps and bayous of Louisiana.