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Monday, 09 June 2014 09:46

Concert review: Marc Broussard absorbs Mingo Fishtrap into a night of soulfully funky grooves at the Old Rock House, Thursday, June 5

Concert review: Marc Broussard absorbs Mingo Fishtrap into a night of soulfully funky grooves at the Old Rock House, Thursday, June 5 vanguardrecords.com
Written by Wil Wander
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The early bird gets the worm, but it was the early crowd that filled the tables at the Old Rock House long before the first strum of guitar on Thursday. On stage, the congestion of the floor was matched by the clutter of the eight-piece Mingo Fishtrap, set to open the show. The Austin-based band broke the ice with comforting instrumental introduction, but by the time they dropped the first groove, the floor space had already disappeared from sight.

Lead by Roger Blevins, Jr. on vocals and guitar, Mingo Fishtrap combines funk and soul with a hint of the blues to create a southern flavored blend well paired with the Louisiana style of the headliner. With nearly two decades of music under their belt, Blevins' crew had drawn a sizeable crowd of their own and delivered a set bound to please. With Junior's guitar and soulful vocals at the helm, the octet features Dane Farnsworth on the keys, including an organ with a Leslie style rotating amplifier and a synthesizer armed with a vocoder. They pack the team of Chip Vayenas and Mikel Urdy on drums and percussion respectively with a three piece horn section of Steve Butts, Dan Bechdolt and Zol Waterhouse and even Roger Blevins, Sr. on bass.

Despite the shorter set, every member of Mingo Fishtrap was afforded many options to impress. Featuring many songs from their newest release "On Time," the band scrapped their manicured set list midway through and winged it, letting the groove lead the show, which ultimately inspired a sizeable medley, largely of James Brown songs. The horns were active, playing almost entirely peppy, unison parts, but breaking into solos of all styles along the way. Ultimately, it was an incredibly funky extended solo from Farnsworth on the organ and synthesizer with vocoder that stood out in the set.

With the eight piece set-up on stage, a long break between sets could have been anticipated to strike the stage. However, the stage was left largely untouched and Marc Broussard casually stepped to the microphone, causing a small rush of stragglers to once again stuff the floor full. Son of Boogie Kings' guitarist Ted Broussard, Marc was no stranger to the stage throughout his early life, but it 2002's "Momentary Setback" that broke him into the touring scene and started to gather attention for songwriting and a voice that inspires even the most cautious audiophile to go without earplugs. His 2004 home town titled "Carencro" cemented his place in Louisiana sound, where he's since used his music to power many philanthropic efforts, including numerous Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Broussard opened with a cover of Bill Wither's "Lovely Day," a modest beginning to the set but thoroughly enjoyed by the eager audience. He continued with a number of originals and crowd favorites, favoring the pop influences early on, capped by one of his earliest creations "The Wanderer." The early set strongly mimicked the album versions of his songs, but it was the quintessential "A Lonely Night in Georgia" that broke free, inviting members of Mingo Fishtrap back on stage to perform "family style," as Blevins, Jr. put it. The set quickly built into a wild jam, welcoming almost the entire opening band back on stage for a number of songs and building to a medley that included Hendrix's "Hey Joe" before the stage vacated for a segment of songs with just Broussard and his guitar.

That wasn't the end of Blevins and crew for the night, as the headliner welcomed them back to the stage once again, building to a wild version of Broussard's most popular "Home," a fitting end for the set. However, rather than closing the show and teasing the audience for an encore, Broussard took it a step further. As it turned out, in an unfortunately common occurrence, Mingo Fishtrap was robbed of many personal possessions from their RV in broad daylight during soundcheck and the headliner took it upon himself to pass his hat around to collect for band's loss with the claim that he would not stop playing as long people kept putting money in his hat. Five songs later, Broussard and the boys from Mingo Fishtrap finished the now 20 song, two hour set with a cover of Bob Marley's "Waiting in Vain," standing ankle deep in a pile of cash, a near perfect close to the night.

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