YLC’s Wednesday at the Square concert series came to a close with the eclectic sounds of Gravity A. I first heard Gravity A play in 2010. They were just finding their (bare) footing with a regular gig at Mid-City’s Banks Street Bar and a set at Bayou Boogaloo and I interviewed them for the Nola Defender. They were the first band I met here, the first band I ever interviewed, and some of the first people I got to know here through my cousin’s-stepson’s-best friend’s-exwife, the only person I knew in New Orleans when I moved here in 2009. But, she left the city and I haven’t heard Gravity A since.
2 of the 4 players are new to me, Devin “Deving Devine” Kerrigan on bass and Danny “The Most” Abel on guitar. It was great to see the familiar faces of Michael “Fou” Fouquier on drums and Andrew “Drew Meez on da Keys” Meehan on keyboards. The band continues to cover the occasional Paul Simon or Talking Heads song with their “New Orleans Funktronica” flavor but their originals have really taken shape and their funk, electronica, rock, indi, experimental voice is stronger than ever.
It was a different kind of sound for the concert series, more youthful and alternative, but the crowd took to it right away. The band was nominated for Best Funk Album of the 2012 Best of the Beat Awards and the Best Electronica Act at the 2010 Big Easy Awards. One of the defining characteristics of New Orleans and jazz music in my estimation is the ability to evolve as new cultures are introduced. Since the pre-Civil War drum circles in Congo Square, our music has been like good gumbo where each ingredient keeps its flavor even as is becomes part of the mix. Gravity A has illustrated better than any other band that there is room to add the flavor of electronica to our New Orleans gumbo.
Check out their album, New Beginnings, one of Offbeat Magazine’s Top 50 Louisiana Music Albums of 2013. I missed way too many Wednesdays this year but I continue to be grateful to the Young Leadership Council (YLC) and their many generous sponsors who bring us this fabulous free series every spring. Though their was plenty of yummy food available, I only had eyes for a nectar sno-ball from Plum Street ($3). As always, it feels good knowing all the money serves to help the YLC civics organization continue their mission of making New Orleans a better place.