published Friday, July 6th, 2012

New Orleans headliner brings musical potluck to Nightfall


What: Nightfall concert series, featuring Dirty Bourbon River Show.

When: 8 p.m. today; The Snake Doctors open at 7.

Where: Miller Plaza, corner of M.L. King Boulevard, Market and Cherry streets.

Admission: Free.

Phone: 265-0771.

Venue website:


The Snake Doctors are a local Americana (blues/ragtime/swing) duo consisting of Lon Eldridge on guitar/vocals and Chris Ryan on fiddle/banjo/vocals. For more information, visit the band's website at

Even in the musical melting pot of New Orleans, where European, American and African styles are endlessly mixing together, the Dirty Bourbon River Show has a particularly motley sound.

The group's founder, Noah Adams, 27, said he was drawn to the Big Easy in 2006 by its legendary association to blues and jazz. He long ago discovered and fell in love with the city's pervasively off-kilter, free-ranging attitude, which has since worked its way into Dirty Bourbon's music.

"Everybody [in New Orleans] is crazy, but they're doing something," he said. "No other place melds them together the way that New Orleans does. It's like the place I had to end up."

Originally intent on scoring films, Adams said he encountered drummer Dane "Bootsy" Schindler, and the two founded the Dirty Bourbon River Show almost by accident.

The band, which formed in 2008, describes its music as "New Orleans Gypsy folk circus rock" and embraces nearly every style of music that has graced Crescent City stages.

From song to song, the style can shift radically, from ballads delivered in a Tom Waits-inspired growl to jaunty vaudevillian pieces and bright numbers resplendent in swirling Latin horn lines.

Dirty Bourbon will take the stage tonight as the Nightfall headliner, sharing a sound that Adams said he hopes channels its feeder styles with respect and authenticity.

"You have to make sure that you're really getting your hands dirty and understanding what it means so you can find the same groove," he explained. "It's making sure that you know what you're doing and not just appropriating something.

"I always try and model myself after that so I'm ... not just a [musical] tourist."

Thanks to a vigorously ambitious recording pace, the band has covered plenty of stylistic ground in four years and five albums. (A sixth and seventh are all but finished, Adams said.)

The band is touring in support of its latest effort, "Volume III," which was released March 30. Adams said he is proud of the 10-track project for how well it captured the ambitious zeal he and his band members felt going into the studio.

"You can feel our appetite in that album; we were hungry," he said. "I think any good album has an appetite to it. The Beatles were hungry to make this big, amazing album when they made 'Sgt. Pepper's.'

"I like it a lot, and I think the fans do too."

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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