the new dillon

mike dillon

Looking for an excuse to stay up late Thursday night that doesn’t involve a basketball tournament? Might we suggest an evening of New Orleans accented funk, fusion and fun courtesy of the Mike Dillon Band at Cosmic Charlie’s.

Last seen here as one-third of the wildly industrious Dead Kenny G’s, Dillon is a versed percussionist whose playing has been featured in Garage a Trois, Billy Goat, Les Claypool’s Fancy Band and Critters Buggin as well as on recordings by the likes of Claypool, Ani DiFranco and Marco Benevento.

When he played here a year ago (almost to the day) with the Dead Kenny G’s, Dillon was pretty much a lord of rhythm and thunder, performing on drums, tabla and, to a lesser extent, vibraphone. The latter takes top priority in the Mike Dillon Band – a quartet rounded out by members of the New Orleans groove collective known as Yojimbo – specifically, trombonist Carly Meyers and drummer Radam G – with Government Majik’s Bru Brusser holding down bass duties.

The Mike Dillon Band has yet to release an album together. But a generous number of bootleg-style videos of the group (mostly taken from a February performance in Texas) viewable on at least give a hint of what we can expect on Thursday – namely, groove accented tunes with the occasional funk and punk flourish propelled with a generous blast of Crescent City soul.

Of particular interest amid the youtube video scrapbook is a tune called Ding Dong the Party’s Over. It recalls the animated, vibraphone-happy fun conjured during Ruth Underwood’s tenure with Frank Zappa – but with an even more playful, New Orleans feel.

Lexington’s own Baja Yetis will open the show with a funk/jazz repertoire that runs from Herbie Hancock and Galactic to Miles Davis and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Kinda makes you want to kickoff the weekend a little early, doesn’t it?

The Mike Dillon Band and Baja Yetis perform at 9 p.m. March 8 at Cosmic Charlie’s, 388 Woodland Ave. Tickets are $10. Call (859) 309-9499.

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