REVIEW / PHOTOS / VIDEO: 7 Walkers @ Tipitina’s – 10/18/11

REVIEW / PHOTOS / VIDEO: 7 Walkers @ Tipitina's - 10/18/11

Bill Kreutzmann of 7 Walkers @ Tipitina's - 10/18/11 | Photo © Erika Goldring

of @ Tipitina's - 10/18/11 | Photo © Erika Goldring

A special thanks to Erika Goldring for sharing her photos with us

When esteemed actors have been around the game too long, they tend to make horrendous films together (see Grown Ups, Wild Hogs, anything Ice Cube has been up to as of late). But when road-tested musicians Bill Kreutzmann, , , and Matt Hubbard got together Tuesday night at a tapestry’d Tipitina’s, they looked and sounded like a vibrant, young band – anything but washed up.

7 Walkers @ Tipitina's - 10/18/11 | Photo © Erika Goldring

Combining the space-rock of Kreutzmann’s Dead with the New Orleans flavor of Mali, Porter, and a handful of special guests, 7 Walkers resurrected a number of  classics, and played a healthy amount of tunes from their 2010 self-titled debut LP (original material penned with the aid of famed Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter).

7 Walkers Set List @ Tipitina's - 10/18/11 | Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis

From the moment I entered Tipitina’s, it was plain to see 7 Walkers came to steal some face – and take the opportunity to get the well-worn tie-dyes out from the dresser drawers.  The balcony and backdrop were draped in multi-colored tapestries, an oil paint artist was waiting for the first set to start so he could begin an improv experiment (a la STS9 live painting), a dead head by the bar was counting the multiple tie-dye’s draped over his shoulder. Best of all, Professor Longhair overlooked the band below, cosmically lit up in kaleidoscopic fashion from the first note through the second encore. Fall’s first chill winds blew in through the doors as the quartet opened with Grateful Dead’s “Space”, quickly warming up as the band segued into a funky rendition of the always-poignant “He’s Gone.”  Effortlessly interspersing Dead classics like “Bird Song”, a healthy sampling of their new material, and a Meters staple (“Just Kissed My Baby”), 7 Walkers tore their way through set one – with a little help from the one and only Big Sam on “Eyes of the World” and the 7W original stone groove instrumental “For the Love of Mr. Okra” before set break.

Big Sam with 7 Walkers @ Tipitina's - 10/18/11 | Photo by Erika Goldring

The second set brought even more local talent out on stage as members Aaron Wilkinson and Chris Mule lent their talents to “Ripple.”  And because three guests are better than two, 7 Walkers followed up that tune by bringing Big Sam, Efrem Towns, and Kevin Harris () out for “New Orleans Crawl”, “Deal”, and “Lovelight” (see video below) – a holy trinity of New Orleans brass shining a new light on some old Jerry jams.  The seven man band went back to the original four for a strong finish that included a soulful rendition of the band’s namesake tune and a funky double encore that kept Professor Longhair illuminated in psychedelic hues well into the night.

Papa Mali mentioned just before “Evangeline” – a song he dedicated to his granddaughter – that the show was being recorded for a live release.  Check back for updates on a release date, until then enjoy the Lovelight below.

7 Walkers – Turn On Your Lovelight

October 21, 2011 |  by  |  Photos, Reviews, Videos
 
  • Dr Mauri Collins

    Thanks for the raves on the tapestries on the stage and the light show – so proud of my son Benjammin (of benjammindyes.com)

  • Jack Of Roses

    Good reveiw for all things positive about the show. There were some really rocking moments coming from a beautiful fusion. I hope some of these psychodelic seeds take root among the NOLA brass crowd. Dem Boys seemed right at home with streching the consciousness with those horn sounds.
    However, for the review to be honest someone needs to say that the sound quality suffered heavily throughout the night. The mixer let a fuzzy haze creep onto Mali’s over-reaching licks. Also, Mali himself, who is so Dead-On with much of the material (ie. He’s Gone, New Speedway Boogie, Mr. Charlie…and many more of the sort) needs to practice a bit more humility as he approaches the more challenging material Jerry has left us. The fuzzy soundboard droaning does not account for Mali’s inability to pull off a Deal. Or that his gritty voice, again, so perfect for many Dead tunes can do nothing but insult the memory of Janice when attempting a Birdsong (Papa M. – Please don’t try Stella Blue or China Doll either). I guess nobody has yet cared enough to tell him. Boys stick to what you do so well. Think it over before over-reaching. My honest opinion is that between the soundboard fuzz and the songs that flopped some engineer is going to have a tough time culling a large live album out of this show. I’ll be waiting to miss what I heard if the release is completed.
    Do what ya do well boys. Leave the rest alone.
    Billy – thanks for keeping the beat. We love you.

    Jack Of Roses 

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