Like Rodney Dangerfield, Low Cut Connie doesn't get the appropriate respect.
That's not to say that, critically, the Philadelphia-to-Birmingham, England, act led by singer/pianist Adam "Ladyfingers" Weiner and drummer/guitarist Dan Finnemore hasn't reaped plenty of top-tier accolades. Dean of rock journalism Robert Christgau, NPR's Ken Tucker, and Geator with the Heater Jerry Blavat have given the primal rock-and-roll ensemble mad props - best-new-raw-band-in-the-world props. President Obama included LCC's naughty "Boozophilia" on his fave song list at Spotify. But this hasn't won Weiner's wiggy lot billion-dollar contracts or massive fame for its handful of stark, soulful albums.
Yet talent will out, as will a predilection for primeval boogie-woogie touched by the spirit of doo-wop and ancient, echo-laced R&B. So Low Cut Connie members work their rumps off to create fans, one at a time, as they did at District N9NE Saturday night. Starting with the raucous "Rio" and "Back in School," curly-haired Weiner commenced with his athletic Jerry Lee Lewis bit - standing on his piano, shaking his butt, stretching out from the stool doing leg lifts - while pushing the rest of Connie into a gospel-testifying frenzy.
Punching his 88s, Weiner was all controlled delirium, particularly subtle on the neo-country-western swoon of "Me N Annie."
He stared down his audience - "75 percent of you look good" - and used his deepest voice to sweetly intone "You're talking about money, you're talking about success, I'm talking about happiness."
Strapping on a guitar, Finnemore, too, cut a handsome figure as a vocalist on the tap dancing "Right Here." He was a hoot, a cooler head to Weiner's heated entertainer. Yes, entertainer - a hip-gyrating Tom Jones type showing off his chest hair through gold chains during "Boozophilia" and a rollicking "Pity Party," the latter alive with Wizard of Oz winkie chants and a deeply grooving bass line (courtesy of Larry Scotton) that wouldn't quit. Particularly musky, yet deeply atmospheric in a Shadow Morton fashion was "Shake It Little Tina," with its warm echo FX and snaky guitar lines.
Low Cut Connie is one of America's best, rawest rock-and-roll bands, old school or any school, and should be savored in small settings such as District N9NE.