Wilmington Unplugged: Dirty Bourbon River Show
with Megan Jean and the KFB
Tuesday, June 7 • 7 p.m. • $3
Billy Mellon, the brains behind Wilmington Unplugged, sticks with a formula that has ensured great shows and events for our community over the past few years. “The mantra has always been the same,” he says. “Putting great acts in front of an audience that appreciates the musical arts, and to assist those musicians with the opportunity to meet other like-minded people who can help each other move toward their goals.”
Wilmington Unplugged’s latest showcase features the sounds of Dirty Bourbon River Show, along with Megan Jean and the KFB, at Soapbox Laundro-Lounge on June 7. “This show marks more than 200 acts that have graced the stages of Wilmington Unplugged,“ Mellon says. “It has been ongoing for nearly four consecutive years, and prior to that (an 18-month hiatus), it had a little more than a one-year run.”
What better way to mark the event’s success than to get down with the eclectic, self-proclaimed mix of “gypsy folk circus rock”? The Dirty Bourbon River Show will bring their relatively new, two-year-old sound to the port city.
“We come from New Orleans, so we mash everything together,” says Noah Adams of Dirty Bourbon River Show. “And we also come from really diverse backgrounds, so that adds to our eccentric layer of extra flavor and flair.”
Dirty Bourbon River Show’s creative originality marries world music with gypsy gumbo horn beats, barb-wire ballads and barroom shanties. They’re not afraid to have fun while putting on a great show.
A five-piece, the band consists of Noah Adams (piano, guitar and vocals), Dane “Bootsy” Schindler (drums), Jimmy Williams (bass and tuba), Wayne Mitchell (sax, clarinet and flute) and arguably the most eccentric member, Charles “Big Charlie” Skinner (vocals/ringmaster of the show). Each member plays a valuable role, but Big Charlie’s may be the most unique. Adding to the bands “circus” feel, he acts as an over-the-top ringmaster during each performance. Dirty Bourbon River Show’s talent, as well as their quirks, engage the audience both aurally and visually.
Headed by Adams and Skinner, the band’s vocals include in-depth scatting, and animated instrumentation to create nothing shy of art-filled music. By employing dueling vocals, the band’s layers evoke an abstract painting of harmony. They also incorporate unexpected and interesting sound effects, as their Louisiana roots appear with high-sounding brass, funky percussion, dropped bass lines and jazzy piano.
The band made their musical debut at the legendary Tipitina’s in New Orleans months after their roots were planted as Buck Johnson and the Hootenanny Kid. The duo, then consisting of Adams and Schindler, would be known as the predecessor to Dirty Bourbon River Show.
After finding Skinner and Mitchell, the band debuted their new aliases and new members on March 11, 2009, at Tipitina’s homegrown music night. Shortly after, they released their first full length LP, “Volume One,” on February 5, 2010.
After the success of the first album, they launched “Free Love.” Sticking to their typical style, they traveled like gypsies, handing out the record free of charge.
While all albums have proven successful for the band, they are most proud of their third, “Volume II,” which dropped just this year.
The musical sounds of Dirty Bourbon River Show and Megan Jean and the KFB reflect the spirit of Wilmington Unplugged: innovation and pure appreciation for music.
“Dirty Bourbon River Show are excellent musicians,” Mellon says. “They write their own original music, and they understand the foundation part of making a mark on the scene. The foundation is making friends and fans, communicating with them and playing music from an honest place—deep inside.”
The show starts at 7 p.m. on June 7 at Soapbox Laundro-Lounge. Admission is $3.