I wish every visitor to New Orleans could, over a big plate of home-cooking, see Meschiya Lake and Tom McDermott play at Donna’s Bar and Grill. Well, maybe not every visitor, but, you know, the good ones. Actually, I take that back. Sometimes things are so simply and undeniably awesome that they elevate everyone, even mouth-breathers.
But seriously, there is something so wonderfully and uniquely New Orleans about all those aforementioned elements coming together. Firstly, Donna’s is the real deal–not some trendy, fancy spot– it’s a divey, no nonsense, place for real music lovers to come and watch seriously good music on any given night. On it’s corner at North Rampart and St. Ann, it has been the home base for many Treme jazz funerals over the years. Oh, and the food. There is the famous barbecue, and what I hear are amazing red beans and rice, among other things.
Then, tonight, you have Tom McDermott, an extremely accomplished piano player and band leader playing with Meschiya Lake, a vocalist with a big, bold, honest voice who is literally breathing new life into the traditional jazz scene. They couldn’t be more different; McDermott–a conservative-looking piano prodigy who is now in middle age, and Lake–whose facial tattoos belie a youth spent in street punk subculture. Here’s Meschiya playing on the street a while back with her Little Big Horns.
Show at 9. Food +/- $7. $10 cover.