Event

Tipitina's Presents
J & The Causeways with Eddie 9V
with J & The Causeways, Eddie 9V
October 21, 2022 9:00 pm CDT (Doors: 8:00 pm)
Ages 18 and Up
$16.00
J & The Causeways
At the core of soul music is a vibrant, embracing spirit, one aimed at connecting the dots of humanity that reside on both sides of the microphone.

“It doesn’t matter if there are 10 people in the audience or a 1,000,” says Jordan Anderson, lead singer/keyboardist for J & The Causeways. “It’s that sacrifice we make of our art, so that people can feel it that much harder the first time they hear you.”

In a serendipitous sequence of events, J & The Causeways was formed at the legendary Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans. A juggernaut soul/R&B ensemble, the group is filled with heavy backbeats and a soaring horn section, all swirling around the magnetic vocal stylings of Anderson.

“We definitely shine live because each and every member of this band loves to be onstage and in that genuine moment of performance,” Anderson says. “New Orleans is home to some of the finest singers and musicians on the planet, which also means you have to bring your A-game to every single show — you’re representing this city and the long history of beautiful music that’s been created here.”

As a kid, Anderson was first exposed to the power of music from his grandmother, a piano teacher in his small rural Louisiana hometown. It was her backroom record collection that mesmerized Anderson, where he found himself thumbing through the vinyl and discovering the likes of Otis Redding, Al Green, Queen, and Aretha Franklin.

“I learned early on to not fall into the vanilla variety of pitch,” Anderson says. “It’s about finding a certain power that you can harness with the pure emotion of your voice, which is what all of those singers had — finding that spectrum of vocalists who put it all out there for the audience.”

With J & The Causeways, Anderson is fronting a band that finds itself mentioned in the same breath as the likes of St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and The Marcus King Band — all modern-day entities of passion and purpose, each summoning the pulsating, endless energy of soul/R&B music.

“With soul music, it’s those live moments where you feel truly elevated, and you’re bringing the audience along with you to that higher place,” Anderson says. “And you’re creating this space of inclusivity and connectivity — there’s no way you’re leaving that stage without a smile on your face.”

For J & The Causeways, it’s about bringing forth a communal sense of self within the greater universe of knowns and unknowns — we’re all in this together, so let’s share in the depths of our raw, honest emotions through the sound and spectacle that is live music.

“I like to help people find joy. And I find that a lot of people just don’t know how to be vulnerable enough to find that joy,” Anderson says. “I want our music to help unlock that beauty that resides within each of us, to let out that vulnerability of what it means to be in the presence of live music, and of each other — music has always lifted me up, and I want to lift up the listener every single time I’m on that stage.”
Eddie 9V
All his life, Eddie 9V (9-volt) has acted on instinct. Aged just 15, this old-soul artist turned away from the path of college and jobs to burst all guns blazing onto the roots and blues club circuit of his native Atlanta, Georgia. Flash forward to 2019, and for his debut album, Left My Soul In Memphis, the prodigious multi-instrumentalist simply powered up the amps in his mobile trailer and with his brother/co-writer/producer, Lane Kelly, laid down one of the year’s breakout releases, acclaimed as “fresh and life-affirming” by Rock & Blues Muse. “Memphis was a total side project,” shrugs Eddie, “that ended up taking off.”

Now, released in 2021 on Ruf Records, Little Black Flies is the 25-year-old’s most impulsive move to date. Tracked live in Atlanta’s Echo Deco Studios through November 2020, once again with Lane turning the knobs, plus a who’s who of the state’s best musicians, it’s an album that Eddie planned to feel like it’s unfolding right in front of you – right down to the clink of bottles and loose studio banter. “I’ve seen a trend in modern recording,” he says. “There’s no soul. I took inspiration from Albert Collins, Otis Rush, Mike Bloomfield. All those great records were done live with their buddies and no overdubs. I wanted the playing to be spot-on – but even if we made a mistake, we kept going.”

Little Black Flies represents a passing of the baton to a bandleader that many credit for reinvigorating the South’s proud roots scene. Born in June 1996, to a non-musical family living ten miles south of Atlanta, Eddie still remembers his fateful first guitar. “I was six and it was one of those with the speaker in it – get the most bang for your buck, y’know?” he muses. While manufactured pop dominated the airwaves as he came up at Union Grove High School in nearby McDonough, Eddie forked hard left, hanging with Lane and his friends, and digging back into the catalogues of blues giants like Al Green, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Freddie King and Percy Sledge. “I studied the older cats,” he explains, “saw what made them groove and tick.”

As for his freewheeling lyrics, Eddie credits his home life: “I’ve been making words up on the spot for years – my Uncle Brian taught me how to do that at our family fish fries. How to make people laugh, how to hold an audience’s attention.”

Eddie still recalls the frustration of watching local musicians load into the fabled clubs of Atlanta. “My first heroes were the local legends like Sean Costello, but I was too young to go see them,” he remembers. When he finally made it inside, it was as a performer, learning his craft at the sharp end, and at precocious speed, with early vehicles like covers band The Smokin’ Frogs, and its maturing blues-rock offshoot, The Georgia Flood. “My first step in being a professional musician was learning how to accept failure,” says Eddie. “As a nobody, the music business is a dartboard. You just hope something sticks.”

In 2013 – and before Eddie had even graduated high school – The Georgia Flood represented the Atlanta Blues Society in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. That band spilled over into the indie-rock group PREACHERVAN, but perhaps the pivotal moment came in 2019, when he adopted the Eddie 9V moniker for his solo work. “There are too many Joe Schmo blues bands,” he reasons. “I was on the road with PREACHERVAN and we were talking like mobsters. We all gave each other names – and mine was Eddie.”

Since that rebirth as Eddie 9V, he’s not only pricked up the ears of the music press (“A huge talent,” wrote Blues Blast, “to be noticed and followed”), but earned a respect on the scene that made it easy to recruit local heroes for the Little Black Flies sessions. “Every player is the best of their craft,” says Eddie of his studio band, “and that’s why I picked ’em. We had the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s bass player Brandon Boone and the icon himself, Cody Matlock, on guitar. Everybody’s mood was so exciting. The energy was there.”

This record catches everything that went down at a session that felt more like a party, as Eddie leads the lineup through nine new songs – plus three classic covers – that retool the soul-blues genre on his own terms, reminding a new generation why this music hits so hard. Horns blast, drums rattle, slide guitars howl and at the heart of it all is Eddie’s stinging guitar and unmistakable vocal, the bandleader thrilling us one minute with his soul-man holler, then spinning story songs like he’s sat on the next barstool. “The title track,” he explains, “was a narrative about me being in love with the girl in the apartment upstairs, who was being abused, and wanting to do something about it. Deep stuff. “3AM In Chicago” is about America’s unfairness between race and income levels, but also wanting to improve on the situation. “Puttin’ The Kids To Bed” was a total ‘let’s hurry this up and get down to business’ song.”

With Little Black Flies, there’s a sense of an artist coming full circle: the kid who once loitered outside the clubs of Atlanta now leading Georgia’s greatest players into the studio. Certainly, these recordings gave much-needed catharsis to the musicians who created them. But perhaps Eddie’s ultimate aim is to pass that spirit on to everyone who hears the record. “It makes my day to please someone after they work all day,” he says. “My job is to make them smile and let the music make them forget – or remember.”