If you haven’t been to the House of Blues’ Voodoo Garden in a while, on every Friday throughout the month of January, there’s a fresh new reason to spend happy hour there: Baton Rouge band Minos the Saint begins a new Friday residency this week in the Voodoo Garden from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Self-described as “chamber folk” music, the sometimes-trio, sometimes-quartet based in Baton Rouge has gained a loyal following at several of the Louisiana capital city’s popular music venues, and has played festivals over the past year such as the Northgate Festival, the Baton Rouge Art Melt, Baton Rouge Slow Food and multiple LSU events.
Minos the Saint has shared stages in Baton Rouge with other local indie-folk and roots rock favorites like Brass Bed, Mississippi Rail Company, Super Water Sympathy and England in 1819. However, their sound is a bit different than most folk or roots rock groups in Louisiana.
It will be interesting to see which New Orleans string players and other philharmonic musicians (and fans) catch on to the band’s unique classical-meets-proletariat stylings. The core band is comprised of drums, guitar and keys and a single horn, with keyboardist Ben Herrington’s occasional accordion providing that familiar bayou flavor and Joel Willson’s violin bringing to the sonic matrix and sophisticated yet playful air to the already eclectic mix. Each musician is a multi-instrumentalist in his own way, lending to a much fuller sound than you might imagine a trio or quartet would produce. Bass is handled by Herrington’s pedal and lead vocals by guitarist Peter Simon, while Micah Blouin creates the collective’s foundation on percussion and back-up vocals.
True, “indie-folk” has been the “new wave” craze of late in the young music world, but Minos the Saint is not just another fad-riding trend jam. The chamber music twist on folkloric songwriting is, the band says, heavily influenced by artists like Ben Harper. Finally beginning to make their way out of Baton Rouge and into the rest of the world, their collaboration creatively blends their fluencies in regional, roots, jazz, blues and classical music in a way that is easily digested by many types of music fans.
Although the band made their New Orleans debut back in October (2013) as the opener at Gasa Gasa for rising New Orleans indie-folk trio, the Cardinal Sons (who also recently opened for the Revivalists’ New Year’s Eve concert at the Civic Theatre), they’ve also played the Invisible Children benefit concert at Republic in December. This new Friday evening residency at House of Blues’ Voodoo Garden will be their first regular gig in the city. There is no cover charge for the new happy hour series.
Minos the Saint performs each Friday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. from January 3 through January 31 (five Fridays) in the Voodoo Garden at House of Blues (225 Decatur Street). Admission is free and happy hours drink specials are TBA. The House of Blues restaurant will be open during all sets, as well as the Voodoo Garden bar. More Info: www.minosthesaint.com