Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kevin Sekhani at The House Of Blues Foundation Room, NOLA Dec.10th, 2010

I was looking at Facebook and Kevin sent out a message that he had some comp tickets for the show so I sent him a message. He put Dan and I on the list.

This was last minute, so we hurried up and got dressed and we were out the door at 8:45 headed to NOLA. We got to the Quarter about 9:05. As we were headed to One Canal Place to park, we got to see Chad Willis walking down the street with his Bass. We had seen Chad the night before at another concert with Juan Nunez, so it was a little surprise for us. Of course, we knew that these musicians all work together a lot. I was interested in hearing Chad play a different type of music.
Kevin Sekhani photo by Patty McGehee

Esther and Kevin photo by Patty McGehee

This was my first time going to the Foundation Room. It is a private club.  The decor is lavish, to say the least and The House Of Blues has spared no expense on this place. The area for the band set up is in front of the fireplace mantle. There are wonderful sofas to sit on. There are wall paintings, elaborate carved coffered ceilings, and nude statues in decorated niches  at the entrances to the rest rooms. The floor coverings in certain areas appeared to be real Persian rugs. I peeked into the dining room and it was lovely. I recognised several Saints players eating in the private dining nooks. Dan made a comment about them needing to be ready to play on Sunday and it was really a late night for them to be out.
Chad Willis photo by Patty McGehee

After looking all around,  we greeted the band and visited before the show. I teased Chad that I was "stalking" him because I had been to the last five shows he had played. We made small talk and Kevin explained that because the crowd was the "in and out" type, he would repeat his important songs when he saw waves of new people enter the club. The sets were not arranged concert style, but as background music to the happenings at the bar.

Greg Walls photo by Patty McGehee

We had to sit sharing a seat for part of the night until a group moved from a sofa and then we had primo seats right up front facing the band. It was like sitting in a comfortable living room. I was awed at how wonderful it all was. Kevin's band was made up of Kevin singing and on guitar, Chad Willis on Double Bass, Esther Tyree on fiddle, and Greg Walls on drums.

The music was very good, Americana style roots style music. Kevin had spent quite a number of years in Austin and the songs reflected that but that Lafayette roots style music rared its head up in the music. It was a very pleasing. To hear Esther's traditional Cajun style of fiddle right in the middle of the Austin sound made it unique. Chad is just about the best bass player I have heard in ages. He was awesome and Greg's drums were just powerful enough and did not over power the acoustic instruments.

Kevin's  song "Oil Field Tan" was wonderful. My favorite song of the night was "Wrong Direction." It has an emotional feel that seeps in your psyche. It got played a couple of times that night because of the changing crowd.

Esther and Chad did an intense jam at one point with emphasis on the fiddle. Esther shined. Kevin's voice has built in  heartfelt conviction: He writes all of this stuff. Impressive.

During a break, Greg Walls came over and talked to us about all of the projects he works on, including those with his other band, The Canes. It was good to get to know Greg a little better.

We left out the at night a bit shy of the end of the show. I was out of energy and had to throw in the towel. Dan drove us back to Ponchatoula. I laid back in my seat and drifted off to sleep.  I kept hearing that song "Wrong Direction" over and over in my head.

Since then, Kevin has been very popular in Lafayette and The Times of Acadiana  just published an article about his return to Lafayette from living in Austin. If you can, get out and catch one of his shows soon.

Patty McGehee

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