Dragon Smoke unleash their fury at The Mint

Dragon SmokeBy Pete Mauch //

Dragon Smoke //
The Mint — Los Angeles
December 12th, 2012 //

New Orleans supergroup Dragon Smoke made their annual winter trip west, and they once again brought the heat to The Mint in LA. The band is Galactic’s rhythm section of Stanton Moore on drums and Robert Mercurio on bass and features Ivan Neville of Dumpstaphunk and New Orleans guitar staple Eric Lindell.


Dragon Smoke got things going early with a funky version of “Let a Woman be a Woman, Let a Man Be a Man”. This classic song originally by Dyke and The Blazers had the crowd dancing early in the set. Lindell and Neville shared vocal duties on most songs, and they are both excellent singers. Lindell has a very Southern soul sound to him that just reeks of New Orleans. Of course, Ivan Neville also has his soulful growl he delivers with great phrasing, as he did with the song “Out in the Country”.

As always, Moore and Mercurio were locked in tight. They seemed especially fired up for this concert. Moore did his signature “standing up and going apeshit on the drums”, while Mercurio head-bobbed his way through the groove. It was quite a treat to see this up close at The Mint.


The highlight of the night came deep in the second set and was a huge sandwich of “Slipping into Darkness” > “Fire on the Bayou” > “Fly Like an Eagle” >”Fire on the Bayou”  > “Slipping into Darkness.”  All of the songs were weaved in and out of each other effortlessly.


Lindell then had a soulful take on George Jones’s “She Thinks I Still Care” that was very moving. They ended the night with Billy Prestions “Will it Go Round in Circles” that was the perfect way to end the show.


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