"Such a Night" feat: Dr. John, Charles Neville, & Soul Brass Band

A Mardi Gras Musical Celebration To Benefit Blues to Green!

"Such a Night" feat: Dr. John, Charles Neville, & Soul Brass Band

Sat · February 25, 2017

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Reserved Seating- $45 & $30 // $75 (includes a VIP pre-show reception with Dr. John!)

Blues to Green is a new nonprofit organization using music to bring people together, uplift and inspire, and help to build a more equitable and sustainable world. Activities include performances, public talks, multi-media presentations, workshops and instructional programs—striving to promote accessibility to the arts, raise awareness about social and environmental issues, and provide educational and artistic opportunities for underserved youth. We also seek to generate support for local partner organizations contributing to sustainable community development and youth empowerment through the arts.

 

"Such a Night" feat: Dr. John, Charles Neville, & Soul Brass Band
"Such a Night" feat: Dr. John, Charles Neville, & Soul Brass Band
Although he didn't become widely known until the 1970s, Dr. John had been active in the music industry since the late '50s, when the teenager was still known as Mac Rebennack. A formidable boogie and blues pianist with a lovable growl of a voice, his most enduring achievements fused with New Orleans R&B, rock, and Mardi Gras craziness to come up with his own brand of "voodoo" music. He's also quite accomplished and enjoyable when sticking to purely traditional forms of blues and R&B. On record, he veers between the two approaches, making for an inconsistent and frequently frustrating legacy that often makes the listener feel as if "the Night Tripper" (as he's nicknamed himself) has been underachieving.

In the late '50s, Rebennack gained prominence in the New Orleans R&B scene as a session keyboardist and guitarist, contributing to records by Professor Longhair, Frankie Ford, and Joe Tex. He also recorded some overlooked singles of his own, and by the '60s had expanded into production and arranging. After a gun accident damaged his hand in the early '60s, he gave up the guitar to concentrate exclusively on keyboards. Skirting trouble with the law and drugs, he left the increasingly unwelcome environs of New Orleans in the mid-'60s for Los Angeles, where he found session work with the help of fellow New Orleans expatriate Harold Battiste. Rebennack renamed himself Dr. John, The Night Tripper when he recorded his first album, Gris-Gris. According to legend, this was hurriedly cut with leftover studio time from a Sonny & Cher session, but it never sounded hastily conceived. In fact, its mix of New Orleans R&B with voodoo sounds and a tinge of psychedelia was downright enthralling, and may have resulted in his greatest album.

Charles, the second oldest Neville brother, has the most diverse musical background. His experience on saxophone has included rhythm & blues, funk, jazz, be-bop, popular and even American Indian music. He cites as influences Louis Jordan, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Professor Longhair. He is also the only brother that lived away from New Orleans for long periods of time, making places like New York, Memphis and Oregon his home. Exposed to music in the Neville household, Charles started playing saxophone before he reached his teens. At the age of 12, he joined the band at school. He and his brother Art formed a band called Turquoise while teenagers. As did brothers Art and Aaron, Charles also played briefly with the Hawketts. By the time he was 15, he had quit school, and was on the road with Gene Franklin & the Houserockers - part of a traveling variety show.

After his road tour, Charles returned to New Orleans, where he had the good fortune to play in the house band of the Dew Drop Inn. In the 1950's, the Dew Drop was a major venue for nationally known musicians and local New Orleans talent, and the experience left a lasting impression on Charles. From 1954 to 1956, Charles was on the road backing rhythm & blues greats like Johnny Ace, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Big Maybelle, James Brown, B.B. King, Bobby Bland and Ray Charles. Not ignoring his hometown, he also played saxophone behind Allen Toussaint, James Booker, Ernie K-Doe and Huey "Piano" Smith.

Blues to Green is a new nonprofit organization using music to bring people together, uplift and inspire, and help to build a more equitable and sustainable world. Activities include performances, public talks, multi-media presentations, workshops and instructional programs—striving to promote accessibility to the arts, raise awareness about social and environmental issues, and provide educational and artistic opportunities for underserved youth. We also seek to generate support for local partner organizations contributing to sustainable community development and youth empowerment through the arts.
Venue Information:
Academy of Music Theatre
274 Main Street
Northampton, MA, 01060
http://aomtheatre.com/