Road to Mardi Gras Tour with Better Than Ezra and Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Photo by Craig Young
Alternative rock outfit Better Than Ezra has announced that it will team up with fellow New Orleans natives Big Sam’s Funky Nation to bring the Mardi Gras spirit on the road this fall. The tour, presented by Krew of Rocckus, kicks off on November 12 at the Varsity Theatre in Baton Rouge, LA and closes out with a two-night stand at New Orleans’ House of Blues on December 30 and 31. The bands will also visit the 9:30 Club in Washington, the Paradise Rock Club in Boston and New York’s Webster Hall on the upcoming tour. The Road to Mardi Gras tour is part of the lead up to the Krewe of Rocckus’ inaugural Mardi Gras Event in 2011, a three-day musical celebration in New Orleans in March of 2011 featuring Better Than Ezra, Big Sam’s Funky Nation and Texas country singer Pat Green.
Better Than Ezra was formed in the late 80’s by vocalist and guitarist Kevin Griffin, along with lead guitarist Joel Rundell, bassist Tom Drummond and drummer Cary Bonnecaze. The group rose to fame in the following the release of its second album Deluxe, and went on to experience mainstream radio play with hits such as the fitting “King of New Orleans.” As is the case with many jambands, BTE fans have their own moniker, the “Ezralites.”
Big Sam’s Funky Nation is an urban funk group headed by Big Sam Williams, formerly of the Dirty Dozen brass Band. The group received the honor of “Best Funk Group of 2008” at the Big Easy Music Awards and has previously been featured in the “On the Verge” section of Relix magazine. Big Sam has also played with bands such as Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe.