Mike Clark’s Prescription Trio, The Jewish Mother, Virginia Beach, VA- 2/11
The Jewish Mother was crammed. Packed. Bumpin'.
Oteil and his Peacemakers were about to hop on stage, but first everyone needed to take their cigarettes outside. Members of both bands of the night are allergic to smoke, so we need to accommodate. As the Peacemakers took the stage, I could not get past the tall speakers to get a good view. The Peacemakers, comprising Oteil Burbridge on bass, Chris Fryar on drums, Mark Kimbrell on guitar, Jason Crosby on keyboards and Paul Henson on vocals, filled the crowd with some syncopated rhythms and energetic meanderings. Oteil, an openly Christian musician, played next to what some might find an amusing cartoonish buddy-Christ sitting on his gear. I admire his ability to be open about his inspirations and passions.
Next, the Prescription Trio took the stage, with Mike Clark center stage on drums, Robert Walter stage right on keys, and Skerik on saxophone. From the first note of "Four String Drive," the Prescription Trio set out on their opening night of their run to prove something. They wasted no time in inviting Oteil onstage and headed straight into "Viper," much to the exuberant approval by the crowd. And then the first few inklings of the precious "Watermelon Man" rang out like beacons in the night, calling all those in attendance to their shore of rich sounds. The crowd could barely contain themselves but quieted down enough to let the guys flex out.
While Skerik create these cat-call-esque sounds from what just seemed an extension of himself, his sax, Robert kept the vibe flowing with a steady flux of harmonious chords and cool finger-walking. They plowed through a couple more crazy tunes, one of which was "Powerhouse," allowing Oteil to stretch out in his scat stylings (while Skerik held out his sax-mike for Oteil to sing in). Finally Oteil had had enough, and the Prescription was back to a Trio doing a rendition of "Famous Door." Mike Clark kept things high-energy and with his zesty cadence throughout the night, continuing in "Swamp Thing." All in all a great starting point to begin their brief tour, a lighthearted excursion led by the drumming of Headhunter Mike Clark.