The Subdudes Are Anything But Subdued

The Subdudes is one of my favorite bands and I had not seen them in at least fifteen years, so I made sure to see them at their rare area appearance at the Narrows Center for the Arts last week.

The Subdudes

The Subdudes

Hailing from New Orleans, The Subdudes are a roots rock band that incorporates swamp rock, Cajun/zydeco, blues, and soul into their unique sound. The story goes that they were originally called The Continentals, but a club owner asked if they could tone down the volume so they were subdued.

All the founding members of the band, other than Johnny Ray Allen who passed away last year, remain and time has not altered their chemistry. The three founding members are Tommy Malone on guitar and vocals, Steve Amedée on percussion and vocals, and John Magnie on keyboard, accordion and vocals, with relative newcomer Tim Cook on bass and vocals.

Tommy Malone

Tommy Malone

Steve Amedee

Steve Amedée

John Magnie

John Magnie

Tim Cook

Tim Cook

I did not grab a copy of the set list, but I know that the two-hour set spanned much of their 22-year career (they formed in 1987 but took a six-year hiatus). From ‘Light in Your Eyes’ from their first release to ‘Papa Dukie and the Mud People’ from 2006’s Street Symphony, they performed many beloved songs. The set list contained only fifteen songs plus the two-song encore, but they jammed on every song giving each member of the band numerous chances for the spotlight.

The Subdudes

The Subdudes

The Subdudes are slightly unusual in that they do not incorporate a drum kit; Steve plays a tambourine with a drum stick and also plays bongos. He added a kazoo this night as well as something that looked like he could have bought it at a hardware store (the red instrument in his hand in the third photo below this paragraph)!

Steve

Steve

Steve

Steve on the kazoo

Steve

Steve

During the show, Tommy was cracking jokes and interacting with the audience, which gave the show an even more intimate feel.

Tommy

Tommy

For the encore, Tommy grabbed an acoustic guitar from the green room and the band sang a couple of songs from the middle of the audience without amplification.  I took no photos; it was so special and I wanted to experience it without looking through a camera lens.

The Subdudes

The Subdudes

They had a great time on stage, and that translated into an epic show.

The Subdudes

The Subdudes

I hope they won’t make us wait as long before making an extended return trip to New England (although I know they’ll be here in the spring)! The Subdudes are a special band with much talent and heart. Go see them if you have the opportunity.

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on January 25, 2015, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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