"The Bayou: Last Call" Rocks the Hamilton

Pianist John Eaton opened the night with his takes on jazz standards.
David Blackwell
Pianist John Eaton opened the night with his takes on jazz standards.

The line was almost around the corner at the Hamilton Sunday night. At least one man was clamoring for a ticket to get into the Feb. 17 sold-out event, "The Bayou: Last Call." For a night, the 14th Street venue was transformed into the Bayou, a beloved spot under the Whitehurst Freeway that hosted jazz and rock greats from Count Basie to U2 from 1953 to 1999.

The event was a benefit for the non-profit production of the documentary, "The Bayou: DC's Killer Joint" [which premiered on Jan. 31 at AMC Loews Georgetown] (http://www.georgetowner.com/articles/2013/feb/04/bayou-documentary-premieres-georgetowns-amc-loews/). DJ Cerphe Colwell served as master of ceremonies for the evening.

Pianist John Eaton opened the night with two songs, followed by performances by a rotating group of musicians from a long list of bands which played on the Bayou's stage, including the Cherry People, Cherry Smash, the Nighthawks, Tahoka, Orphan, the Nowhere Men, the Langley High Jazz Lab, Face Dancer, the Boyz, Diamond Alley, Wizzard, Razz, Downtown, Grande Hotel, Sinbad, King Dazzle, Bucyrus Erie, the Texas Chainsaw Horns, Witness, Jetz, the Hubcaps, the Michael Fath Group, Smashbox Symphony, Odyssey, Switched At Birth, the Nathez Trace Band, Trapezoid, the Paul Reed Smith Band and the Grimes Bros.

The set list included covers of Santana's "Smooth" and, of course, the Creedence Clearwater Revival classic, "Born On The Bayou."

With 600 persons attending, the place was standing room only. The concert was live streamed online for those not lucky enough to get a ticket—Henry Greene, who was looking for a ticket outside before the show, found his way in. The atmosphere was jovial, filled with long hair, leather jackets and folks puffing on e-cigarettes. There were many Washington music veterans like Pete Papageorge, who's had a residency at Kelly's Irish Times for more than 25 years. The space was donated by the Hamilton in support of the event.

"The Bayou: DC's Killer Joint" will be shown on Maryland Public Television on Feb. 25, 9 p.m. Visit the Bayou documentary's website and Twitter pages for more information.

Performance photos above are courtesy of photographer David Blackwell.

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Sat, 25 Oct 2014 18:49:39 -0400

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