Every year at the New Orleans Jazz Fest there is a tradition known as the “NOLA Superjam,” where a band is put together of musicians that do not normally or have never played together. In 2003, a new and lasting band was born and they have played every Jazz Fest since.
Known throughout the NOLA funk scene and beyond as one of the hottest combinations to ever make up the superjam, Dragon Smoke focuses around the Bay Area’s own Eric Lindell and his patented blue-eyed soul style. Ivan Neville, the centerpiece of the ineffably funky R&B of Dumpstaphunk, shares the vocal duties with Lindell and the pair are supported by the foundations of groove machine Galactic.
The band is named for the venue they first collaborated in: NOLA’s Dragon’s Den. Given the immensely chaotic schedules of each member and the difficulty in dealing with three different recording and touring schedules, Dragon Smoke has yet to perform outside of the New Orleans Jazz Fest or the occasional Bay Area expedition.
Opening their California run next Tuesday, November 29 in Los Angeles, Dragon Smoke moves north to Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz on Wednesday. On Thursday, December 1 they will be as far north as HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol, but return to San Francisco for two shows at The Independent on Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3.
Each stop features a new opener, so for the true die-hards of funk it would certainly be worth catching as much of the run as possible. In Santa Cruz, Reno-based Jelly Bread will be opening. For the first night at The Independent, preeminent NOLA percussionist Mike Dillon and his band will be opening. Opening the final evening at The Independent will be Andy Frasco and The U.N. It would most certainly not be out of the question for Dragon Smoke to invite any of these seasoned musicians and friends onstage.
Dragon Smoke, Jelly Bread
November 30, 2016
8pm, $25 (21+)
Dragon Smoke, Mike Dillon Band
December 2, 2016
8:30pm, $35 (21+)
Dragon Smoke, Andy Frasco and The U.N.
December 3, 2016
8:30pm, $35 (21+)