The Louisiana Street Band won General Mills' U Rock Battle for the Best, a national music competition, back in February. The Lawrence act plays contemporary, bluesy jazz that’s crisp without sounding manufactured. It's at the Brick on Saturday, and we spoke with the group earlier this week.
The Pitch: You formed in 2010. What has changed over the last year?
The Louisiana Street Band: At the end of spring semester, we lost a drummer and didn't play all summer. At the beginning of fall semester, we gained a new drummer and a sax player. We set out to be a blues band and ended up diversifying quite a bit, taking influences from all around. Most of the end of the year was dedicated to winning the General Mills U Rock Battle for the Best national competition. In January 2011, we won that competition and recorded an EP in Firehouse Studios in Pasadena, California. Our time since has been spent playing out and developing our original material. Our sax player got married and moved away, and we are now a five-piece with occasional guest Josh Beham on harmonica.
Are you all still in school? I get the impression that at least some of you have recently graduated. What are plans after graduation? Will the band stay together, and will you all try to be full-time musicians?
Two of us are still in school. The rest of us are finished with school. Some of us are living together, and we plan to continue our quest for professional musicianship.
Do you still live on Louisiana Street?
Only one band member still lives on Louisiana, but at one time, four out of five members lived on the street. We will always remember our nights on the porch of Grace Pearson, playing acoustic guitars for the people walking down the street.
What are your favorite covers to play?
“Use Me” by Bill Withers, “The Weight” by the Band, “Roll Over Beethoven” by Chuck Berry, and “Fire” by Jimi Hendrix.
Any upcoming shows? New releases? Do you have any projects on the side? Any tours planned?
Ice Cream Social, part of Hawk Week at KU on August 20. A benefit show in Hastings, Nebraska, our lead singer's hometown on August 27. A benefit with KC and the Sunshine Band in Topeka on September 3. And several other shows after that. On the home front, we are in the process of identifying songs for an album. Our keyboardist, Austin Quick, plays with a couple of groups on the side, Stonedeph and the Phantastics, backing group for thePhantom*. Our drummer, Nate Deel, also plays with a jazz group from Baldwin, called Uncle Sham.
The Louisiana Street Band performs at the Brick Saturday, August 13, at 5 p.m.