As always, timing is everything. The subdudes have stopped over at the Egg five times in five years, but other obligations kept me from checking them out. So when I finally got the chance last weekend to see the New Orleans roots-rock quintet, it turns out this tour will be their last one for a while, as they plan to take a hiatus from the road. On the plus side, at least I got to see the magic the one-time backup band has been weaving for 20 years; the minus is that they’re so much fun in concert, I want them back here extra soon – like, say, next weekend!
I saw lots of guitars on the spare stage set when I walked into the Swyer, but no drum kit. That’s because the subdudes don’t have a drummer per se: Percussion duties are split between Tim Cook and Steve Amedée, and Cook plays bass half the time. But don’t feel sorry for Amedée, because – as I found out on the hopping opening number “One Time” – the beret-wearing beatbox does more with a tambourine and a microphone than most drummers can manage with a kit befitting Tommy Lee. Amedée’s also part of a dizzying four-part harmony sound filled with equal parts of country, R&B and gospel. There was an a cappella break during “No Man” when I swear I was listening to the Oak Ridge Boys!