In 2007 when Ponderosa Stomp Director Ira Padnos was looking for a band to back the Hombres’ B. B. Cunningham on the iconic 1967 hit “Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)” for a New Orleans gig, he looked to his longtime conspirator and production manager Lefty Parker (Fireball Rockett) to put together the group. Parker recruited his friends and Hombres fans Todd Mathers (Guitar Lightning Lee’s Thunder Band), King Louie (Royal Pendletons) and Mitch Palmer (the Haunted Hearts).
After backing such luminaries as Filmore Slim, Chick Willis, Ralph “Soul” Jackson and Herman Hitson, the band moved forward and started working towards gigs of their own, borrowing their name from Earl King’s “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights.” Due to Lefty’s background as a player in the late Ernie K-Doe’s band and his relationship with famed New Orleans music mastermind Antoinette K-Doe, the Lonely Lonely Knights began playing gigs at the Mother-in-Law Lounge.
The Lonely Lonely Knights sound evolved when they added D.C. Harbold (Clockwork Elvis) on guitar — replacing Mitch Palmer (who occasionally still sits in on piano) — and Jon Rans (Mytsic Groovies, Billy Ding’s Hot Wings) on drums to their current lineup. They play a style of blues-based, guitar rock that is uncommon today. On Tuesday evenings, the Knights hone their chops on stage at the world-famous Saturn Bar, often jamming with other local performers such as Guitar Lightnin’ Lee, Julien Fried (Missing Monuments), Quintron and even Kermit Ruffins.
Studied in the history of New Orleans music but with diverse musical roots and influences that include the Flaming Groovies, Pink Faries, MC5 and Status Quo, the Lonely Lonely Knights developed a following in the Bywater as a fun, relaxed party band. Their sets are often split between originals and rare covers from artists like Love, Sky Saxon’s Seeds, the Kinks and whatever else they feel like playing. The Knights also recently played the 2010 Ponderosa Stomp with Sammy Ridgely at the House of Blues, New Orleans. This weekend they play Frenchman Street’s d.b.a. for the first time.
The Lonely Lonely Knights will take the stage at d.b.a., 618 Frenchmen St., at 10p.m. on Sunday, August 12.
Here’s a clip of K-Doe in full splendor with Fireball Rocket backing him at the Mother-in-Law Lounge in 2001.