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Working man’s funk

Wren Wertin
Special to the DailyNew Orleans' Juice is riding high on its latest release, "All Lit Up." Beads, masks and costumes are encouraged at their show tonight at Half Moon Saloon.
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Juice’s latest offering, “All Lit Up,” shows a band’s evolution. Live shows earned the group a reputation for impromptu marathon jams incorporating psychedelic sounds and new funk. The new album takes the band into a new realm: the art of the song. With the exception of track three, “Hey Kool Aid,” which comes in at nine-plus minutes, the album is chock full of four-minute escapades through catchy hooks, solid rhythms and gleeful lyrics.

Album opener “Back by the River” promises to be a funky dance staple. Rhythmically interesting “Rat Race” sneaks up on the listener, starting slow and building. On “My Neighbors” percussionist Jamie Galloway takes the lead vocals, displaying all the grit and sass of the New Orleans working class.

Despite the fact that the new album is so different from their last album, “Fortified,” the concerts are pretty much the same.



“The shows haven’t changed a lot,” said frontman Dave Jordan. “We’ve always used songs as structures for our jams…Though I guess we’re singing more, doing less covers.”

Jordan describes the new direction as getting back to his roots. A big fan of Bob Dylan, he wants the group to be more based in songs.



“It’s still going to be funky,” he said.

Since their inception in 1998, the band has seen a string of members (upwards of 17) stream through. They have finally settled into a rock-solid line-up with Jordan (bass, vocals), Aron Lambert (drums, percussion), Galloway (harmonica, vocals, percussion), Zach Aldrich (keys, organ), and Sam Hotchkiss (rhythm and lead guitars).

Originally formed in Baton Rouge, the band really broke into the music scene when it moved to New Orleans. After being the house band at Tipitina’s for several months, the band has been on the road almost constantly. Though they used to skip right on by Vail on their many Colorado tours, the past year has seen them here every few months. It’s ended up being a strong venue, filled with Crescent City kids as it is.



Krewe de C.R.A.W., a local party-for-charity group headed up by Tap Room bartender Jimmy McCabe, has finagled a fund-raiser out of the band. Galley was diagnosed with the aggressive form of brain cancer in June. His health insurance is covering traditional treatment but stops at experimental medical measures, which he will need to pursue in the months to come. The band is playing for only a portion of the door proceeds and giving the rest to Galley’s medical costs. (By some coincidence, the Vail Valley Charitable Fund (VVCF) is also hosting a fund-raiser for him at Coyote Cafe in Beaver Creek from 5 to 8 p.m.) Anyone wanting to donate money directly to the cause can do so through the VVCF at 328-3863 or http://www.vvcf.org.

But for those who want a little bit of funky dance with their drinks, New Orleans’ Juice is ready to groove. Costumes, masks and beads are never out of place at any function associated with Krewe de C.R.A.W. They’re even encouraged. For more information on the concert call the Moon at 476-4314.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.


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