It’s a tough time for people in New Orleans. It’s a tough time for people everywhere, I know. But it’s where I am, and where I’ve worked for the last decade, so I’m feelin’ it.
Everybody on planet Earth is familiar with Mardi Gras. Hundreds of thousands of people come to the Crescent City every year to celebrate. Not this year. Not with all of the Covid restrictions in place. Mayor LaToya Cantrell put the hammer down. No bars open. No fun stuff allowed. No Mardi Gras.
Last year at this time, Mardi Gras was a couple of weeks away. Things were normal. My band was playing four nights a week and doing well. Covid-19 was in the news, but there were zero restrictions put in place. Life was good.
A month later we were shut down just like the rest of the world. Since then, bands in this neck of the woods have still been playing…only outside of the city. The “lifers” have continued to get whatever gig they can. There have been venues that have been accommodating…affording the opportunity for musicians to do what they do.
My pick this week was easy. As soon as I saw this video, I knew I was going to feature it. It’s the perfect timing; expressing the genuine sentiment that people feel in this city. New Orleans is a place that is historically rich in music; so it stands to reason that musicians are going to keep playing no matter what.
Full disclosure…these are people I know personally. The drummer is a member of my Bourbon Street band. I’ve shared the stage with the singer a time or two, the keyboard player a boatload of times, and I’ve met the other members. But I’m not screwing around here. I challenge you to go through the previous Video of the Week selections and find something that doesn’t kick ass.
Phaze V is made up of New Orleans’ area elite players. These guys are no joke. Although some have had experience on Bourbon Street, they’re not shackled to the song selection that is expected to entertain a tourist crowd. You’re not going to hear “Jessie’s Girl” at a Phaze V show.
Instead, you’re going to hear some killer songs. Most will be familiar, but few will have been performed by any cover band you’re seen before. All, however, will be delivered with care. If you’ve been a music fan for decades like I have, you will appreciate the art in this band’s song selection. It also helps that every member is really good at what they do.
“Baby Come Back” was a #1 Billboard hit in 1977 for the rock band Player. With its rich harmonies, it’s not a song you’ll hear played often. But Phaze V has it covered. Videographer Tim Mcaskill captured the live performance and spliced it in with scenes from in and around the city of New Orleans in better times.
Watch the video below…and share this article, too.
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