Anyone who is a fan of Treme will recognize Rogan as “The Real Davis” of the critically acclaimed series that effectively captures the post-Katrina New Orleans music scene. Longtime Parrot patrons may recognize him from his Green Parrot gigs a dozen or so years back when he exploded onto the Parrot stage with his band All That, the infamous and first-of-its-kind funk/rap/New Orleans band.
Rogan’s band that will play at the Parrot this week is a quartet with Efrem Townes, ET, from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band on trumpet; Loyola University music professor Jimbo Walsh on bass (he’s played with Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe); and on drums Jeff Hebert, who has played with Theressa Anderson and Mem Shannon.
All That’s Green Parrot gigs were legendary, with their free-wheeling style and masterful musicianship that left an indelible impression on the Parrot faithful and created a beachhead for other NOLA acts that followed, including The New Orleans Klezmer Allstars, Galactic and Papa Grows Funk.
Davis’ official bio states, “If you take the enthusiasm and playfulness of early New Orleans rhythm and blues, add to that the cynical wit of Randy Newman, the rock meets jazz sensibilities of early Steely Dan, and the mocking humor that runs through the works of Professor Longhair, Allen Toussait, Frank Zappa, and Earl King, you begin to describe the music of ‘The Real Davis’.”
Davis’ first solo record, “The Once and Future D.J.” was lost to the floodwaters of the Katrina levee failures, but another copy surfaced and it came out while Davis was having his “evacu-cation” in New York. Although funky, “The Once and Future D.J.” is not funk. It’s great songs with witty yet meaningful lyrics that might be taken right out of a person’s life.
In the first issue that New Orleans music magazine Offbeat put out after the flood, critic John Swenson gave it a deservedly great review. Producer David Simon, head honcho of HBO’s The Wire, read the review and heard the record while researching a new series about post-Katrina New Orleans that he was going to pitch to HBO. He loved the record enough to base a character on Davis Rogan. That’s how we get to “The Real Davis,” in contrast to the “The Cable Davis” played by the great Steve Zahn on Treme.
Following the format as in past shindigs, the meeting will begin at 8 p.m. with a workshop for those just starting out on the instrument. Basic instruction will be provided, as well as chord and song sheets.
At 9 p.m. there will be featured performers, an open mic and a play-along in no particular order. For those who have missed the past meetings, try to carve out a few hours for this. You won’t be sorry.
Dig out that old ukulele from your attic or closet and strum your way into a four-string stupor at Green Parrot Ukulele Night, Key West’s only ukulele-powered jam session.
Come to just listen or join in. All levels are welcome and remember, spare ukes and instruction are available for those who want to try them out.