I should start this post off with a full disclaimer that Roger Ruzow, bandleader for The 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra, and I have a friendship going back something along the lines of twenty-plus years to when he was a bass player in Boone, N.C. That being said, I’ve always respected his musicianship aside from our friendship, and his projects have never been dull. As I don’t recall the full history of how the 4th AKO came into being, I’ll make sure that in this post there are plenty of links for the public to find their music & info.
I recently saw a Facebook event invite from the band to a performance in Atlanta at Smith’s Olde Bar and thought that it would be a good catalyst to hit the highway and breathe some different air for a few days. Smith’s has been hosting performances for over twenty years and anyone familiar with Atlanta’s music scene has probably taken in a few shows either in the ‘paid event’ upstairs Music Room, or the ‘free show’ Atlanta Room downstairs. On a Wednesday night I wasn’t sure what to expect in attendance, but what the crowd might have lacked in size it certainly made up for in enthusiasm. Having seen the band blow the roof off of Hang Fire Bar in the past, I’ve seen what these cats are able to do when they have the opportunity and the audience is jumping.
I had a chance to chat briefly with Roger after the gig and ask him when he thought Savannah might get another 4th Ward AKO visit. His response in short was ‘set the date, let’s put an eclectic show together, and I’ll rally the guys’. That’s exactly the stuff that some of us older musicians are made of, and it’s great to hear friends keeping the faith in live music and still wanting to give it everything they’ve got.
Here are a couple of photos and a link…more after the jump.