Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jazz Fest 2014, Day 5: Frank reviews The Lustre Kings, dodges the rain, and finds Lucky Peterson

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Albany's The Lustre Kings are a fine example of more than one style of music living together in harmony. Yes, the band offers vintage classics, or a vintage lens which to listen through. But the hillbilly side of the Lustre Kings goes toe to toe with its jazzier/swing side. Generally that equation would equal rockabilly -- Gene Vincent et all -- but the Lustre kings play as varied as the music is frenzied, like a rock 'n' roll encyclopedia.

click to enlarge The Lustre Kings played Abilene. - PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
  • PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
  • The Lustre Kings played Abilene.

The band laid this knowledge at the dancing feet of two packed Abilene tents. The band's towering front man, Mark Gamsjager led a swinging arsenal -- guitar, doghouse bass, drums, two saxes, and a lap steel -- as it chipped away at a mostly original set peppered with twang-tastic takes on stuff from Link Wray and Louis Prima. The Lustre Kings are about as much fun you can have with your pants on.

click to enlarge The Lustre Kings played Abilene. - PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
  • PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
  • The Lustre Kings played Abilene.
click to enlarge The Lustre Kings played Abilene. - PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
  • PHOTO BY FRANK DE BLASE
  • The Lustre Kings played Abilene.

The rain dampened my tramping about with a bag of cameras, but I was able to deftly dodge the drops and catch Lucky Peterson at the Harro East Ballroom. I watched the former Buffalo native burn the joint down. Holy shit, he was amazing.

Starting off on the organ and dressed like a day-glo Easter egg, Peterson and his band thundered and roared mightier than the weather outside. A few tunes into the set, he picked up his big, red guitar and that's when the blue sparks really flew.

And Peterson, who is quite nimble for such a corpulent gentleman, jumped off the stage and into the crowd where he strutted and preened calling upon SRV and Willie Dixon. By the time the man was finished, the weather outside had relented, replacing its stubborn inclemency with the biggest rainbow I've ever seen.

Diane Schuur tomorrow, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

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