The Dixie Power Trio
When they started out in the mid-1990s, the members of DPT (as they call themselves) also performed things like "Stairway to Heaven" on Louisiana instruments, but since then they've pared away the gimmicks. The only one left is that they're not actually a trio but a quartet. Lead vocalist Zack Smith also plays cornet, accordion, and frottoir (rub board), and the group is rounded out by guitarist Wayne Wilkinson, tubaist Andy Kochenour, and drummer Byron McWilliams. The mix, which also includes other horns and a fiddle at times, is flexible enough to evoke quite a range of music but small enough to be personal; DPT isn't chasing some musical ideal or trying to make a point, but aiming to please.
Two more things are worthy of note. First, Zack Smith's originals aren't period pieces or party anthems; they have a nice, dissatisfied, contemporary edge to them. Second, if you like the sound of a tuba, you'll hear plenty of it here. The Dixie Power Trio comes to the Ark on Thursday, March 6.
[Originally published in March, 2003.]